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Saint Honoratus of Amiens

Saint Honoratus was the seventh Bishop of Amiens

Born in Port-le-Grand near Amiens , Saint Honoratus was known for his piety and strong sense of virtue as a child. His predecessor, Saint Beatus taught him the ways of being a Bishop but during the election after Saint Beatus's death, Saint Honoratus did not believe himself worthy of being named Bishop and so resisted calls for him to be elected. Tradition holds that a miraculous ray of divine light suddenly burst through, descending directly on to Saint Honoratus. Taking this as a sign of Divine Will, Saint Honoratus quit resisting and allowed the group to elect him as the Bishop of Amiens.

At his home town of Port-le-Grand his nursemaid didn't believe the news of his election when the messenger arrived. As she baked bread she remarked that she would only believe the news of Saint Honoratus's election if the peel she was using would put down roots and grow into a tree. The peel was placed in the ground after baking and it miraculously transformed into a mulberry tree. Pilgrims could visit the same tree well into the sixteenth century.

In 1202 a baker by the name of Renaud Cherins donated a large plot of land to the City of Paris so that a chapel dedicated to Saint Honoratus could be built. The chapel quickly grew in popularity and became one of the most richest chapels in Paris. The street leading to it became known as the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore. Almost 200 years later, in 1400, bakers in Paris established their guild in the church of Saint Honoratus. The guild took their patronage so seriously that King Louis XIV, in 1659, ordered all bakers in the kingdom observe the feast of Saint Honoratus (which for some time had been held on May 16th). Today Saint Honoratus of Amiens is the patron saint of bakers, confectioners, bakers of altar bread and pastry chefs.

Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore

The cake that bears his name, the gateau St-Honore, was invented in 1847 at the Chiboust bakery on Rue Saint-Honore. It is a circle of puff pastry with a ring of pate a choux piped along the outer edge. Several small baked profiteroles are dipped in caramel and attached side by side on top of the circle and the base traditionally filled with creme chiboust.

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