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The Hermit St. Clair St. Clair-sur-Epte, France

Dear Mr. Quarterman,

       I am resending you this article because apparently it did not go 
through when I sent it to you the first time.


Susan M. Grady

The Hermit St. Clair

By Susan M. Grady
Virginia Commissioner
Clan Sinclair Association, U.S.A.

This information was based on a visit to St. Clair-sur-Epte, France made by 
Susan M. Grady and Dr. A. Dane Bowen, Jr. on June 26, 2002.  The mayor of St. 
Clair-sur-Epte gave them information written in French that was used in the 
preparation of this report.  I also was given information by Mr. Philippe 

The Hermit St. Clair was born in Rochester, Kent County, England around 845 
A.D.  His parents were wealthy.  His father wanted him to marry a noble lady. 
 He refused to do so.  He became a Christian and a hermit.  God spoke to the 
Hermit St. Clair and told him to leave England and go to northern France.  
God wanted the hermit to serve Him in France.  The Hermit St. Clair therefore 
fled to France.  He moved from place to place.  He was gifted at healing 
people's eye diseases and alleviating their mental distress.
Finally, he and his disciple, St. Cyrin, settled in St. Clair-sur-Epte, 
fifteen miles southwest of Gisors (Gisors is forty miles southeast of Rouen), 
France.  He lived next to a well whose water was able to cure eye diseases.  
(The well is in a park in St. Clair-sur-Epte.)  The English lady sent two 
knights to France to find the hermit and kill him since the hermit had 
refused to marry her.  On November 4, 884 A.D.  these knights rode into St. 
Cliar-sur-Epte and asked the hermit, "Do you know a man named St. Clair?"  
The hermit replied, "No."  As the knights were leaving the village, the 
hermit called them back.  The hermit said, "I am the person you seek."  The 
hermit felt that he had committed a sin against God by lying to the knights.  
One of the knights beheaded the hermit with his sword.  The place where this 
act took place is in a walled enclosure with a gate.  The enclosure is across 
from the well.  After he was beheaded, the Hermit St. Clair dipped his head 
in the water of the holy well, carried his head in his hands and walked to 
the center of St. Clair-sur-Epte where there was a small church.  He entered 
the church and lay down to the left of the altar, where his tomb is today.  
The church is on the "Place Rollon", the main square of St. Clair-sur-Epte.
The construction of the present church began in the 9th Century A.D.  
Formerly, the saint's bones were in a box suspended by chains from the 
ceiling of the church.  Now, just to the left of the altar in the front of 
the church, the hermit's bones are in a clear glass case covered by a white 
lace cloth.  The hermit's head is not there.  The knights had to take his 
head back to England and show it to the noble lady in order to prove they had 
killed the hermit. Once she had seen the head, she would have given them a 
reward for killing the hermit.  The ship in which the knights were traveling 
sank crossing the English Channel and the head was lost.  In the window above 
the glass case is a stained glass window, installed after World War I, 
commemorating the signing of the Treaty of St. Clair-sur-Epte between Rollo 
the Viking and King Charles the Simple of France in 911 A.D.  The saint's 
feast day is July 16.  On that day the case containing his bones is taken out 
of the church and paraded around the town.
To the left of the church on the Place Rollon is the mayor's office "La 
Mairie."  You have to go up a flight of stone stairs to reach it.  There is a 
French flag on top of the building.  The people who work in the mayor's 
office will open the church for you and will open the enclosure that 
surrounds the place where the Hermit St. Clair was beheaded.