Venerable Mother Genevieve of Paris

January 3

Saint Genevieve was born to noble and wealthy parents in Gaul (modern day France), near Paris in 422 AD. As was custom at the time, Genevieve would tend her father’s flock from a young age, keeping vigil and prayer at all times. When she was seven years old, Saint Germanus, Bishop of Auxerre, passed through her village and noticed her. He kissed her on the head and proclaimed to her parents that she would become great in the sight of God, leading many to salvation. Genevieve expressed her wishes to consecrate her virginity to Christ and to take up monasticism, and so the Bishop blessed her and gave her a brass coin with an engraved Cross, telling her to wear no other jewellery around her neck or on her fingers and she obeyed. One time, Attila the Hun was approaching Paris to sack the city, however Genevieve prayed fervently and for no apparent reason, Attila and his army retreated and did not attack. At fifteen years of age, Genevieve entered the monastic life and excelled in prayer and virtue, receiving the gift of clairvoyance and wonderworking, a holy vessel as seen by the Parisians. Possibly the most famous story about Saint Genevieve is when one stormy night, she and her nuns were on their way to church when the wind blew out their candles. The Saint made the sign of the Cross over one of the candles and it was miraculously relit with a bright flame, allowing them to journey safely to the service. Saint Genevieve lived out her days in prayer, vigil, and fasting, living up to 89 years old when she reposed peacefully in the Lord.

Tone I. The soldiers keeping watch.
The Shepherds that kept watch once beheld Christ our Saviour, and thou, o Maid of God, as a shepherdess of pure heart didst worship the Great Shepherd of the true flock of the chosen lambs. Wherefore, guard us from the wolves that come in sheep’s clothing, and with love do thou lead us to Heavenly pastures, O most holy Genevieve.
Tone IV. On this day.
By thy prayers, O Genevieve, the hordes of enemies were turned back and put to flight; for thy great audience with God preserved the people from all distress. Wherefore disdain not the cries of those who honour thee.
Charity and love for thy fellow man filled thy heart to brimming, and transfigured thy blessed soul; for the Lord was with thee in mighty deeds and wonders, O Genevieve, most hallowed handmaid of Christ our God.