Saint Landericus of Paris, also known as Saint Landry, was the twenty-seventh bishop of this French city, consecrated to the episcopacy in 650 at a time of desperate need. Poverty and sickness assaulted Paris, and many of the poor were unable to provide for their basic needs. Famine and the plague added to the misery, as the poor from the French countryside flocked into Paris seeking help. Landericus was known as a sincere and deeply pious man who had great compassion and love for the poor. He responded as a true model of stewardship. His generosity was so great that he sold off all his personal possessions in order to relieve the suffering of the poor, and then systematically began to sell off the Church’s possessions as well. It is reported that he melted down the extra sacred vessels from the church and sold the precious metals to assist the victims of famine.
Saint Landericus built for the poor what is considered to be the first major hospital in Paris and dedicated it and the neighboring church to Saint Christopher. It eventually became the famous hospital Hôtel Dieu de Paris. Just steps away to the north of Notre-Dame Cathedral, one can see this modern successor of Landericus’ great foundation; a block-long medical facility that plays a significant role in the Parisian healthcare system.
After his death in 661, the relics of Saint Landericus rested in a silver shrine in the church of St-Germain-des-Prés, the oldest church in Paris, where they may still be viewed. Saint Landericus is remembered as a model for civil and ecclesiastical leaders during the early Middle Ages, a time when his selflessness and humanity were, arguably, the exception, not the rule. The feast day of Saint Landericus is June 10.
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