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Thursday, January 3, 2019

St. Genevieve, January 3

Written by  RTV
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ST. GENEVIEVE WAS born around the year 420 in the small French village of Nanterre.  In the year 429, St. Germanus was sent across from Gaul to Britain to combat Pelagianism. On his way he stopped at Nanterre. He was welcomed by the citizens, and as he preached to the assembled multitude, noticed a pious young girl among his hearers.

After the sermon he sought out this child. He encouraged her to persevere in the path of virtue. Learning that she wished to devote her life to God, he met her parents, and foretold them that their child would lead a holy life, and that by her example she would inspire many others to consecrate themselves to God. He blessed her and gave her a medal engraved with a cross, telling he to wear it instead of her jewelry.

After both of her parents died, she went to live with her godmother in Paris. She was admired for her piety and works of charity, and she practiced corporal austerities which included abstaining completely from meat and breaking her fast only twice in the week. Many of her neighbours, filled with jealousy and envy, accused Genevieve of being an impostor and a hypocrite.

In the year 451 Attila the Hun was on his way to destroy Paris, but the city was saved when St. Genevieve convinced the citizens to pray. In the year 464, when the Germanic king Childeric  besieged the city, she acted as an intermediary, collecting food and convincing Childeric to be merciful.

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St. Geneviève often had visions of saints and angels. The Bishop of Paris appointed her to look after the welfare of the virgins dedicated to God, and by her instruction and example she led them to a high degree of sanctity.

St. Genevieve had a particular devotion to St. Denis, and wished to erect a chapel in his honor to house his relics. Around the year 475 Genevieve purchased some land at the site of the saint's burial where a shrine was built. This small chapel became a famous place of pilgrimage during the fifth and sixth centuries.

The King, Clovis, founded an abbey for St. Genevieve, where she was later buried. Under the care of the Benedictines, who established a monastery there, the church witnessed numerous miracles wrought at her tomb. In the year 1129, the city was saved from an epidemic, the relics of St. Genevieve were carried in a public procession.

St. Genevieve died in the year 512, at the age of 92.

St. Genevieve, pray for us.

 

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