St Germain of Paris

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Abbot and bishop. Many incredible healings are attributed to this early French saint. Born in 496 near Autun, he was abbot of a monastery before becoming bishop of Paris in 555. He is said to have cured King Childebert I of a serious illness, and converted him from his licentious life. Out of gratitude the King built a huge Abbey for St Germain. He moved there, but continued to live very frugally.

Saint Germain was known for his generosity to all including the sick, slaves, prisoners and people of all races. He died on this day in 576. For nine centuries, in times of plague and crisis, his relics were carried in procession through the streets of Paris.

He was buried close to King Childebert in his abbey church. In 1408 a fine reliquary was built. This was later enshrined above the high altar. It was destroyed during the French Revolution. Together with St Genevieve, he is a patron of Paris. He is also known as 'father of the poor'.

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