Tuesday, June 02, 2015

St. Clotilde: Queen and Patron of Parenthood

Today we commemorate the feast of St. Clotilde (c. 474- 545), Queen of France. She is also known as Clotilda and Clothilde.

The daughter of King Chilperic of Burgundy, St. Clotilde was born a princess in Lyons, France, probably around the year 470. In 492 or 493, she married Clovis, king of the Franks, converting him to Christianity on Christmas Day 496.  Following Clovis‘s death in 511, her sons fought for years over the kingdom. She prayed and did penance for them. To escape the constant feuds and murder, she retired to Tours, France, where she spent her remaining 34 years caring for the poor and sick, praying for her family and her country, and building churches.

Queen Clothilde died on June 3, 545  in Tours. When she passed on, a dazzling light and heavenly incense filled the room. She was buried next to her husband, in Saint Genevieve in Paris, a church that she and Clovis founded.

St. Clotilde at prayer was a popular theme in Medieval art. She is represented in art with a battle in the background, in memory of the conversion of Clovis.  Her emblems include: a crown and holding a church in her hands. She is the patroness of: adopted children, brides, disappointing children, parenthood, parents of large families, people in exile, queens, and widows.

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