June 10, 2019

Saint Landry, Bishop of Paris (+ 661)

Saint Landry (Landericus) was chief clerk of the Royal Chancery. In 650, he succeeded Audobertus as Bishop of Paris. During the famine of 650-51, Bishop Landry sold all of his personal possessions, as well as some of the furniture and sacred vessels of the church, to feed the poor.

He is credited with building the first major hospital in the city, dedicating it to Saint Christopher (now the Hôtel-Dieu). It is located next to Notre Dame Cathedral.

In 653, Landry, with 23 other bishops, subscribed to the charter Clovis II gave to Saint-Denis Abbey, exempting it from episcopal jurisdiction. It is believed that he built the original Church of Saint-Germain l'Auxerrois, which became the parish church of the kings of France.

He died in 661. He was buried at the Church of Saint-Germain-l'Auxerrois, where there is a chapel named after him and most of his relics are kept, except for two bones that were given to the parish of Saint-Landry in 1408, which was originally a chapel near the saint’s house in which he was accustomed to pray.

Chapel of St. Landry in the Church of Saint-Germaine-l'Auxerrois

Miracles were recorded of him through his sacred relics. Three of them were recorded by Jacob de Voragine in The Golden Legend, which reads:

"We have seen and known that a man which men call Raoul Gracard was smitten suddenly, and had the head much great and swollen, and was so red in the face of him that all folk that saw him deemed and held him for a leper. Which man with great haste came to the presence of Saint Landry, and there he confessed him much devoutly, receiving much benignly his penance, and after he came to the sudary of the saint and with great devotion kissed it, and when he had done his offering and vow with much great faith and hope he returned, and unnethe [hardly] he was come to his house when he became as whole as ever he was.

Upon another time a squire fell of palsy so much that he could not help himself with foot ne with hands. His friends seeing him so oppressed of this sickness made a bargain with a physician for to help him. It happed so that on a day as this poor man saw himself so oppressed with the said sickness and no remedy might be found to it, he began for to weep and to reclaim S. Landry saying: O blessed S. Landry, vouchsafe to behold on my misery, and then he prayed that they would bear him unto the sepulchre of S. Landry, which did as he prayed them. Then the bishop of Paris named Maurice, that was there, seeing the devotion of the said sick man, prayed to S. Landry that health he would impetre unto God for him by his glorious merits, and with one of the teeth of the saint touched the places on his body that most grieved him, making the sign of the cross, and anon he became all whole.

Item, it is read of a knight named Gilbert that had a thorn within his knee, whereto he found no remedy by no manner of medicine and was as desperate, not only for the dolour and pain that he suffered, but also for fault of hope to be healed, the which knight made him to be borne into the church of S. Landry, and with his sudary did to be made over him the sign of the cross, and anon after, the thorn issued out from his knee, and was all whole, healed by the merits of the saint, whom we beseech to pray God for us. Amen."