June 8: St. Medard, bishop
St. Medard was born around 456 in Salency, France. His father Nectard was a noble Frenchman, and his mother, Protogia, descended from a Roman family that settled in Gaul.
He was ordained at the age of 33, and did not wish to be made a bishop, but reluctantly became the Bishop of Vermand in 530. Medardus was one of the most honoured bishops of his time, his memory has always been venerated in northern France, and he soon became the hero of numerous legends.
Each year on his memorial the Rosiere is awarded to the young girl who has been judged the most virtuous and exemplary in the region of Salency, France; she is escorted by 12 boys and 12 girls to the church, where she is crowned with roses and given a gift of money. This is a continuation of a yearly stipend or “scholarship” he apparently instituted when bishop. His younger sister was the first to be crowned the Rosiere.
Legend says that when he was a child, Medard was once sheltered from the rain by a hovering eagle. This is his most common depiction in art, and it led to his patronage of good weather, against bad weather, for people who work the fields, etc. Legend has it that if it rains on his feast day, the next 40 days will be wet; if the weather is good, the next 40 will be fine as well. He was also often depicted as laughing aloud with his mouth wide open; this led to his patronage against toothache.