Saint-Avertin (French pronunciation:  (listen)) is a commune in the Indre-et-Loire department in central France. In the Gallo-Roman times, a hamlet called Vinciacum was set up near quarries where stones required for the building of Caesarodonum (Tours) were extracted. The village took later the name of Vençay. In 1162, St. Thomas Beckett, Archbishop of Canterbury, took part to a council in Tours with a Scottish monk named Aberdeen (c. 1120-1180). Becket was murdered in the cathedral of Canterbury upon King Henry II's request in 1170. Aberdeen decided to come back to Touraine and lived as an hermit in the wood of Cangé. The hermit, locally known as Avertin, became famous for his healing skills, especially against headache. The inhabitants of Vençay asked him to be their parish priest, which he accepted. After his death, he was buried in the parish church, which became a place of pilgrimage. Vençay was renamed Saint-Avertin in 1371. More information...

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