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Sunday, June 04, 2006

Saints & Angels: The TLB Prime Series

Sainte Clotilde, VIème s. (France )
Clotilde, future reine des Francs, naquit à Lyon vers 470. Son souvenir, dans notre histoire nationale, demeure attaché à un double évènement : la bataille de Tolbiac et le baptême de Clovis. La tradition rapporte que Clovis, ayant invoqué en vain ses dieux païens, en appela au Dieu de Clotilde quand ses soldats luttaient contre les Alamans. Ayant vaincu, le roi des Francs décida de se convertir.

The future queen of the Francs was born circa 470, in Lyon, near Paris. Her historical significance is particularly important as she was the catalyst to make all of France a Christian kingdom, as he pagan husband turned to the Christian God in desperation when he was losing against a rival nation. Clovis' pagan gods were no help at all - but when victory was obtained after he turned to his wife's God, Clovis converted to Christianism too.

Fille de Chilpéric, roi des Burgondes, Clotilde est élevée à Genève. Bien que chrétienne, elle est demandée en mariage par le jeune Clovis qui est païen. On assure que ce fut, en cette période de barbarie, un mariage d'amour, plein de tendresse et de respect mutuel. Clovis autorisa le baptême de leurs enfants, puis se convertit à la foi chrétienne, recevant le Baptême à Noël 496 à Reims, des mains de l'évêque saint Rémi. Ainsi le mariage de Clovis et de Clotilde et l'influence conjuguée de la jeune reine et de l'évêque sur le catéchumène (candidat au baptême) ont marqué l'entrée du peuple des Francs dans la religion du Christ.

Clotilde was the king of Burgundy's daughter and had been brought up in Geneva. It was known to all that she was a Christian when the young pagan Clovis asked her hand in marriage. History seems to indicate that it was not a barbaric ravishing but truly a loving union, rife wih tenderness and mutual respect. For Clovis authorized the baptism of his children, as his wife wished, and soon converted himself, being baptized for his part in Christmas 496, at Reims, before the saintly bishop St. Rémi himself. Hence, the union of Clovis and Clotilde and the combined influence of his wife and the bishop upon the catechumen's reign (a catechumen being a candidate for baptism) effectively eased the entrance of the whole Francs nation into Christ's religion.

Le bonheur de Clotilde ne sera pas un conte de fées. Sa vie est traversée d'épreuves redoutables. Elle devient veuve à moins de quarante ans. Elle aura la douleur de voir mourir son fils Clodomir de manière abominable, puis de voir deux autres fils, Clotaire et Childebert, égorger les enfants de leur frère. Blessée pour toujours dans son cœur de mère, la reine Clotilde s'enfuit de la Cour et se retire dans la ville de Tours, pour trouver réconfort et paix près du tombeau du saint Martin. Enfouie dans la prière et le silence, soucieuse avant tout de rencontrer le Christ dans l'humilité, elle retourne à son Seigneur le 3 juin 545. Des reliques de la sainte reine sont conservées à Paris, dans la basilique qui porte son nom. Clotilde fut inhumée d'abord auprès de Clovis son époux dans une église située au lieu de l'actuel Panthéon.

Clotilde's happiness will not be a storybook fairytale henceforth. Her life would in fact be rife with trying moments and tearful separations. She would become a widow when she had not even reached forty years of age. She will go through the pain of witnessing the death of her son Clodomir, in horrible fashion... She will then be even more horrified to see her other two sons, Clotaire and Childebert, slaughter Clodomir's children. It is with much pain in her heart that queen Clotilde flees the Court and seeks refuge in the city of Tours, seeking solace and peace primarily in prayer and silence, near the tomb of another saint, St. Martin. It is in such a contemplative state that she goes back to her Lord on June the 3rd, 545. Her remains are now preserved in Paris, inside the basilica which bears her name. The saintly queen had originally been buried next to her husband in a church located where the current Pantheon is to be found nowadays.

Clotilde est un nom d'origine germanique qui signifie "gloire" (hrod) et "combat" (hild).
Clotilde (or Clothilde) is a name of germanic origin which means "glory" (hrod) and "combat" (hild).

Original French text written by: Frère Bernard Pineau
Translation by: luminous me!

Marthe Robin - from 1930 to 1981, she was given to have stygmata on her person. She had become handicapped at an early age and, from her 25th birthday until her death in 1981, she had become a living symbol of Christ among us. And yet - despite all the evidence that this woman is, without a doubt, as saintly as any saint can possibly have been in all of mankind's history - her case is still being studied and canonization is still not official... More on her story is found here

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