Simon Vouet - Saint Merri délivrant des prisonniers, Paris , église Saint Merri
Saint Merry (Médéric)
Abbé (7ème s.)
St Merry fut offert à l'âge de treize ans au monastère de Saint André d'Autun où il reçut toute son éducation et où il se donna à Dieu pleinement. Les moines remarquèrent son intelligence et sa fidélité religieuse et l'obligèrent à devenir leur abbé avec l'accord de l'évêque. Craignant l'orgueil il alla se cacher dans une forêt près d'Autun. Lieu qui garde le nom de La Celle Saint Merry.
Les disciples se firent nombreux autour de lui et, toujours par recherche de la solitude, il se rendit à Champeaux en Brie près de Melun où il s'arrêta malade, mais, dès sa guérison, il reprit sa marche vers Paris, pour être proche de la tombe de saint Symphorien, fondateur de l'abbaye d'Autun qui se trouve dans l'église de Saint Germain des Prés.
Il vécut en reclus, hors des murs de la ville, pendant trois années et s'en fut vers le Seigneur, vers l'an 700.
La chapelle où il fut enterré devint paroisse sous le nom de Saint Merry ou Saint Merri.
Saint-Merry ou Médéric, un peu oublié aujourd’hui, était très populaire autrefois. Moine puis abbé à Autun, il est attiré dans la vieillesse par les tombeaux de saint Denys et de sainte Geneviève. Il gagne Paris, semant des prodiges sur son chemin, délivrant les prisonniers et guérissant les malades. Comme de nombreux autres, établis en ermites autour de Paris, il trouve refuge avec un compagnon près d’une chapelle - Saint-Pierre-des-Bois - rive droite de la Seine, dans une forêt hors de la Cité, au bord de la voie romaine Nord-Sud, qui est l’ancêtre de la rue Saint-Martin. (diocèse de Paris)
Un internaute nous signale: Saint Symphorien fut enterré à Autun. Ses reliques y sont actuellement dans la cathédrale saint-Lazare. A Paris, dans l'église Saint-Germain-des-Prés, c'est le tombeau de Saint-Germain qui se trouve dans la chapelle Saint Symphorien. C'est dans le monastère Saint-Martin et pas Saint-André qu'est enterré Médéric. La chapelle Saint-Pierre était en rive gauche et non droite de la Seine.
À Paris, vers 700, saint Merry (Médéric), prêtre et abbé d’un monastère à Autun. Devenu vieux, il quitta sa charge et finit sa vie dans un ermitage près de Paris.
St. Merri, or Medericus, Abbot
HE was nobly born at Autun, in the seventh century, and from his infancy turned all his thoughts towards virtue. In his childhood he disdained the ordinary amusements of that age, and in all his actions considered the great end of human life the sanctification and salvation of his soul. That he might wholly attend to his only affair without distraction, when he was but thirteen years old, he so earnestly desired to embrace a monastic life, that his parents, who at first violently opposed his vocation, overcome by his importunities, presented him themselves to the abbot of St. Martin’s in Autun. In that monastery then lived fifty-four fervent monks, whose penitential and regular lives were an odour of sanctity to the whole country. Merri, in this holy company, grew up in the perfect exercise and habits of every virtue, especially humility, meekness, charity, obedience, and a scrupulous observance of every point of the rule. Being, in process of time, chosen abbot, much against his own inclinations, he pointed out to his brethren the narrow path of true virtue by example, walking before them in every duty; and the great reputation of his sanctity drew the eyes of all men upon him. The dissipation which continual consultations from distant parts gave him, and a fear of the dangers of forgetting himself, and falling into the snares of vanity, made him resign his office, and retire privately into a forest four miles from Autun, where he lay hid some time in a place called, to this day, St. Merri’s cell. He procured himself all necessaries of life by the labour of his hands, and found this solitude sweet by the liberty it gave him of employing his whole time in the exercises of heavenly contemplation, prayer, and penitential manual labour. The place of his retreat having at length become public, he was obliged to return to his monastery; but after having edified his brethren some time, and strengthened them in the maxims of religious perfection, he again left them, in order to prepare himself the better for his passage to eternity. He came to Paris with one companion called Frou or Frodulf, and chose his abode in a small cell adjoining a chapel dedicated in honour of St. Peter, in the north suburbs of that city; where, after two years and nine months, during which time he bore with astonishing patience the fiery trial of a painful lingering illness, he happily died about the year 700. He was buried in the above-mentioned chapel, upon the spot where now a great church bears his name, in which his relics are placed in a silver shrine over the high altar. He is named in the Roman Martyrology. See his anonymous life in Mabillon’s acts of saints of the Order of St. Bennet, and Stilting the Bollandist, t. 6, Augusti, p. 518.
Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints. 1866.
Medericus (Merry) of Autun, OSB Abbot (RM)
Born in Autun, France; died c. 700. While he was about 13, Saint Merry took the Benedictine habit, probably at Saint Martin's in Autun, where 54 fervent monks lived, whose penitential and regular lives were an object of edification to the whole country. Being chosen abbot much against his own inclination, Merry pointed out to his brethren the narrow path of true virtue by example, walking before them in every duty, and the reputation of his sanctity drew the eyes of all men. The distractions that continual consultations from all parts gave him, and a fear of becoming vain, caused him to resign his office and retire into a forest four miles from Autun. There he hid for some time. He earned his living by the work of his hands. When his hiding place became known and he fell ill about the same time, he was obliged to return to the monastery.
After edifying his brethren for many years and strengthening them in religious perfection, he again left them in old age in order to make a pilgrimage to the shrine of Saint Germanus of Paris (also a native of Autun). In a northern suburb of Paris with one companion, Saint Frou (Frodulf), he chose to live in a small cell adjoining a chapel dedicated to Saint Peter. He suffered a painful, lingering illness for about three years then died happily. On the site of his cell rose the church of Saint Merry (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Walsh, White).
In art, Saint Medericus is portrayed as an abbot with prisoners and chains near him. He may also be shown experiencing a vision of God the Father or teaching monks. Care should be taken not to confuse him with Saint Leonard, who is always young (Roeder). He is venerated especially at Autun and Paris (Roeder).