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Born about the year 422 in Nanterre, a small village outside of Paris, Geneviève was the daughter of respectable townsfolk. At the age of seven, she was singled out from a crowd of her fellow inhabitants by St. Germain of Auxerre who foretold to her parents their child’s future sanctity.

The missionary prelate was on his way to Britain with St. Lupus of Troyes, commissioned by the bishops of Gaul to combat the heresy of Pelagian there. Before his departure, Geneviève renewed her consecration in his presence, received his blessing, and was given a medal engraved with a cross in remembrance of her dedication to Christ.
St. Geneviève of Paris, renewing her consecration in the presence of St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Lupus of TroyesOn the death of her parents she went to Paris, and lived with her godmother. She devoted herself to works of charity and practiced severe fasting and physical austerities. She continued these mortifications for over thirty years until her superiors compelled her to diminish them. Many of her neighbors accused Geneviève of being an impostor and a hypocrite. Her numerous visions and prophecies were treated as frauds and deceits. Driven by their envy and jealousy, her enemies eventually conspired to drown her. It was only through the intervention of St. Germain of Auxerre himself that their animosity was finally overcome. The bishop of the city 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.

In 451 as Attila and his Huns swept through Gaul, pillaging and destroying all in their path, the inhabitants of Paris prepared to flee. Geneviève prevailed upon them to place their trust in God and urged them to avert the scourge by prayer and penance, assuring them of the protection of Heaven. The advancing barbarian hordes inexplicably changed the course of their advance and headed towards Orléans, leaving Paris untouched. From henceforth, she was looked upon as the mother of the city of Paris and her prayers and intercession were universally sought in every malady and affliction.

Some years later, the city was again besieged and the people suffered greatly from sickness and famine. Geneviève was indefatigable in seeking relief for their needs, even calming a furious storm by her prayers when it threatened to overwhelm and sink the vessels loaded with provisions for the starving population. Through her influence, the new king and his successors displayed unwonted clemency towards the citizens. They regarded her with great veneration and respect and frequently pardoned malefactors and released prisoners, through her intercession. When King Clovis ascended the throne, he converted to Christianity and was baptized on Christmas Day, 496. He made Paris his capital and established an abbey dedicated to Saints Peter and Paul on the south bank of the Seine.

Geneviève died in the year 512 and when the church was completed, her body was placed in a solid stone tomb and interred there. The numerous miracles wrought at her tomb, caused the name of Sainte-Geneviève to be given to it. Kings, princes, and people enriched it with their gifts. This heroine who twice saved the capital of France by her courage and constancy is regarded as the Patroness of Paris. Her feast is kept on January 3.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for August 3, 2021

Jesus who cannot suffer long to keep you in affliction will...

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August 3

 

Jesus who cannot suffer long to keep you in affliction
will come to relieve and comfort you
by infusing fresh courage into your soul.

St. Padre Pio of Pietrelcina


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Waltheof of Melrose

He strove so greatly for perfection that his confessors ofte...

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St. Waltheof of Melrose

Waltheof was born of English nobility. The son of Simon, the Earl of Huntingdon, and Maud, the grand-niece of William the Conqueror, he was also the grandson of Saint Waldef of Northumbria. As a child, Waltheof felt drawn to churches and the religious life. Following his father's death, he, and his mother and brother moved to Scotland where Maud married King David I. As part of the royal court, he was educated and became a spiritual student of St. Aelred.

Following his long-held inclination to contemplation and desiring to dedicate himself entirely to God, Waltheof left Scotland and traveled to Yorkshire to join the Augustinian Canons at the monastery at Nostell. He was soon chosen as prior, and led the monks in a more austere rule. Some time later, Waltheof left Nostell for the more austere life of the Cistercian monks.
Four years after receiving the Cistercian habit, he was nominated as abbot of Melrose, a newly established monastery. Then, in 1154, he was chosen as the new Archbishop of St. Andrews, but in his humility, he begged St. Aelred to oppose the election and not oblige him to accept.

Waltheof died in 1160 of old age. It has been said that he strove so greatly for perfection, that his confessors often found him irksome.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by h...

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The Virgin Mary Rewards a Bandit

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways. Bandits plagued travelers and made their living by depriving others of their goods and often their very lives.

A young woman in the Papal States, who was very devout towards Mary, met in a certain place a chief of the bandits. Fearing some outrage, she implored him, for love of the most holy Virgin, not to molest her.

"Do not fear," he answered, "for you have prayed me in the name of the mother of God; and I only ask you to recommend me to her." Moved by the woman’s mention of the Blessed Virgin, the bandit accompanied her himself along the road to a place of safety.

The following night, Mary appeared in a dream to the bandit. She thanked him for the act of kindness he had performed for love of her. Mary went on to say that she would remember it and would one day reward him.

The robber, at length, was arrested, and condemned to death. But behold, the night previous to his execution, the blessed Virgin visited him again in a dream, and first asked him: "Do you know who I am?"

He answered, "It seems to me I have seen you before."

"I am the Virgin Mary," she continued, "and I have come to reward you for what you have done for me. You will die tomorrow, but you will die with so much contrition that you will come at once to paradise."

The convict awoke, and felt such contrition for his sins that he began to weep bitterly, all the while giving thanks aloud to our Blessed Lady. He asked immediately for a priest, to whom he made his confession with many tears, relating the vision he had seen. Finally, he asked the priest to make public this grace that had been bestowed on him by Mary.

He went joyfully to his execution, after which, as it is related, his countenance was so peaceful and so happy that all who saw him believed that the promise of the heavenly mother had been fulfilled.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

In the days of yore, when travel must be had on foot or by horse, many were the dangers to be found along the roadways.