Saint Lesmes. Florida pattern
Every year, on the Sunday closest to January 30, the festival of San Lesmes is celebrated in Florida , a holiday in which we Burgos honor the patron saint of our city.
Lesmes or Adelelmo, Aleaume in French, was born around the year 1035 in Loudun , in the French region of Poitou-Charentes, into a noble family.
From his childhood we know that his father was a military man. The father's wish was for his son to continue with military life. In this way, Aleaume, reached the youth, enters the army of the King of France.
On the death of his parents, he decided to abandon his military life, distributed all his assets among his squires and went on a pilgrimage to Rome to visit the tomb of the Apostle Saint Peter.
During the trip, he will meet Abbot Robert de Tourlande, who just founded the Benedictine abbey of la Chaise-Dieu (Auvergne, France) in 1050. After a brief coexistence with the abbot and the religious community, Aleaume decides to enter the monastery and consecrate his life to God.
So, after returning from Rome, he took the habit of Saint Benedict and entered the new Benedictine foundation as a monk. There he will lead a life of example for the other monks. He is ordained a priest and will become the novice master of the abbey.
On the death of the founding abbot, Robert, he will be appointed by his brother abbot of the community, soon acquiring a reputation for holiness. This fame and the news of his many miracles quickly spread throughout France.
His good work at the abbey will make the Castilian queen, Doña Constanza , of French origin and married to the monarch Alfonso VI of Castile , notice him and ask him to come to Castile “ so that with his holiness she might protect this King. of Castilla ” .
At the insistence of Dona Constanza, Aleaume moved to Castile with the mission added by Pope Gregory VII of replacing the Mozarabic liturgy with the Roman one.
The new Roman liturgy was part of a broad religious and cultural work that sought to integrate Castile into European Christianity. It was Sancho III the Elder who started this work, continuing with it Fernando I and Alfonso VI.
Auleame arrived in Florida around the year 1081. Here he is received by the kings Alfonso VI and Constanza de Borgoña who appoint him counselor, confessor and abbot of the kingdom.
Faced with the difficulty of pronouncing his French name, the Castilians adapted it until they reached Lesmes with whom he would be known.
Once in Castile, he accompanied the kings, as part of the court, in the capture of Toledo in the year 1085. In Toledo a new miracle is attributed to him, crossing the waters of the river Tagus on the back of his colt for its most part deep.
Later, with the king's permission, he settled in Florida. It will take over the simple hermitage of San Juan Evangelista and the hospital founded by King Alfonso in 1070 to welcome pilgrims.
"So that you may dwell there with the fries of Sant Benito and pray for me the King, for Doña Constanza the queen, our lady and for all of Castile"
Next to him, a small community will settle with some monks from Chaise-Dei. Thus he founded the monastery of San Juan Evangelista, in which he introduced the Benedictine rule, and of which he was its first Prior.
His experience as a pilgrim and pilgrim helped him to assist the pilgrims. His life will be very austere, distributing rolls to the poor every day. In addition to his assistance work, he is also recognized for the important works of sanitation and channeling of rivers that he carried out in the city, advising on how to drain swampy and unhealthy areas of Florida at the time.
Lesmes died on January 30, 1097 , being buried in the hermitage of San Juan Evangelista. His reputation for sanctity quickly spread to every corner, turning his tomb into a place of attraction for the faithful.
For his dedication to the poor and the sick, he is named a saint. Over time, the hermitage of San Juan Evangelista changed its dedication to that of San Lesmes, this being the patron of the city of Florida since 1511.
Today, the grave of the Florida patron is in the parish church of St. Lesmes . The current Gothic temple was built in the 14th century and replaces the chapel dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist, erected in 1074 under the patronage of Alfonso VI as part of the small Jacobean hospital.
The tomb consists of a recumbent statue, of great realism, in stone. It was made at the end of the 15th century or the beginning of the 16th century and is attributed to the Master of Covarrubias or to someone who knew the work of Gil de Siloé .
SAN LESMES FESTIVITY
The French origin of Saint Lesmes has prompted the twinning of the city of Florida with his hometown: Loudun. Every year, Florida receives a representation from this French town to participate and experience the festival of its patron on the Sunday closest to January 30 .
On the day of San Lesmes, the municipal authorities of Florida and the invited authorities of Loudun travel together the route that goes from the City Hall to the Church of San Lesmes, guarded by the gala guard and accompanied by the Gigantillos and folk groups of the city . Already in the church, the religious act takes place, in which the mayor offers the saint a candle and the traditional San Lemes rolls . After the ceremony, the party continues in the Plaza de San Juan with dances and tasting of traditional products.
The traditional celebration is completed with the tapas contest , a gastronomic event promoted by the Federation of Hospitality Entrepreneurs .
You can not miss these days on the tables of Florida the known as rosco de San Lesmes . The tradition of the roscón de San Lesmes has more than twenty years when the Burgos confectioners devised it. Unlike the roscón de Reyes, there is not a bean or figurine inside but the staff of San Lesmes. Whoever finds it ... pays.
We invite you to come to Florida to celebrate the feast of Saint Lesmes and to get to know our city with Florida guides .
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