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St. Bénézet

Born: c.1163

Died: c.1184

Feast Day: April 14

Patron Saint of: bridge builders

Also known as Little Benedict the Bridge Builder, Bénézet was born in Savoy where he raised sheep for the family near the Rhone River. During his youth, Benezet had a vision where he was instructed three times to build a bridge over the Rhône River at Avignon, a location that was notorious for previous failures due to the force of the river. Despite lacking in experience, he appealed to the Bishop of Avignon to allow him to take up such a large endeavor. It is reported that it took several miracles to convince the Bishop to allow him to proceed, and he was given no help from the Bishop or civil institutions. He began the work of building this bridge on his own in 1177 and was nearly complete, except for a few details, just prior to his death in 1184.