Grandma was a farmer and was raised in a Roman Catholic home, so you can imagine that the saints often found their way into… well, almost everything, including weather lore. Believe it or not, there is a patron saint of weather. His name is Saint Medard. So how did he get that title?
Legend has it that, when he was a child, Medard was once sheltered from the rain by a large, hovering eagle. The image of being sheltered by the bird is his most common depiction in art, and led to his patronage of good weather, against bad weather, for people who work outdoors.
The feast day of Saint Medard is June 8. According to our ancestors, if it rains on his feast day, the next 40 days will be wet. That really shouldn’t be taken literally, but it does imply that the summer will be wet. Conversely, a dry Saint Medard Day points to a dry summer.
Friday was the 8th and we did get a few rain showers. Some -- beachgoers and golfers -- would say that’s unfortunate, but I’m glad it rained. A dry summer means an increased risk of forest fires and, as a farmer’s daughter, I often heard my dad say, “If it doesn’t rain, we don’ eat.”
Here is the prayer to Saint Medard:
“Jesus My Lord, Saint Medard served as a bishop during very difficult times, and his long life of spiritual leadership created a tremendous impression on the people. Because of his patronage against bad weather, I ask him to intercede for me during the storms of my life as well as the storms in nature. Protect me and my home. And Lord, help the victims of hurricanes, tornadoes, earthquakes and other natural disasters. Send in more helpers and multiply the supplies that are needed for their aid. You calmed the storm on the Sea of Galilee; deliver us from the storms that are raging around us now. Saint Medard, pray for us. Amen.”
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Cindy Day is the chief meteorologist for SaltWire Network.