St. Geneviève of Paris
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
burial ground of French notables. Her relics were burned in 1793.
Karen Rae Keck
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