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St. Druon, Recluse, Patron of Shepherds

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Rebroadcast of the long running radio program, "The Ave Maria Hour", a presentation of the Franciscan Friars of the Atonement. www.AtonementFriars.org

Nobly born, at Epinoy in Flanders; but his father died before his birth, and his mother in child-bed. From his infancy, he was remarkable for piety and devotion, and at twenty years of age distributed his money and goods among the poor, and renounced his estates in favour of the next heirs, that he might be at liberty to serve Christ in poverty and penance. Having visited several holy places, hired himself shepherd to a virtuous lady, named Elizabeth de la Haire, at Sebourg, two leagues from Valenciennes. The retirement and abjection of this state were most agreeable to him. Six years Druon kept sheep, in great obscurity, and as the last among the menial servants; but his humility, modesty, meekness, charity, and eminent spirit of devotion and prayer, in spite of his disguise, gained him the esteem and affection of everybody, particularly of his mistress. 

Many made him presents: but these he bestowed on the poor. To fly the danger of applause, at length he left his place, and visited Rome nine times, and often many other places of devotion; making these pilgrimages not journeys of sloth, curiosity, and dissipation, but exercises of uninterrupted prayer and penance. He returned from time to time to Sebourg; where, when a rupture put an end to his pilgrimages, he at length pitched his tent for the remainder of his life. He built himself a narrow cell against the wall of the church, that he might at all times adore God as it were at the foot of his altars. Here he lived a recluse for the next forty-five years. He lived in assiduous prayer and manual labour to the age of eighty-four in 1189.