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Gaudérique made the rain to fall in Saint-Martin-du-Canigou

The church | ESM / CC-BY-SA
Abbey Benedictine Relic Saint-Martin-du-Canigou abbey

Gaudérique, a story of water

No, it's not a joke! Gaudérique made it rain! Who was he? A very local saint, worshipped near Perpignan and Saint-Martin-du-Canigou, more usually in Roussillon. He lived in the 9th century, in the little village of Saint-Gaudéric (11). He was a ploughman.

The tradition says one day, Gaudérique was ploughing his field. Suddenly, a horrible storm with thunder unleashed. He started to pray. Immediately, the water diverted from he and his field... while the surrounding countryside was flooded.

Another tradition says that people used to cart around the saint's bones in his reliquary. To make it rain! Besides, during a procession made to stop the scorcher, bishop of Toulouse saw a miraculous spring spurted out where they laid Gaudérique's reliquary.

Relics robbery!

Hey, by the way, how did Gaudérique's relic arrive in Canigou abbey? Count of Cerdagne and Conflent Guifred II and his wife Guisla founded the abbey. The church was consecrated in 1009. The buildings were completed just after. But the count wanted relics, for his abbey!

Because relics used to attract lots of pilgrims. And pilgrimage meant money! OK, but relics weren't heaven-sent. At that time, people stole them from other monasteries. A pretty common practise! So Guifred sent few men in Toulouse, in 1014, to steal relics, any one of them, it didn't matter.

These men heard about bones of a man called Gaudérique... it will do. His bones used to rest in the famous Saint-Sernin cathedral: the gate which protected them was easy to break.

They came at night to steal relics on the quiet... And Guifred raised a small chapel next to his Canigou abbey, to display them. He made his abbey richer and even after his death, pilgrims still made donations.

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!