Saint of the Day – 20 August – Saint Philibert of Jumièges (c 608–684)

Saint of the Day – 20 August – Saint Philibert of Jumièges (c. 608–684) was an Abbot and Monastic Founder, particularly of Jumièges Abbey.   Born in c 608 in Gascony, France and died in 684 on the island of Héri, France of natural causes.HEADER verriere_de_st_philbert_eglise_de_la_gueriniere__095077900_1555_04022013.jpg

He was born in Gascony as the only son of a Vic or Vic-Jour (now Vic-Fezensac) based courtier of Dagobert I and was educated by Saint Ouen.   He later entered the monastery of Rebais as a monk and was promoted to abbot but his inexperience was too great for the position.   He left and spent some time travelling round monasteries studying their Rules and constitutions.

In 654, Philibert received a gift of land from Clovis II on which he founded Jumièges Abbey.  st philibert frenchHe drew up a Rule based on his studies for this and for his later foundations, drawing on several earlier Rules, including those of Benedict, Macarius, Basil the Great and particularly the strict rule of Columbanus.   The monks’ chief work was the reclaiming of waste lands.

St Philibert overseeing the construction of one of 
his monasteries – Guérinière church

For a time Philibert lost the favour of Ouen and the royal family and was exiled.   He withdrew to Poitiers and near Heriou founded the monastery of Noirmoutier, whereupon Ansoald, bishop of Poitiers, put his own foundation of Luçon Abbey under Philibert’s charge as well.   When he regained the favour of his patrons, he founded other houses, including the monastery of Cunaut and the nunnery at Pavilly.

Jumièges Abbey
Jumièges Abbey, as painted by John Sell Cotman in 1818

Philibert died and was buried at Heriou but in 836 the monks of Noirmoutier abandoned their home in the face of the Viking attacks to seek refuge on the mainland, in 875 finally settling with the relics of Philibert in the abbey at Tournus named in his honour, where the great church of St Philibert at Tournus still stands.

St Philibert’s Relics
St Philibert’s Tomb

The filbert, or hazelnut, is said to have been named after him, since it ripens about 20 August in England, on his feast day the first fruits appear.st_philbert__cathedrale_de_lucon__060572100_1555_04022013


Passionate Catholic. Being Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings.

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