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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 January 24, 2021

Do not lose your inner peace for anything whatsoever, not ev...

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January 24

 

Do not lose your inner peace
for anything whatsoever,
not even if your whole world seems upset.
If you find that you have wandered away from
the shelter of God,
lead your heart back to Him quietly and simply.

St. Francis de Sales


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Francis de Sales

Francis suffered a terrible temptation to despair of being s...

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St. Francis de Sales

Francis de Sales was born in the Duchy of Savoy, in present-day France, in the Château de Sales. His father was Francis, Lord of Boisy, Sales and Novel and his mother Frances de Sionnz, the daughter of a prominent magistrate.

Born prematurely, Francis was delicate but slowly strengthened, though his health was never robust.

Being the oldest son of six, his father destined him for a secular career, despite Francis’ early leanings to the religious life. He attended the Jesuit college of Clermont in Paris where he excelled in rhetoric, philosophy and theology. During this period, Francis suffered a terrible temptation to despair of being saved. He was miraculously delivered before an image of Our Lady and there and then made a vow of chastity.

At twenty-four he received his law degree in Padua. With a brilliant career ahead of him, and a noble prospect of marriage, Francis declared his intention of following an ecclesiastical career. A sharp struggle ensued between him and his father who only relented in his opposition when Bishop Granier of Geneva offered Francis the post of Provost of the Chapter of Geneva in the patronage of the Pope.

Francis was ordained in 1593. The next year he volunteered to evangelize the region of Le Chablais, recently returned to the Duchy of Savoy from Calvinist Geneva and on which the Genevans had imposed their creed. With enormous tact, charity and zeal the young provost confuted the preachers sent to debate him, converted several prominent Calvinists and at great personal risk and traveling extensively brought back to the Church tens of thousands of the people of Chablais.

He was consecrated Bishop of Geneva in 1602, ruling his diocese from Annecy in France where he immediately established regular catechetical lessons for young and old. He himself taught the children of  whom he was beloved. He visited the parishes throughout his rugged diocese, made provisions for the clergy, reformed religious orders, and preached incessantly, everywhere known for his kindness and patient zeal. Those who flocked to hear the holy bishop said, “Never have such holy, apostolic sermons been preached.”

With St. Jeanne Frances de Chantal he founded the Order of the Visitation for girls and widows who had not the health or inclination for the austerities of the great orders.

In the midst of all his activities he found time to write numerous letters and works, among the most famous being his Introduction to the Devout Life.

Francis de Sales died in 1622 at age fifty-six and crowds thronged to venerate him. He was canonized in 1665 and proclaimed a Doctor of the Church by Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1877.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a con...

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Our Lady and the Three Dresses

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a convent. Day after day, they took their meals together, they went to chapel together, and they prayed and sang together.

One day, their priest-confessor advised them that, as a preparation for the feast of the purification of Mary, they should recite the whole Rosary every day for forty days. The three nuns obediently complied.

On the night before that holy feast day, the Heavenly Mother appeared to the three nuns as they gathered in the choir. To the first of these three sisters she handed a rich garment, embroidered with gold. Holy Mary thanked her and blessed her.

She then handed to the second nun a much simpler garment, and also thanked her. Noticing the difference in the two garments, the second sister asked, "Oh Lady, why have you brought my sister a richer garment?" Mary Most Holy lovingly replied, "Because she has clothed me more richly with her prayers than you have done."

Mary then approached the third nun with a canvas garment. Being an observant young lady, this sister at once asked pardon for the half-hearted way in which she had prayed her rosaries.

A full year had passed when all three fervently prepared for the same feast, each saying her Rosary with great devotion. On the evening preceding the festival, Mary appeared to them in glory, and said to them: "Be prepared, for tomorrow you shall come to paradise."

The following morning dawned, full of promise. Each nun wondered if this would be her last day in this vale of tears. When evening came, would they retire to their modest cells once more, or did Holy Mary have something else in store for them?

The sisters related to their confessor what had occurred, and received communion in the morning. At the hour of compline (evening prayers) they saw again the most holy Virgin, who came to take them with her. Amid the songs of angels, one after the other sweetly expired.

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

Many centuries ago, three young nuns lived together in a convent. Day after day, they took their meals together, they went to chapel together, and they prayed and sang together.

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