Feastday: The popularity of the saint in Paderborn is shown in the week-long yearly festival that begins on the Saturday after his 23 July feast day. This festival is known as Libori.
Patron: of peace and understanding among peoples. He is invoked against colic, fever, and gallstones.
Canonized: Pre Congregation
St. Liborius was born of an illustrious family of Gaul (a region in the Roman Empire which extended to the area on the west bank of the Rhine river of the present day Germany), and became Bishop of Le Mans, France. He was a trusty companion to St. Marinus (Martin of Tours). They were both bishops, neighbours in office. St. Liborius was bishop for about 49 years and ordained 217 priests, 186 deacons and 93 sub deacons and other churchmen. He is said to have died on July 23, 397 A.D. with Bishop Martin at his side. He was buried in the Apostle Basilica of Le Mans, beside his predecessor, Julian, the founder of the bishopric.
Much of the ministerial life of Bishop Liborius covered the second half of the 4th century. By this time, the Roman Empire ended its persecution of Christianity with Emperor Constantine the Great’s Edict of Milan in the year 313. Freed from persecution, the Christian faith was now free to grow. However, during this time, foreign tribes roamed the land. There was chaos and misery. Bishop Liborius’ Episcopal area had been Christian for some time but heathen Druids were still active and through their mysterious pagan rites were able to influence the people. So, Bishop Liborius built many churches and celebrated the Eucharist with piety and dignity. The well-trained priests in his diocese finally triumphed over the Druids. Nowadays, we would call the works of Bishop Liborius and his clergy at the time as primary evangelisation.
He is said to have healed sufferers from “gravel and allied complaints” and for this reason his feast was introduced by Pope Clement XI, himself a victim who was cured by the saint’s intercession.
Miracles are said to have to occurred at his tomb. In 835 Bishop Aldrich placed some relics of his body into an altar in the cathedral, and in the following year, on the instructions of Emperor Louis the Pious, sent the body to Bishop Badurad of Paderborn, a diocese founded in 799 by Pope Leo III and Emperor Charlemagnethat had no saint of its own.
In the year, 836 A.D., (9th century), the relics of Saint Liborius were brought from Le Mans, France, to Paderborn, Germany. At this time, relics of the saints were well guarded and venerated in churches and dioceses which had them. The willingness of the diocese of Le Mans to handover the relics of St. Liborius to the diocese of Paderborn was a true act of charity. The event forged a long lasting friendship between the sister cities of Le Mans and Paderborn; it has existed for over 1,000 years to this day.
From this arose a “love bond of lasting brotherhood” that has survived all the hostilities of the succeeding centuries and is considered to be the oldest contract still in force. Both churches bound themselves to help each other by prayer and material assistance, as they have in fact done on more than one occasion.