Monday, October 1, 2012

St. Remigius of Reims

Remigius baptizes Clovis (source).
Today's entry for St. Remigius will have to be a fast one.  Here are the basics from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

Apostle of the FranksArchbishop of Reims, b. at Cerny or Laon, 437; d. at Reims, 13 January 533. His feast is celebrated 1 October. His father was Emile, Count of Laon. He studied literature at Reims and soon became so noted for learning and sanctitythat he was elected Archbishop of Reims in his twenty-second year. Thence-forward his chief aim was the propagation ofChristianity in the realm of the Franks. The story of the return of the sacred vessels, which had been stolen from the Church ofSoissons testifies to the friendly relations existing between him and Clovis, King of the Franks, whom he converted to Christianitywith the assistance of St. Waast (Vedastus, Vaast) and St. Clotilda, wife of Clovis. Even before he embraced Christianity Clovishad showered benefits upon both the Bishop and Cathedral of Reims, and after the battle of Tolbiac, he requested Remigius tobaptize him at Reims (24 December, 496) in presence of several bishops of the Franks and Alemanni and great numbers of theFrankish army. Clovis granted Remigius stretches of territory, in which the latter established and endowed many churches. He erected, with the papal consentbishoprics at TournaiCambraiTerouanne, where he ordained the first bishop in 499; Arras, where he placed St. WaastLaon, which he gave to his nephew Gunband. The authors of "Gallia Christiana" record numerous and munificent donations made to St. Remigius by members of the Frankish nobility, which he presented to the cathedral at Reims. In 517 he held a synod, at which after a heated discussion he converted a bishop of Arian views. ... His relics were kept in the cathedral of Reims, whence Hincmar had them translated to Epernay during the period of the invasion by the Northmen, thence, in 1099, at the instance of Leo IX, to the Abbey of Saint-Remy. His sermons, so much admired by Sidonius Apollinaris (lib. IX, cap. lxx), are not extant.

The tomb of St. Remigius (source).
The Golden Legend assures us that, for all his good works and conversion of the Franks, St. Remigius still liked to give people a good zapping:

It is said in that other feast which is after the Epiphany ... how the king was converted to the faith. And the foresaid king Clovis, when he was christened, said that he would give to St. Remigius, for to endow his church, as much land as he might go [walk] about whilst he slept at mid-day, and so it was done. But there was a man which had a mill within the circuit which St. Remigius had closed. And as St. Remigius went about it the milner put him out with great indignation and great despite. And St. Remigius said to him: Friend, have no disdain and let it not be too hard if we have also this mill with that other.
Nevertheless the milner put him out, and anon the wheel of the mill began to turn contrary, and then the milner cried after St. Remigius and said: Servant of God, come and let us have the mill together. 
And St. Remigius said: Nay, it shall neither be mine nor thine, and anon the earth opened and swallowed in all the mill.
And St. Remigius knew by the spirit of prophecy and by the will of God, that a great famine should come, and assembled in a town great plenty of wheat. And the drunken villains of the town mocked and scorned him of his providence [prophecy], and set the garners afire. And when he knew it he came thither, and because he was cold for age and his last time approached fast, he sat down by the fire and warmed him, and said with a peaceable heart: The fire is always good. 
Nevertheless they that made that fire, and all the men of their lineage, were broken in their members and the women gouty. And this endured in the same town unto the time of Charles, which chased and made them go their way, and so disperpled them [dispersed].