Saint of the Day – 18 October – St Amabilis of Auvergne (c 397- c 475) Priest, Confessor, miracle-worker. Tradition tells that snakes and demons fled from his voice, often the images and medals depicting him bear the words “The demons flee as well as snakes and fire.” Born probably in Riom, France in c 397 and died in Auvergne in c 475 of natural cuases. Patronages – against demonic possession, against fire, against mental illness, against poison, against snake bite, against wild beasts, of Auvergne, France, of Riom, France. Also known as – Amabilis of Riom, Amabilis the Cantor. Additional Memorial – 1 November.
In the sixth century, St Gregory of Tours in his ‘De gloria confessorum,’ described the popular belief in this Saint’s power over demons and serpents as well as the veneration at his tomb. Gregory reports that he, himself witnessed two miracles there.
Amabilis served as a Cantor in the Church of Saint Mary at Clermont and then as the Precentor at Clermont Cathedral . Later as Parish Priest at Riom, where, in 1120, a Church was dedicated to him. He acquired a reputation for holiness in his lifetime.
In the seventh century his relics were transferred to Riom from Clermont. Riom grew up around the collegiate Church of Saint Amable, which was the object of pilgrimages. In the eighteenth century a dispute occurred over these relics between neighbouring Clermont and Riom, where Amabilis is Patron.
Public processions in his honour have been traditional in Riom for more than 1500 years, where he is invoked against fire and snakes. Father Antoine Déat, a Missionary in Canada , introduced his cult to North America, where he is also still venerated today. A chapel is dedicated to him in the Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal.