Vernon : Saint-Adjutor's Miracles

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Worshipped all over the world as the patron saint of bargemen, yachtsmen and swimmers, Saint Adjutor is also the patron saint of Vernon. It is indeed where he accomplished most of his miracles.
In the beginning, History is mingled with the legend. It appears to be established that Adjutor was the son of Jean, Count of  Vernon, and of Rosamonde of Blaru, a village in the vicinity of Vernon. He was born around 1070, therefore lived at the time of William the Conqueror. His education was given to him by an Abbot called Bernard, whom he worshipped all his life.

One against Seven

In 1095 Adjutor goes off to the crusades with an army of 200 men. The crusaders arrive on Holy Land. One day, near to Antioch, Adjutor and his troops fall into an ambush where 1500 enemies are waiting for them. They are trapped.  Adjutor prays Sainte Madeleine and makes a vow to give his hunting relay which he owns along the river Seine to the monastery of Tyron-au-Perche ; a monastery which he knows well, for it is the place where he spent his childhood with Bernard the Abbot. He also promises to build a chapel to Saint Madeleine near to this house. Straight away, a terrible storm with thunder and lightning roared while frightening the Saracens. Saint-Adjutor took the opportunity to make a counter attack and wiped the Moors out.

17 years of Crusades

During seventeen years he persued the crusades which took him to the tomb of  Jesus Christ. One day, says the legend, probably to try him, God let him fall into the hands of the Infidels near to Jerusalem. "He was enchained to horrible chains of quite extraordinary size. But soon, irritated by his calm and his courage, his jailers doubled his chains already quite heavy and threw him into a smaller and darker jail."

Statue of Saint-Adjutor, patron saint of Vernon and of bargemen, in the Vernon collegiate church

Vitrail de Saint Adjutor à Vernon
Saint-Adjutor stained glass in the Vernon collegiate church

Supersonic flight

It is once again prayers that will free him from this terrible situation. The narration of his biographer is quite exciting. "One night as he was resting, help came from above. He saw Saint Madeleine on his right and on the left Saint Bernard who took him and lifted, weighted by his chains and manacles, without however being tied up like before, in an extremely swift flight, from Jerusalem to Pressagny, near Vernon-sur-Seine to his hunting house in one night." This miracle nevertheless does not make him the patron saint of aircraft pilots...

Having come back to his home land Adjutor kept promise. He lived like a monk in the chapel he had built in Pressagny. It is from there he made many miracles, helping the poor and caring for the sick.

Patron saint for the bargemen

However one of his most famous miracles is a miracle he accomplished by calming a terrible whirlpool on the Seine which had caused the wrecking of many boats. With the Archbishop who came to give him a helping hand and after mass of the Holy Ghost celebrated in the chapel of La Madeleine, Saint Adjutor took place in a boat and headed for the whirlpool. The Archbishop was not very comfortable... but Adjutor was confident. As they neared the whirlpool the arArchbishop threw some holy water signing it with the sign of the cross and Adjutor threw in the chains he wore when in captivity. Miracle, the hole was filled, the water became calm, and the Archbishop tranquilized. Since this miracle Saint Adjutor is the patron saint for bargemen.

La Seine à Vernon
The place of the miracle...

Prière à Saint Adjutor

The flames obey him

Many other miracles are said to be of Saint Adjutor. During his lifetime, he acomplished a most spectacular miracle during the siege of Vernon. Whereas the town was encircled by flames lit by the enemy, Saint Adjutor spoke to the flames asking them to return to where they came from. Obeying him they went back onto the enemy and made them flee from the town.  

Another time Adjutor delivered Vernon from the pest.

Post Mortem Miracles

After his death the 30th April 1131 in his chapel of Pressagny where he and his mother were buried, Saint Adjutor was still venerated and still accomplished many miracles. On his grave, the blind recovered sight, the crooked became straight, the deaf heared, the chopped tongues grew again and the paralyzed heeled, the possessed were delivered and the sterile women became fertile. A real panacea ! That is why today one can still invoke Saint Adjutor to cure all kinds of diseases. His Saints day is on the 30th April.

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Modified : Saturday, 25-Aug-2001 10:35:44 EDT