St. Genevieve
January 3

St. Genevieve

St. Genevieve

When She Lived:

Saint Genevieve was born around 422 AD and died in 512 AD. She lived during the late Roman Empire and the early years of the Frankish Kingdom.

Where She Lived:

Saint Genevieve lived in Paris, France. She is considered the patron saint of the city and is closely associated with its history.

Notable World Events During Her Time:

  • The Fall of the Western Roman Empire (476 AD): Saint Genevieve witnessed the decline and eventual fall of the Western Roman Empire, marking a significant shift in the political and cultural landscape of Europe.
  • The Clovis I Conversion (496 AD): Clovis I, the King of the Franks, converted to Christianity, marking a pivotal moment in the spread of Christianity among the Germanic tribes and the establishment of the Frankish Kingdom. This event had a profound impact on the religious and political developments in the region.
  • The Council of Ephesus (431 AD): This major ecumenical council of the early Christian Church addressed theological issues, including the nature of Christ. It had far-reaching consequences for the development of Christian doctrine and the shaping of the Church.
  • The Rule of Attila the Hun (434-453 AD): The time when Saint Genevieve lived saw the rise and fall of Attila the Hun, who led a series of invasions in Europe. This event impacted the political stability and migration patterns in the region.

Her Patronage:

Saint Genevieve is the patron saint of Paris, France. She is also invoked for her protection against disasters, plagues, and natural calamities. Additionally, she is recognized as the patron saint of women, students, and those in need.

Saint Genevieve is an intriguing historical figure, and her life intersected with a period of significant transformation in Europe, marked by the decline of the Roman Empire, the spread of Christianity among the Germanic tribes, and the formation of early medieval kingdoms. Her connection to Paris and her reputation as a protector against various challenges make her a compelling subject for exploration.

Life and Works

Saint Genevieve is one of the most respected and influential women in the history of Paris and Religion. Venerated a Patron Saint of Paris, A status promoted by Clotilde, Saint Genevieve is celebrated by the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox religions.

She is most popularly revered for her role in saving her city, Paris, from the clutches of one of the evilest men in history, Attila the Hun.

A normal peasant girl, Saint Genevieve was born in 422 in Nanterre,Paris, where she led a normal life as a child. The first marked change for her began at the young age of 7 when she first met Saint Germanus, the Bishop of Auxerre, who was passing through on a sojourn to Britain. On sighting her amongst the crowd of people who gathered to listen to him, he foretold her future as a devotee, and she immediately communicated her wish to dedicate her life to God and the Christian religion.

Saint Genevieve was consecrated to God as a virgin, promising to avoid vanity. She immersed herself in prayers, intense fasts, teaching, and preaching. At the age of 15, after the death of her parents, Saint Genevieve went to live with their godmother, Lutetia, in Lutetia, Paris.

There, she began her charitable work by rendering help to the needy. Her piety, charity, and devotion to religion got her recognized and endeared her to lots of people.

Through it all, she remained dedicated to the mortification of the flesh by abstaining from various acts and breaking her long fasts only two days a week. She continued this over the years, getting both love and animosity from people in the city.

She loved God, and in return, she exhibited divine intervention. She was known to perform miracles and receive visions of angels and saints. This further caused her to be criticized until her enemies decided to end it all by drowning her in a lake. She was saved by the timely intervention of Saint Germanus, who then appointed her to lead all consecrated virgins in the church.St. Genevieve having a heartfelt conversation with St Germanus

It was in that period that Attila the Hun was on a rampage of seizing towns and waging war on every city he could reach. When he finally arrived in Paris to wage war, every Parisian was prepared to run for cover. Saint Genevieve, however, urged them all to stay behind, pray, and fast for God’s intervention. She told them to rest assured that they were going to be safe.

And they were. It is widely believed that it was Saint Genevieve’s prayers that saved the city from Attila’s scourge.

In 464, During Childeric’s siege and the Famine, Saint Genevieve was able to pass through blockades into Troyes, bringing back bags of corn to the people. She had a great effect on the Pagan Childeric, who respected her wish for him to release his prisoners of war.

Saint Genevieve adored Saint Denis, a Christian Martyr, and harbored a wish to build a chapel in his honor. She honored this wish, and the chapel became a favorite choice for pilgrims.

The year of Saint Genevieve’s death is stated to be between 502 and 512. Even after her death, her relics were cherished and claimed to have carried out miracles.

5 Interesting Facts About St. Genevieve

  • Did you know that Saint Genevieve is often depicted holding a lamp?
    candle? Apart from her being depicted holding a book, torch, or
    loaf of bread, Saint Genoese is often seen in artworks holding a
    lit candle with the devil leering at her from behind.
  • Did you know that Saint Germanus gifted Saint Genevieve a medal with
    a crucifix in remembrance of her consecration? It was most prized.
    possession, and she kept this medal until her death.
  • Saint Genevieve was instructed to never wear any other kind of
    jewelry. This instruction was given to her by Saint Germanus after
    her consecration so that she might do away with vanity.
  • Did you know that Saint Genevieve liked to go and pray in Church at
    night by the light of a candle? On one of such occasions, her
    candle was blown out. It is widely believed that the devil blew out
    her candle in order to scare her.
  • Did you know that Saint Genevieve was a vegetarian? She never ate.
    meat and only broke her fast on Sundays and Thursdays.

Prayer to St. Genevieve

Saint Genevieve, you who by the days before, through penance and prayer, ensured the protection of Paris, intercede near God for us, for our country, and for the devoted Christian hearts. You who cured the sick and fed the hungry, obtain the light of God and make us stronger to reject temptation. You who had the concern of the poor, protect the sick, the abandoned, and the unemployed. You who resisted the armies and encouraged the besieged, give us the direction for truth and justice. You, who through the centuries never ceased taking care of your people, help us to keep the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. May your example be an encouragement to always seek God and serve him through our brothers and sisters. Amen.