Meet the Saint that save Paris, France twice….

Saint Genevieve: Saint Germanus Predicted Her Sanctity: 422-512

 

“Get down on your knees and pray! I know it, I see it. The Huns will not come!”
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Patroness of Paris, and Virgin of the Church. Saint Genevieve is credited with preventing Paris from falling to Attila the Hun, as well as miraculous cures during the Plague by her intercession. A woman of great faith, Saint Genevieve was graced with the gift of clairvoyance and miracle-working by the Lord, which she used to increase the devotion of the faithful throughout France.
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Born of wealthy parents in Gaul (modern France) in the village of Nanterre, near Paris, Genevieve grew up tending her family’s sheep in the fields on Mount Valerien. When Genevieve was approximately seven years old, Saint Germanus of Auxerre, a holy bishop, was passing through the region. Seeing her engaged in her shepherding duties, the holy bishop was graced with a vision of her future sanctity, kissed her on the head, and proceeded to the family’s home. There, he informed her parents that she would become great in the sight of the Lord, and would lead many to salvation through the faith.

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As recounted by Saint Germanus:
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And the holy man said: “Blessed are you that God hath given you this child. Know you for certain that on the day of her birth the Angels sang and a great feast was made in Heaven. This girl shall be of great merit before the Lord. And from her good life and words many shall take example, that they shall leave the yoke of sin and convert to God.”
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Then, he turned toward the child, and she said to him: “Blessed Father, your servant is listening.”
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The Bishop asked: “Tell me, and be not embarrassed, if you will consecrate yourself to Christ in purity without stain as His spouse?”
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The maid answered: “Blessed be you, my Father. What you ask of me is the most cherished desire of my heart. I ask only that by your prayers, Our Lord will accomplish my desire.”
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“Have confidence, my daughter,” said Germanus. “Be firm in your resolution. Prove by your works the good things that you believe in your heart and say with your mouth, and Our Lord shall give you strength as well as virtue.”
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After Genevieve told Saint Germanus that she wished to dedicate herself to Christ, he gave her a brass medal with the image of the Cross upon it. She promised to wear it around her neck, and to avoid wearing any other ornaments around her neck or on her fingers.
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After the death of her parents, when Genevieve was fifteen years old, she was taken to Paris to enter the monastic life. A model sister, she devoted herself to fasting, prayer, and silent vigil, receiving from the Lord the gifts of clairvoyance and miracle-working. She traveled throughout the city and region, preaching, healing, and bringing many to the faith. She embodied a life of great austerity, practicing penance and charity. However, she was cruelly persecuted, by those both within and from outside the faith. They called her a hypocrite and a charlatan, but she, in humility, continued her good works. Eventually, following receiving some blessed bread from Saint Germanus—as a token of his esteem—the persecution ceased, and she was regarded as a saint while still living.

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The miracle that Saint Genevieve is most famously remembered for involves the conquest of Attila the Hun. As he, and his marauding forces were approaching Paris—and all hope was lost as the rest of Europe had fallen before him—Genevieve and her sisters prayed and fasted, entreating God to spare the city. She exhorted the faithful, encouraging them to pray as well, having seen in a vision the saving of the city. Without warning, the barbarian forces turned from Paris, sparing it without conflict.
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Similarly, during the siege of Paris by Childeric, king of the Franks, Genevieve went out with a few followers and procured grain for the starving citizens. King Childeric, though a pagan, respected her, and at her request spared the lives of many prisoners.
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Saint Genevieve preached the importance of the Saturday night Vigil, comparing it in symbolism to the manner in which the faithful should lead their daily lives. She said: “We must keep vigil in prayer and fasting so that the Lord will find us ready when He comes.” On the way to the Saturday vigil, one cold, dark, and stormy night, she and her traveling companions—nun from the convent—were plunged into darkness as their candles were blown out by the storm. Fearing the darkness and the storm, the nuns determined to return to the monastery, when Saint Genevieve made the Sign of the Cross over her lantern, which miraculously relit. Filled with grace and hope in the Lord, the sisters proceeded to their Mass. In art, Genevieve is often portrayed carrying a lit candle for this reason—she hoped in the light of Christ, even in the most profound moments of darkness!

Image result for Saint Genevieve Saint Genevieve died peacefully in 512, at the age of eight-nine. She was entombed in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul in Paris, although her relics were later translated to the Church of Saint Etienne du Mont. In 1129, when the plague swept through Paris, Saint Genevieve’s relics were processed through the streets. Prior to the procession, 14,000 residents of the city perished, with thousands dying each day. On the day of the procession, only three individuals died, and the following day, the deaths miraculously stopped. Saint Genevieve is credited with this miraculous intercession, and is considered the Patron Saint of Paris. .
Saint Genevieve was a simple shepherdess, without formal education. Through the grace of the Lord, and her commitment to Him, she worked grand miracles and brought thousands to the faith through her example. Even in the bleakest of moments—attack, siege, and plague—Saint Genevieve did not fear the darkness. Rather, she held onto hope, placing her trust and her life in the hands of the Lord who never forgot her—just as He never forgets us!
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Eternal Father, I wish to honor St. Genevieve, and I give Thee thanks for all the graces Thou hast bestowed upon her. I ask Thee to please increase grace in my soul through the merits of this saint, and I commit the end of my life to her by this special prayer, so that by virtue of Thy goodness and promise, St. Genevieve might be my advocate and provide whatever is needed at that hour. Amen.

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