[St. Pachomius Library]

St. Geneviève of Paris

V Century
At an early age, St. Geneviève (c.420-c.500) promised St. Germanus of Auxerre, who preacher in Nanterre, her birthplace, that she would dedicate her life to God. At 15, she became a nun, and after the death of her parents, she moved to Paris, where she lived with her godmother and gained a reputation as a prophet. During Childeric I's siege of Paris, Geneviève organized blockade runners on the Seine, who brought food from Troyes and Ancis to feed the starving Parisians. She interceded on behalf of captives taken both by Childeric and his successor Clovis. In 451, she predicted that Attila would not attack Paris and encouraged the citizens to remain in the city. Attila attacked at Orléans, where his army was defeated. Geneviève encouraged Clovis, after his conversion, to build Sts. Peter and Paul in Paris; it later became Ste-Geneviève. In 1129, her intercessions and relics were credited with the cessation of an ergot-poisoning epidemic in Paris. During the French Revolution, Ste-Geneviève was secularized and renamed the Panthéon, which became the burial ground of French notables. Her relics were burned in 1793.

Karen Rae Keck


Return to St Pachomius Library.