St. Fermin of Amiens (in Latin, Firminus) (Pamplona, c.272 - Amiens, September 25, 303) was a Christian missionary, first bishop of Amiens, whose church he had built. He is considered patron of Amiens, Lesaca, and co-patron of Navarra together with St. Francis Xavier. It is venerated on July 7, whose cult is celebrated, locally, with the beginning of the feast of St. Femin, in Pamplona, Spain. He was born in the third century, in Pompaelo (modern Pamplona). He was the son of a pagan senator named Firmus, probably a high official of the Roman administration of Pamplona and a noble lady named Eugenia. The preaching of Honest, who had marched to the peninsula after being miraculously freed from his prison in Carcassonne, moved his parents, who however did not convert until he heard St. Saturninus of Toulouse. The saint would have baptized Fermin and his parents in the place that today is popularly called Pocico de San Cernín.
Beheading of St. Fermin, in a
stained-glass window of the
church of Roncesvalles.
Under the tutelage of Honest the young Fermin learned the religion and the art of Evangelization. At 18 he was sent to Toulouse, where he would be ordained. After preaching in Navarre, he went to Gaul (now France), and settled in Amiens. After organizing the local church, he was appointed bishop at age 24. The official opposition to Christian doctrine earned him prison, where, after refusing to cease his preaching, he was beheaded.
In 1186 Bishop Pierre of Paris brought from Amiens to Pamplona a relic of the head of Fermin. His santoral is celebrated on July 7, especially in Pamplona, Spain. He is also patron of the brotherhoods of boatmen, vintners and bakers.
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