This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access. René Alméras. July La vie du vénérable serviteur de Dieu Vincent de Paul, instituteur et premier supérieur général de la Congrégation de la Mission.

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Bathilde 1 , Jan. Queen of France. Patron and founder of the abbeys of Chelles and Corbie. Represented as queen and nun, with a ladder, in allusion to a vision, or as a pun upon the word Chelles échelle, a ladder. Wife of Clovis II.

Of Clovis II. Denis says, "De cestui roy Loys puet l'en plus dire de mal que de mal que de bien. His wife was "de liguage Saisoigne, Bauthicut avoit non, sainte dame et religieuse et plaine de la paour nostre Seignour; et si estoit sage dame et de grant biauté, si fu celle qu l'en dit sainte Bauthieut de Chelle.

According to Sismondi, she had refused to become the mistress of Erkonwald. She is claimed by the English hagiographers as an Anglo-Saxon lady of rank, carried off by pirates, and sold in France to Erkonwald's first wife, on whose death Erkonwald proposed to marry Bathilde, but she fled, and only returned to his service when he had married again.

Others say she was daughter of a king in Germany, and was carried captive in war by Clovis. As a fact, her origin is unknown. Mezeray observes on this point that when one has risen to high rank, "on n'a qu'a choisir la race dont on veut être descendu. Denis near the abbey. The traffic was protected by the abbot. When Bathilde became queen she enacted laws to mitigate the condition of slaves, and to prevent Christians being sold as such.

One day Clovis II. Denis to see the holy relics. Not content with looking at them, he wished to have one to wear, and therefore broke off a bone of the arm of St. The same hour the king was struck with madness. To appease the offended saint, he gave him several towns, and had the bone covered with pure gold and gems, and put back.

He recovered his memory, and lived two years more, but was never the same man again. After his death, in , Bathilde was Regent for some years. She was universally respected, but she seems to have confined her attention to matters ecclesiastical and religious, leaving secular affairs mainly in the hands of the mayors of the palace.

She succeeded, however, in relieving the poor people from some of their grievances, especially a capitation tax, which caused great misery. She is a remarkable instance of a woman raised from the lowest to the highest station, acting invariably with conscientious discretion, sympathizing with those whose sufferings she had once known, generous and kind to all, the friend of the best and greatest men of her time. Bathilde's great devotion to St.

Eloy, goldsmith, prime minister, and bishop, was probably inspired by his kindness to Saxon slaves, as well as by his other saintly qualities. In she heard he was dying. She hastened to Noyon, with the little kings, the court, and a crowd of nobles, who had a great affection for the venerable prelate.

The queen, in the depth of her sorrow, had only the consolation of uncovering and reverently kissing the dead face. She wished to bury him in her monastery of Chelles. The nobles wanted to have him laid in their capital. The clergy and people of Noyon considered him their own saint, and refused to give up the sacred remains.

The departed bishop declared for his own flock, for when the coffin was to be taken away, it was found impossible to move it. As he was to be buried in the monastery of St. Loup afterwards called St. Eloi , Bathilde insisted on accompanying the funeral cortège on foot, and would not mount the horse provided for her. Her three sons, like the rest of the fainéant kings, were puppets in the hands of the mayors of the palace, who divided the three kingdoms among their nominal masters, dethroning or reinstating them at will, and quarrelling and fighting for their own interests all the time.

The most distinct account I have met with of these fainéant reigns is in Mezeray's History of France. To quote again the Chronicle of St. Denis— "Dès lors commença li roiaume de France à abeisser et à décheoir et li Roi à fourlignier du sens et de la puissance de leur ancessours. Si estoit le roiaumes gouvernez par Chambellenz et par Connestables qui estoient apelé Maistre du palais ne li Roi n'avoient tant seulement que le non, ne de riens ne servoient fors de boire et de mengier.

En un chastel ou en un manon demouroient toute l'anée jusques aus Kal de May. Lors issoient hors en un chaarz pour saluer le pueple, et pour estre salué d'eulz, dons et presens prenoient, et aucuns en rendoient, puiz retournoient à l'ostel et estoient einssi jusqu' aus autres Kal de May. It had been given to Gontland, a Frank, but feudal grants were not yet hereditary, and on his death it became the property of the three little imbecile kings.

For their souls, the soul of their mad father, her own soul, and the good of the people, Bathilde built at Corbie the famous monastery of St. Peter, for monks under the rule of St.

During her husband's life she had magnificently refounded the abbey of St. George at Chelles on the Marne, about ten miles from Paris. It was first founded by St. Clotilda 1. After some years of regency, Bathilde retired from the cares of government, and placed herself under St. Bertilla , whom she had appointed Abbess of Chelles.

She declined any distinction as queen or foundress, but swept the cloisters and worked in the kitchen like the humblest nun. On her death-bed she was cheered with a vision of a luminous ladder, which angels were calling her to ascend.

Her name is in the R. Sismondi, Histoire des Français. Le Glay, La Gaule Belgique. Chronicle of St. Mezeray, Life of St. Bertha, and other saints of the period, given by Bouquet, Butler, Baillet, and the other collectors of Lives of Saints.


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