Names from France – Fiacre, Maxime, Roch, Séverin

France is full of saints. In churches, museums, secular buildings, public squares…saints can be seen nearly everywhere.

We visited about a dozen French churches, including:

  • Saint-Michel-Archange (in Menton) – declared a basilica by JPII in 1999,
  • Saint-Séverin (in Paris) – within spitting distance of Notre Dame, and
  • La Madeleine (in Paris) – quite Roman-looking, as you can see:

L'Église de la Madeleine

Inside these churches I often saw representations of popular French saints like Denis, Thérèse and Vincent. Some of the lesser-known saints I spotted were Blandine, Eleuterus, Pothin and Rustique (in Latin: Rusticus).

At the Notre-Dame d’Esperance in Cannes, I found the following statue of Saint Fiacre, a 7th-century Irish saint who later relocated to (and became more popular in) France.

St Fiacre statue

Overall, I’d say St. George and St. Roch were the saints I noticed most often. This might be because they’re especially popular among the French…or it might be because they’re just easy to identify. :)

For instance, here’s the wounded St. Roch and his trusty, bread-bearing dog:

St Roch statue

This version comes from the aforementioned Basilique Saint-Michel-Archange.

And here’s the mounted St. George, always fighting that pesky dragon:

St George statue

If I remember correctly, I discovered it on the outer wall of a random building in Grasse.

In the Louvre, I recall seeing depictions of St. Cecilia, St. Sebastian, St. Francis, St. Jerome, and, most notably, St. Bruno. (Bruno is one of my favorite saints, so I was happy to stumble upon a series of paintings by Eustache Le Sueur depicting scenes from his life.)

Finally, I can’t forget to mention place names.

Two of the streets I remember walking/driving in Paris are Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré and Boulevard St-Germain.

Towns on the Côte d’Azur include St-Aygulf, Ste-Maxime, St-Raphaël, and, of course, St-Tropez:

Saint Tropez sign

During the trip we also drove past St. Gallen in Switzerland, and briefly visited Sanremo in Italy. (Sanremo is a contraction of San Romolo, the Italian form of St. Romulus.)

Names from France series: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5


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