The father of Evrard served in the court of the Frankish emperor Charlemagne before retiring to a monastery toward the end of his life. As a young soldier, Evrard manifested both bravery and a deep purity of heart. He married Gisela, daughter of the emperor Louis the Pious. The devout couple used their wealth to relieve the poor and to found churches, chapels, and later the French abbey of Cysoing. Evrard and Gisela had three daughters and four sons; two of the latter became abbots. A conscientious father, Evrard gave much attention to his children's religious and moral formation. He had a special love for the relics of saints. For Cysoing Abbey, he obtained from Rome the body of Pope Saint Callistus I (+222), which was thereupon carried from Italy to France on the shoulders of several priests. Miraculous healings and reconciliations of enemies occurred along the route of this cortege. In his will, Evrard bequeathed a large number of religious objects, including vestments, thuribles, candlesticks, liturgical books, and prayer books, one of which was a Psalter bearing his signature that is now in the Vatican Library.
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By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
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