Mathurin of Larchant

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Saint Mathurin of Larchant, also Mathurin of Sens, or Maturinus was a Priest and Confessor of the late third and earth fourth centuries,[1][note 1] who successfully enlightened his native region of Gâtinais, France,[note 2] and was gifted with wonderworking abilities as an exorcist. He is honoured as the apostle and patron of the historic French province of Gâtinais,[2] with his feast day celebrated on November 1.

The first source to mention St. Mathurin is the Martyrology of Usuard,[1] written in 875 by a Benedictine monk of the Abbey of Saint-Germain-des-Prés in Paris, apparently having been unknown before this time.[note 3]


Mathurin was born in Larchant between Nemours and Malesherbes in Gâtinais, in northern France. His parents, Marinus and Euphemia, were pagans, and his father had even been entrusted by the Roman Emperor Maximian with the task of exterminating the Christians in the country.

As soon as Saint Maturinus heard the Good News, his heart was entirely converted to Christ, and he sold everything he owned to possess the pearl of great price. Mathurin was secretly baptized by Bishop Polycarp of Sens at the age of twelve, and eventually he converted his own parents.

He was ordained to the priesthood at the age of twenty by Bishop Polycarp of Sens, and began to perform miracles, having a special gift for curing diseases of the soul and body.[3] It has also been suggested that he baptized Emperor Constantius Chlorus in the fountain of Larchant.[4]

His bishop respected him so much, that he gave Mathurin the government of the diocese when he had to leave for Rome. Mathurin then preached the Gospel to Gatinais with such success, that he converted the whole province to Christ.[2]

His fame grew to such an extent, that Emperor Maximian himself requested that Maturinus come to Rome, towards 310 AD,[4] so that his daughter-in-law Flavia Maximiana Theodora, who had been possessed by an evil spirit, could be cured by the saint. Mathurin thus went to Rome where he expelled the demon from Theodora’s body.

Mathurin lived for three more years in the Eternal City (Rome), interceding with the emperor on behalf of persecuted Christians.[1]

He died in peace some time and was buried in a Roman cemetery. However, Mathurin miraculously indicated that he wished to be buried in Larchant, and so his body was taken to Sens, and then back to Larchant, which became a pilgrimage site.


View of the Basilica of St. Mathurin, Larchant, France.

When the canons of Notre-Dame de Paris were put in possession of Larchant in 1004, they gained the Saints relics. They kept a part in Larchant and placed the other part in the chapel of Saint-Mathurin which they built in Paris in the Latin Quarter.[1]

In Larchant, a church was dedicated to him in 1153, which was carefully reconstructed by the canons of Notre-Dame de Paris. It was flooded with pilgrims and the sick for centuries, particularly at Pentecost.[3] Several kings of France including Louis XI, Francis I and Henry IV made ​​pilgrimages to Larchant.[1] Unfortunately, his shrine was burnt by the Huguenots (French Protestants) in 1568, and his relics were destroyed.[2]

Saint Mathurin was also commemorated by the Trinitarian friars in France, known as “Mathurins” because they were based in the Parisian church of Saint-Mathurin from 1228 onwards.[note 4] In addition, the Faculty of Medicine of the University of Paris kept their great seal in the Church of Saint-Mathurin (Paris).[5]

Due to his deliverance of the girl with the evil spirit, Saint Mathurin is invoked against particular obsessions, madness, insanity, and as patron saint of lunatics.[6] By extension he also became the patron saint of comic actors, jesters, and clowns,[1] as well as of sailors (in Brittany),[1] of tinmen (in Paris), and of plumbers.[6]


  1. However according to his hagiography in Butler's Lives of the Saints:
    "he died in peace some time before the year 388, says the new Paris Breviary."
  2. In the historic Brie region of France, the western Brie française, corresponding roughly to the modern department of Seine-et-Marne in the Île-de-France region.
  3. Note however, he has been included in the Latin edition of the Martyrologium Romanum, published by the Vatican Press in 2001.
  4. "MATHURINS, or BRETHREN OF THE HOLY TRINITY, an order of monks which arose at the end of the 12th century, and got this name from having a church at Paris which claims St. Mathurin for its patron saint. All their churches were dedicated to the Holy Trinity. Sometimes they are called Brethren of the Redemption of Captives, because originating at the period of the Crusades, they gave their labor and a third of their revenue to liberate Christian captives from Mohammedan masters. Their founders were two French recluses in the diocese of Meaux - Jean de Mattia and Felix de Valois. By some they seem to have been called the Order of Asses, as they were permitted to use those animals only, and were debarred from riding on horses. A similar order was founded in Spain in 1228, and there called the Order of St. Mary."
    • "Mathurins". In: Rev. John M'Clintock & James Strong. Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Vol. V - K,L,Mc. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1882. p.879.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 (French) Saint Mathurin.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). St. Mathurin, Priest and Confessor. The Lives of the Saints. Volume XI: November. 1866. (
  3. 3.0 3.1 (French) La galerie des saints de la maison saint Jean-Baptiste. 15 Octobre 2009.
  4. 4.0 4.1 (French) Mathurin de Larchant. French Wikipedia.
  5. René Gandilhon. Sigillographie des universités de France. Paris, 1952.
  6. 6.0 6.1 (Italian) San Maturino.


  • Maturinus. Wikipedia.
  • Mathurin (Maturinus). Latin Saints of the Orthodox Patriarchate of Rome.
  • November 1. The Roman Martyrology.
  • Rev. Alban Butler (1711–73). St. Mathurin, Priest and Confessor. The Lives of the Saints. Volume XI: November. 1866. (
  • St. Mathurin. Catholic Online.
  • Katherine I. Rabenstein. Maturinus of Sens. November 1. Saint of the Day - St. Patrick Catholic Church, Washington D.C.
  • "Mathurins". In: Rev. John M'Clintock & James Strong. Cyclopaedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Vol. V - K,L,Mc. New York: Harper & Brothers, Publishers, 1882. p.879.

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