Benezet, or Benedet, St

Benezet, or Benedet, St.

born at Hermillion; a shepherd. The popes, during their residence at Avignon, authorized his worship. "Benezet is said to have been directed by inspiration to proceed to the bishop of Avignon, in September, 1176, and tell him that his mission was to build the bridge of that city over the Rhone. The bishop, very naturally thinking him out of his mind, ordered him to be whipped. Benezet, however, is said to have shown his divine mission by supernatural proofs;and the bridge was commenced in 1177, and finished in 1188. He died in 1184, and was buried on the bridge, where afterward a little chapel was built over his remains. Subsequently a hospital was added, and a confraternity established for the care of his worship and of the repair of the bridge. These things are said to be 'amply verified by the Acts drawn up at the time.' When the tomb was opened in 1670, owing to its ruinous state, it appears that the body was found in a perfect condition. The body was but four feet and a half long." This is a specimen of the so-called "lives of the Saints!" — Landon, Eccl. Dict. s.v.

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