Bernard de Menthon, the patron saint of mountain dwellers and mountain-climbers

According to legend, the patron saint of the Alps was born around the year 1000 of the union of Bernoline de Duingt and Baron Richard de Menthon, in the castle to which he gave his name: the castle of Menthon-Saint-Bernard.Promised to a noble heiress of the family of Miolans, he nevertheless deeply feels the call of faith. His parents insisted, but the young Bernard did not hear him with that ear, for Saint-Nicolas whispered to him in the other one to join the Church. On the eve of his wedding, encouraged by the latter, who promised to send him angels for a soft landing, he jumped out of the window of his room, right under the nose of his family and some servants who were busy to  prepare the rejoicings of the next day. He then crosses the Alps to join the Cathedral of Aosta, where he becomes archdeacon and dedicates his life to the sick people and the poor. An expert of the mountain, that he furrows to carry the good word, he decides to make the roads safe. At that time, indeed, those who wished to cross the Alps were to brave both nature and the brigands of travelers. The legend sees St. Bernard climbing to the collar of Joux to shoot down the statue of Jupiter and chase the brigands with the aid of his scarf which miraculously transforms into a chain. He then founded the hospices of the Great Saint Bernard on the Col du Mont-Joux, then Petit Saint-Bernard, to welcome travelers from the Alps.Thus, he became the Holy Protector of mountaineers, overcoming the dangers of the mountain, often represented by a devil or a dragon lying at his feet. In the 19th century, it is represented that the dog is accompanied by a dog rescuer, the famous St. Bernard, which comes to the rescue of the victims of the summits.Saint-Bernard is celebrated every year on June 15th.

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