Mars, St

Mars, St.

a French hermit, was born at Bais, near La Guerche, about 510. He was priest at Vitre, and acquired a great reputation for piety. When old, he constructed a hermitage for himself in some waste land in the neighborhood of the village of Mars, and there ended his days. His tomb became celebrated for the numerous miracles which it was claimed were performed there. The faithful came thither on pilgrimages from all parts of Brittany. In 1427 the inhabitants of Bais, fearing an incursion of the English, carried the body of their saint to Saint-Madelaine de Vitre. The danger passed, the Baisiens demanded the body of their saint, but the canons of Vitre refused to restore it. From law-suits they proceeded to blows, and many times during the processions the Baisiens attempted to recover their precious relic; but the inhabitants of Vitre always proved the stronger, and retained the body of Saint Mars until 1750, when a decree of the Parliament of Rennes reconciled the parties by dividing the body of the saint. Vitre kept the head, the right thigh, and two sides; Bais had the remainder. The festival of Saint Mars occurs on the 14th of January and 21st of June. At these periods the shrine is carried solemnly through the surrounding country. — Dom Lobineau, Histoire de Bretagne; Godescard, — Vie des plus celebres Saints, vol. 1; A. Hugo, La France pittoresque; Hoefer, Nouv. Biog. Generale, vol. 33, s.v.

Definition of mars

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