Golden Legend – Life of Saint Morant

Here followeth the Life of Saint Morant.

The king Theodoric commanded to Saint Morant of Douay, which was in Paris, son of Aldebaulte a noble Frenchman, and of Saint Rotrud of Marchiennes, the which had three daughters, virgins and saints, that is to wit Clotende, Eusebe, and Ellysente. Saint Rotrud dwelled at Marchiennes in a nunnery with Clotende and Ellysente her daughters, by the ordinance of Saint Amand, and with many others, and there she passed from this world. And Eusebe her other daughter dwelled in an abbey of nuns in Hanegau with the grandmother of Saint Aldebault her father, the which was called Gertrude, and the abbey Nivelle, of the gift and foundation of Saint Amand. And in the same country were many abbeys of monks, whereof, as to come to our purpose, Saint Morant and Rotrud his mother did build and make an abbey on their own ground and put monks therein, and gave to them rents and possessions for to live on, and called the place Bruell.

The king Theodoric that well wist of it, commanded to Saint Morant that he should make Saint Omer to be led as prisoner from Peronne unto the said new abbey, and to do him to be kept that he should not escape from thence and go somewhere in other place. Saint Morant came to Peronne, and from thence brought with him Saint Omer through Cambray. And Saint Omer whiles that they made the dinner ready there, he went to our Lady of Cambray and made there his prayers kneeling. He took off both his gloves and his habit, and cast them nigh to a glass window, but the rays or beams of the sun sustained them from the ground as they had hanged upon a staff. And the holy man which ever looked humbly downward perceired it not. Saint Morant followed him soon after to the church, and when he came there, and saw the miracle he was all abashed, and prayed him mercy of that he had brought him thither like as a prisoner, and besought him that from thence forthon he would become his father in God, and that to his commandments he would obey. Saint Omer then, which recked not for that, lifted himself up and revested on him his habit and gloves, and thanked much Saint Morant, and said to him that he should obey the king, for thereto he was holden, and that as for him he should obey to our Lord and should bear in all patience his adversities, and that gladly he would go with him thereas he was ordained for to go. Saint Morant then led Saint Omer at Bruell in Hanegau, where many holy minsters or abbeys were separated and governed by the disciples of Saint Amand, which were all saints. There was Saint Omer like as he were in paradise terrestrial; all the country thereabout replenished with saints both men and women in great penances, servants and friends of God. Every one forced himself to pass his fellow in weal, without evil and wicked envy, and with great charity, and gave example to another for to do well.

When Saint Morant and Saint Rotrud his mother knew and enough wist the devotion, humility, patience, and doctrine of Saint Omer, they prayed him that he would emprise or undertake the cure or government of the abbey of Bruell, which they had founded on their patrimony. They gave their own selves, their abbey, and all their goods to him, and Saint Omer received them meekly and dwelled there together peaceably. All the other holy men there desired much to hear his doctrine. Saint Omer exhorted and taught so much Saint Morant that he made him clerk, and ordained him unto deacon, and made him abbot of his own house, founded in the honour of God our Lord and of Saint Peter. Saint Omer did do make a chamber joining to the church for his oratory, wherein he rested him with our Lord, not sleeping but watching, fasting and continually praying. There made the holy man his holy penitence as long as he lived, and when our Lord would call him unto his company, he received his rights, and took leave of Saint Morant and of the other friars, and so died there and was buried within the church of Saint Peter of Douay, and rendered and gave his soul to our Lord about the year of grace seven hundred. I have said before that which I now say, the lives of saints were nigh lost and all their legends, by the Normans, which wasted and spilt the land with two hundred and fifty-two ships of men of arms, which arrived and came in that same land, and walked through France unto Romania, going and coming by the space of forty years, and began about the year eight hundred and fiftyone. If one escaped there were twain lost, and yet over all other divers wars were, that marvel it is how we know of none. Therefore we shall pray to our Lord Jesu Christ.