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St. Genevieve

Genevieve was born in 419 or 422 in Nanterre, a village near Paris. When St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Lupus of Troyes were traveling through Gaul in 429, they stopped at Genevieve’s small village. As Germain was preaching he noticed the pious demeanor of the young Genevieve. He talked with the little girl after his sermon, encouraging her to always follow Christ and he predicted to her parents that she would be holy and lead many to God. Genevieve remained in the home of her parents practicing the evangelical counsels, for there were no convents nearby; it not known for certain when she formally received the veil. When her parents died, she went to live with her godmother in Paris. She practiced a strict fast for thirty years, until her superiors ordered her to take better care of health. She had the gift of prophesy and some mocked her as an imposter, but the bishop of Paris appointed her to oversee the other consecrated virgins in the area. In 451, the prayers of Genevieve saved the people of Paris from an invasion by Attila and his Huns; during a siege of Paris by Merowig, Genevieve displayed heroic charity in helping everyone she could and Merowig showed mercy to the city because of her. Genevieve died in 511, after urging the bishop to build a church in honor of Sts. Peter and Paul; when the church was complete, Genevieve was buried there. St. Genevieve’s feast is January 3. She is the patroness of Paris.

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