Saint of the Day – 7 October – St Libaire the Great (Died 362) Virgin, Martyr and a Holy Cephalophoria (like St Denis – one who carries his head in his hands and walks away). Also known as Lievière. Patronage – Sainte-Livière, Haute-Marne, France . Additional Memorials – 8 October (Toul-Nancy, France), Pentecost Monday (procession in Grand, France commemorating the return of the relics) and on the 1st Sunday in October (procession in Grand, France). These Memorials relate to the translation of the Relics of St Libaire in these towns.
Libaire the Great was born to an imperial Roman patrician Christian family, the daughter of Bacchus Lientrude. Her six sisters are also Saints, they are Amée, France, Gertrude, Hilda, Lintrude, Menne, Ode, Pusinne and Suzanne.
She worked for her family as a shepherdess, spending her time with the flocks spinning, praying and singing hymns.
While travelling on his mission to re-convert Gaul to paganism, emperor Julian the Apostate found her in the field, guarding her sheep. She was on her knees praying and singing. Julian tried to get her to renounce Christianity by showing her a golden statue of Apollo, with a sparkling brilliance. She struck it with her distaff and the statue fell apart. He was furious and had her beheaded.
Legend says that a healing spring sprang from the place of her murder and that her body picked up the severed head and carried it back to town where she combed out the hair to make it more presentable before burial.
St Libaire’s relics have been enshrined in many towns in France and are venerated by various feasts in the Churches built in her honour. They are in Grand, Rambervillers, Burey-en-Vaux, Affracourt, Damelevieres, Lépanges-sur-Vologne, Toul-Nancy and in her own town, Sainte-Livière, Haute-Marne.