Portal of St Ursinus

walwyn Sun, 08/03/2014 - 15:11
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The southern most portal on the western façade of Bourges Cathedral is dedicated to St Ursinus (or Ursin), a 3rd century figure, the first Bishop of Bourges.




Legends that grew up in the 12th century made St Ursinus a contemporary with the Apostles, that he was a witness at the death of St Stephen, and was sent by St Peter to convert the Gauls. Similar claims for a number of other early French bishops being contemporaries with the Aposles including St Denis of Paris and St Taurin of Evreux.



St Ursinus is supposed to have been sent by St Peter with others including St Denis to Paris, St Martial to Limoges, St Gassian to Tours, and St Austremoine to Clermont along with their disciples to Christianize Gaul. Ursinus' disciple died a short distance, seven miles, from Bourge. The village named Saint-Just with its 12th century church was thought to hold his relics.




Having arrived alone at Bourges Ursinus started preaching to the local inhabitants, built a church to hold the relics of St Stephen, and converted the Proconsul and first Senator of the Gauls, Leocade and his son Ludre.