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Saint of the day 28 May: Saint German

News about Saint Germanus is few and fragmented. The rather pompous biography was written by his friend Fortunatus of Poitiers. As for the foundation of the abbey of Saint German (Paris), almost nothing is known as documents disappeared due to the Norman invasions at the end of the 9th century

We do know that German was born in Autun towards the end of the 5th century, into a wealthy family, since he was educated in Avallon

For fifteen years he lived with a relative near Laizy or Lucey.

Recalled by Agrippinus, Bishop of Autun, he was ordained deacon and then priest.

Agrippinus was succeeded by Nectarius, who entrusted him with the direction of the monastery of Saint Symporian, which Germano rebuilt and at the same time sought the first elements for its foundation in Paris.

In 556, King Chilpericus, with whom German was staying, appreciated his wisdom and abilities and appointed him as his new bishop

He acted as an advisor to the prince and his successors Clotarius and Caribertus.

He thus got to know Clotarius’ wife, Saint Redegonda, and in 561 in Poitiers, he saw the first abbess of the Holy Cross blessed.

It was during this period that he met the poet Fortunatus, who edited his biography upon his death.

Germano also participated in the Council of Tours in 567, the Councils of Paris – including that of 573 – and the consecration of Bishop Felix of Bourges in 570.

German died on 28 May 576 and was buried in the chapel of Saint Symporian near the abbey church. Chronicles narrate that in 754, in the presence of the young Charlemagne, there were many miracles while the body was being transferred.

From this time on, the monastery and church honoured the district of St. Germain, becoming an important Benedictine spiritual centre, especially between the 17th and 18th centuries.

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