St. Medard was born around 456 in Salency, France. His father Nectard was a noble Frenchman, and his mother, Protogia, descended from a Roman family that settled in Gaul.
His mother instilled into St. Medard a very keen compassion for the poor.
His practice of Christian virtue was obvious as a young boy and his commitment to the poor was so evident that he had difficulty in walking by a poor man in the street and not giving him what he had, either his cloak or shoes, and one time even his horse.
When he looked after the cattle in his father’s grounds, as was common in France, he often deprived himself of his dinner to divide it among the needy.
St. Medard’s parents sent him to study Scripture with the bishop, who was very surprised with the young man’s rapid learning, piety, prayer, obedience and humility. To himself, though, he only saw laziness and imperfection.
He was ordained a priest in about 490 and was consecrated bishop of Vermand in 530. He moved the See of Vermand to Noyons a year later because it was a city better defended against invasion, the Huns and Vandals being the threats in that epoch.
Pope Hormisdas appointed St. Medard to the See of Tournai which he presided over along with that of Vermand, and had great success in converting the remaining pagans in the area to Christ.
King Clotaire, who always honored him as a living saint, heard that St. Medard was sick and went to Noyon to pay a visit, and to receive his blessing.
St. Medard died of an illness in 545 at the age of 89. The whole kingdom lamented his death as the loss of their common father and protector.