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May 28

Saint Germanus of Paris - May 28

Saint Germanus of Paris

Bishop, “Father of the Poor”

(496 – 576)

“Be enthroned, Lady, for it is fitting that you should sit in an exalted place since you are a Queen and glorious above all kings.

Saint Germanus of Paris

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Germanus was born in the territory of Autun, a city in south central France, around the year 496. Germanus studied at Avallon in Burgundy and at Luzy under the guidance of his cousin Scallion, who was a priest.

Ordained and Then Abbot

At the age of 35, he was ordained by Saint Agrippinus of Autun, the bishop of the diocese, and became abbot of the nearby Abbey of St. Symphorian.Germanus was known for his hardworking and austere nature; however, it was his generous alms-giving which caused his monks to fear that one day he would give away all the wealth of the abbey, resulting in their rebellion against him.

Helped the Poor

When Germanus learned that some poor folk, inhabitants of a village he was passing through one day, had been imprisoned by their lord for non-payment of debts, he went to pray and shed tears, face to the ground, at the gate of the subterranean jail where the unfortunate victims were lamenting.   The overlord refused to open its doors but an Angel came down and did so and the entire crowd, scarcely believing in their good fortune, came as one person, to kneel in gratitude before their benefactor.   At that point the overlord gave them full amnesty and cancelled their debts. 

Bishop of Paris

While in Paris in 555, Sibelius, the bishop of Paris, died, and King Childebert had Germanus consecrated as the bishop of Paris. Under Germauns’ influence, King Childebert is said to have led a reformed life. In his new role, the bishop continued to practice the virtues and austerities of his monastic life, working to diminish the suffering caused by the incessant wars. Germanus is reported to miraculously cured the King of a fatal illness. His example and his preaching brought about the conversion of many sinners and careless Christians.

Attended Councils

Germanus attended the Third and Fourth Councils of Paris (557, 573) and also the Second Council of Tours (566). He persuaded the king to stamp out the pagan practices existing in Gaul (France) and to forbid the excess that accompanied the celebration of most Christian festivals.

Political Battles

King Childebert was succeeded briefly by Clotaire, who divided the royal demesnes among his four sons, with Charibert becoming King of Paris. Germanus was forced to excommunicate Charibert in 568 for immorality. Charibert died in 570. As his surviving brothers fought violently over his possessions, Germanus encountered great difficulty trying to establish peace, with little success. Sigebert and Chilperic, instigated by their wives, Brunehaut and the infamous Fredegund, went to war. Chilperic was defeated, and Paris fell into Sigebert’s hands. Germanus later wrote to Brunehaut, asking her to use her influence to prevent further war. However, Sigebert refused and, despite Germain’s warning, set out to attack Chilperic at Tournai. Chilperic had fled, and Sigebert was later assassinated at Vitry in 575, under Fredegund’s orders.

His Death

Germanus gave his blessing to the church of St. Germain-des-Pres, named in his honor and eventually served as site of his tomb after his death on May 28, 576 in Paris, France.

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:         May 28

Patron Saint:    Paris, France; Archdiocese of Rimouski, Quebec



Holy Germanus, as bishop of Paris you remained the monk you always were, cherishing the beauty of the Liturgy and developing the cult of the saints. Let us celebrate the father of the poor, the treasure of the needy, the master of wisdom of kings and powerful men, the unifier of the Church of Gaul, the unmercenary healer of all illnesses. You exercised a happy influence over the powerful, and prevailed on them to free slaves and release prisoners. And in the name of Christ, in the Church of Gaul you made to reign concord and peace. While you may not have influence over powerful Kings, you have influence over your family and friends.

How can you “influence” family, friends, and all those you encounter today by the example of your actions?

Source: Adapted from Germanus of Paris – OrthodoxWiki


God, Light and Shepard of souls, You established St. Germanus as Bishop of Your Church to feed Your flocks by his word and form it by his example. Help us through his intercession to keep the Faith he taught by his word and follow the way he showed by his example.

St. Germanus of Paris, pray for us!

Source: Illustrated Lives of the Saints: Hoever, H.

Saint Links 

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 28 May – St Germanus of Paris (c 490-576) “Father of the Poor”

America Needs Fatima – Saint Germanus of Paris – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume V: May. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. May 28 St. Germanus, Bishop of Paris, Confessor

Catholic Ireland – May 29 – St Germanus of Paris (496-576) monk & bishop

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Germanus of Paris

Independent Catholic News – Saint Germain of Paris

New Advent – MacErlean, A. (1909). St. Germain. In The Catholic Encyclopedia.

Orthodox Wiki – Germanus of Paris


Video Link

St. Germanus- Bishop – Confessor – YouTube (cybrotius)