Saint Gohard

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Saint Gohard of Nantes was a 9th century bishop of Nantes, France and lord of Blain, Saint and Cephalophore Martyr of the Roman Catholic Church.


He was born in Angers and martyred in 843 with his companions.

It was under his episcopate that in 843AD, the first of major battle between Franks and Britons took place with the Battle of Blain. Saint Gohard not only had to suffer the consequences of these struggles between the Franks and Britons - he also experienced the most terrible attacks from the Scandinavian countries who had already ravaged northern France.

File:Cath st gohard01.jpg
St Gohard and the Normans

The Normans stood before the city of Nantes, a month after the defeat of Blain and the feast day of St. John the Baptist. Gohard was celebrating Mass in the Cathedral before a large audience when the Normans broke into the church, killed the priest and massacred his congregation.[1]

Legend has it that beheaded the Bishop took his head, and walked down to the Loire where a boat took him to Angers.[2] His body was actually buried in St. Peter's Collegiate Church in Angers, the city where he was born.[3]

Ten years later, the Normans went up the Loire again, and this time burned the city. For over a hundred years, they held the area and continued to devastate the country. They were such a formidable scourge that the Nantes Church had added to their litany ..." the fury of the Normans, deliver us, O Lord...." It was not until 939AD that Alain Barbe-Torte definitely drove the Normans from the country and brought peace.

Gohard was canonized in 1096AD. The Romanesque crypt of the cathedral of Nantes is dedicated to him. it was redesigned shortly after his canonization to house relics brought from Angers. A side chapel is also dedicated to him in the same cathedral His feast day is Celebrated on June 24.[4]

See also


  1. Faits évoqués par les Annales de Saint-Serge d'Angers et reprises dans la Chronique de Nantes.
  2. Jean-Joseph Julaud, L'Histoire de France pour les nuls, tome 1, p. 33.
  3. François Lebrun, Joseph Avril - Le Diocèse d'Angers - page 17.
  4. Saint-Gohard.html.