Nevers

An alternative route from Vézelay to Limoges passed through the city of Nevers at the crossing of the Loire River.

Thirty miles on from Saint Révérien, pilgrims found another important Cluniac priory, Saint Etienne de Nevers. The twelfth century priory church still stands today.

Pilgrims were able to venerate the relics of Saint Cyr and Saint Juliette in the crypt of the cathedral. It was the late fourth century bishop of Auxerre, Saint Amator who had brought the relics of Juliet and her son Cyr to Nevers from the Holy Land.

A child martyr, relics of Saint Cyr were particularly efficacious in the healing of sick children. His relics were discovered by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great and he appeared to Charlemagne in a dream.

Julietta was a Christian who had fled to Tarsus with Cyricus her three year old son in order to escape persecution. They were discovered and while Julietta was being tortured, the governor of the city held the boy. Cyricus scratched the governor’s face who in anger then threw him violently down the steps of his palace. Rather than weep over her son’s death, Julietta celebrated instead his crown of martyrdom. Further enraged by this attitude, the governor had her mutilated and decapitated. Their bodies were dumped outside the city walls in a heap with the corpses of common criminals. Two maids collected their bodies and buried them separately.

Cyricus’ cult was especially popular in medieval France in part due to his appearance in a dream of Charlemagne’s. In his dream, the Emperor’s life was threatened during a hunt by a dangerous boar. Cyricus promised to deliver Charlemagne in exchange for clothing to cover his naked body.

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