Tag Archives: St. Genevieve

Genevieve (422-512)

Feast Day: January 3
Canonized: Pre-congregation

Genevieve was born in Nanterre, a small village outside Paris. Tradition says that St. Germain, the bishop of Auxerre, noticed Genevieve’s piety and predicted that her life would be fully devoted to God.

When she was about 16, Genevieve received the religious habit and moved to Paris to live with her Godmother. She became renowned for her religious works and devotion, often going to church alone at night to pray. Her mystical insights, prophecies and reports of miracles garnered the hatred and jealousy of some neighbors.

A significant event in Genevieve’s life occurred around 451 when Attila and his Hun army were poised to sack Paris. She advised the residents not to flee but rather to join her in prayer and penance. Attila subsequently turned his army away from Paris. In 486, Genevieve again came to her city’s rescue when she led 11 boats full of grain past an enemy blockade. The feat impressed the enemy king and led him to grant her wish to release his prisoners.

Genevieve became known as the patron saint of Paris and of young girls. In 1962, Pope John XXIII named her the patron saint of French security forces.