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with joy, and secretly sent for S. Remigius to come and receive the king into the Church. Clovis without difficulty persuaded his nobles, and many of the people, to follow his example. Three thousand of them received holy baptism with him, on Christmasday, in the same year. This joyous event took place at Rheims, amidst circumstances of extraordinary splendour. As S. Remigius led the royal catechumen to the font, he said, Bow thy neck in meekness, O Sicambrian, adore what thou hast hitherto burnt, and burn what thou hast adored. There is a tradition that the holy oil which he used to anoint the king was miraculously provided in a sacred ampulla or vessel, which was preserved for many ages in the cathedral church of Rheims, and was used at the coronation of the kings of France.
S. Remigius, at the same time, baptized the lady Albofledis, sister of the king. She died soon afterwards, and the saint comforted her brother by a letter. Another sister of Clovis, who had fallen into the Arian heresy, renounced her errors, and was reconciled. Clovis bestowed lands upon the Church, which S. Remigius employed in founding new bishoprics, at Laon, Arras, Cambray, Tournay, and other places. Thus of all the states of modern Europe, the kingdom of the Franks was the first to embrace the religion of the Cross. And hence "the most Christian king" of France has ever borne the honourable title of Eldest son of the Church. Anastasius, Bishop of Rome, and S. Avitus of Vienne, wrote to Clovis, to express their joy at his conversion. S. Remigius was made primate of Gaul probably by
S. Symmachus, who succeeded Anastasius in the see of Rome, in 498.
When Clovis was about to march against Alaric, king of the Goths, in the beginning of the sixth century, S. Remigius wrote to him, recommending the practice of many Christian virtues. The saint devoted himself to complete the conversion of the whole nation to Christ. He received power to work many miracles in confirmation of his doctrine, and persuaded the people to destroy their idols. During his episcopate, the councils of Orleans and of Lyons assembled; the former in 511, to decide matters of discipline, and the latter in 517, to condemn the Arians.
Clovis died in 511. S. Remigius survived him many years, and on the 13th of January, 533, as it seems most probable, he passed from earth to heaven, in a good old age. He was buried, according to his own desire, in the chapel of S. Christopher at Rheims, near the altar of S. Geneviève in an adjoining oratory of S. Germanus of Auxerre, which he had built. Pilgrims soon began to flock to it, and to enrich it with their offerings. Within fifty years after his decease, a church was erected over his tomb, "S. Christopher yielding his place to his new guest," as Mabillon observes'. When the sepulchre of S. Remigius was opened, his body was found dried but entire. It was laid under the altar of the church. Besides the sacred ampulla and other relics, a precious chalice which Clovis had given him was long
1 Annal. Ord. Benedict. t. 1. lib. iii. 17.
kept with veneration. It was at length broken up and sold for the redemption of Christian captives.
Early in the eighth century, Moderamnus, or Moderandus, bishop of Rennes, passing through Rheims on his way to Rome, carried the stole and hairshirt of the saint into Italy, and deposited them in the monastery of Bercetum.
In 852, on the 1st of October, Hincmar, bishop of Rheims, again translated the body of S. Remigius into a new crypt, and enclosed it in silver. He reared a shrine above it, which he adorned with gold and precious stones. Upon it were inscribed these lines:
Hoc tibi, Remigi, fabricavi, magne, sepulcrum,
Ut requiem Dominus tribuat mihi, sancte, precatu,
-This sepulchre, to thee, O great Remigius, I, Hincmar, bishop, have erected, led by love of thee. The Lord grant me rest, at thy prayer, and for thy worthy sake, O venerable saint.
In 881 the holy remains were removed to the monastery of Orbacum, beyond the Marne, for fear of the pagans. They were restored with great pomp to Rheims at Christmas, in 901. In 1049, Pope S. Leo IX. translated them into the Benedictine abbey at Rheims, which had been erected to receive them, and appointed the festival of S. Remigius to be celebrated on the 1st of October. He bestowed on the saint the title of the Apostle of the Franks. His feast was anciently kept on the 13th, and sometimes on the 15th of January. Rheims has ever since his age been the metropolitan see of France. A colle
giate church was built there in honour of his nurse Balsamia.
Hid are the saints of God;
Nor raiment soft, nor empire's golden rod
Theirs but the unbought air, earth's parent sod,
And the sun's smile benign ;
Christ rears His throne within the secret heart,
Yet not all-hid from those
Who watch to see ;-'neath their dull guise of earth,
Their heaven-wrought birth.
Meekness, love, patience, faith's serene repose;
And the soul's tutored mirth,
Bidding the slow heart dance, to prove her power
Lyra Apostolica, p. 66.
S. Faith, Virgin and Martyr.
END OF THE THIRD CENTURY.
S. FAITH was the daughter of Christian parents in Agen, a city of Aquitain, in Gaul. Her holy devotion to the King of virgin souls was rewarded with the crown of martyrdom, in the reign of Maximian the colleague of Dioclesian. She suffered probably before the general persecution in 303, and as it is generally supposed, between the years 286 and 292, which Maximian spent in Gaul. Datian was then
governor of the province. He it was who afterwards in Spain tormented the holy martyr S. Vincent. S. Faith endured with firmness a lingering torture. Many who beheld her constancy were converted to the faith, and afterwards shared her triumph. She was at length beheaded, confessing Christ with her last breath. The martyr S. Caprais is sometimes mentioned as her companion, though he is commemorated in the martyrologies on the 20th of October.
The Christians buried their bodies during the night. About the middle of the fifth age, S. Dulcitius, bishop of Agen, built a church in honour of S. Faith, and translated her relics into it. The remains of S. Caprais, and of the other martyrs who suffered at the same time, he carried into another church in the city. In the ninth century the relics of S. Vincent of Agen and of S. Faith were removed to the abbey of Conques, and in 1050 into the new church of the same house. Pope Urban V. in 1365 bestowed part of the remains of S. Faith on the monastery of Cucufat in Catalonia. formerly preserved at Glastonbury. chosen as the patroness of many churches in France. The Benedictine priory of Horsham in Norfolk was dedicated in her honour by Robert Fitzwalter and his wife Sybilla in 1105; and was endowed by king Henry I. A church under the invocation of S. Faith existed in London before the year 1087. In 1312, the crypt underneath the choir of S. Paul's Cathedral was set apart for it. The whole building was consumed in the fire of 1666. A chapel of the same name is used as a cemetery in the modern building.
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