Posted in SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 26 April – St Richarius of Celles (c 560-645)

Saint of the Day – 26 April – St Richarius of Celles (c 560-645) Priest, founder of Monasteries, spiritual adviser, apostle of the poor, the sick and prisoners and finally, a Hermit – born at Centula, France and died on 26 April 645 at Foret-Moutier, France of natural causes.  In France he is known as St Riquier.   Patronages – the cities of Saint-Riquier, Centula and Saint-Riquier-en-Rivière in France.RICHARIUS-Z-CENTULE

Richarius was born a pagan in the late 6th century in the county of Ponthieu near Amiens in Picardy in the north-west of France.   According to the vita written by St Alcuin, Richarius gave shelter to two Welsh missionaries, Caidocus and Frechorius, who were treated with great hostility by the local people who blamed the strangers for crop failure.   Because he “welcomed God in the persons of the travellers… this was why he was granted God’s mercy.”

Richarius converted to Christianity under their influence.   After his conversion, he fasted on barley bread mixed with ashes and drank only water.   He was ordained a Priest and travelled to England, preaching the Gospel and curing the sick.   Travelling by donkey rather than horse, he read the psalter as he rode.

In 638, after some years in England, Richarius returned home and founded a Monastery in his hometown in Ponthieu that was named Centule (or Centula, alteration of Latin Centum Turres – hundred towers).   This monastery practised according to the Rule of Saint Columbanus.

A city developed around this Monastery, also named Centule.   In the Middle Ages it was renamed to Saint-Riquier.  Nowadays it has some 1200 inhabitants, who still refer to themselves as Centulois.   The Frankish king Dagobert I once came to visit the Monastery, and Richarius offered the king advice.   He was frank and clear in his speech to the king, speaking without fear or flattery and the king thereafter, became a benefactor of the Monastery.   Others also gave generously to Richarius’s Monastery and he was able to use the money to help lepers and the poor and to ransom prisoners held by England.450px-Saint-Riquier,_Richarius Abbaye_de_Saint-Riquier_32

Richarius eventually founded a second Monastery called Forest-Montier.   He made a shelter in the forest of Crécy, fifteen miles from his Monastery.   He lived there as a hermit with his disciple Sigobart.   On 26 April 645, he bid farewell to Sigobart and died.

His relics were first put in a coffin made of an oak trunk and then translated to the Abbey of Centula.   One hundred and fifty years later, Charlemagne built a golden shrine to enclose the relics and had the Saint-Riquier Gospels made for the shrine.   In 950 Count Arnulf I transferred the bones to Montreuil, then to the Abbey of Saint Bertin in today’s St-Omer.    In 980, Hugo Capet returned them to St-Riquier.   Above the tomb of Richarius, an Abbey was built, which was later named after him, as was the city.

515px-Saint-Riquier_23-09-2008_10-47-36 st richarius relics
Relics of Saint Richarius, kept in the Abbey Church of St Riquier

Aside from Saint-Riquier, the city of Saint-Riquier-en-Rivière in Normandy bears his name and there is one church in England St Ricarius Church, Aberford, a town the saint is supposed to have visited in 630.Sorrus_vitrail_fontaine_St_Riquier Richarius450px-Saint-Riquier,richarius_Abbaye_de_Saint-Riquier_29

Author:

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.

One thought on “Saint of the Day – 26 April – St Richarius of Celles (c 560-645)

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s