The son of a French count, Remigius (Rémi in French) was born around 443. He studied at Reims, showing an early interest in books and his Christian faith. At age 22, Remigius was elected Archbishop of Reims, even though he was not a priest. As archbishop, he worked to spread Christianity throughout France.
Remigius became a friend of Clovis I, king of the Franks. Clovis was a pagan married to a Christian - and future saint B named Clotilda. Remigius wrote letters to the king offering advice on how he should rule. In 496, according to legend, Clovis swore he would convert to Christianity if God helped the Franks to victory over Germanic invaders. Clovis's forces then routed their enemy, and Remigius baptized the king on Christmas Day.
Remigius also baptized many of Clovis's relatives and followers - about 3,000 people in all. The king helped strengthen Christianity in Western Europe and gave his blessing to Remigius to continue his missionary efforts.
On land donated by Clovis, Remigius set up several new bishoprics. He also traveled extensively, making converts. Remigius became famous for his eloquent sermons. One legend says that Remigius was so charismatic, small birds landed on his table and ate from his hands.
The bishop was also associated with miracles. When he baptized Clovis, Remigius did not have any holy oil needed for the ceremony. Suddenly a dove appeared, carrying a small vial of the liquid. Today, Remigius is remembered as the Apostle of the Franks.
your holy missions
helped build God's church here on Earth.
Through your intervention,
may I do all I can
to give others the will to seek redemption.
And may your example inspire us all
to right the social wrongs
that still plague the lives of so many
who put their faith in the Almighty.
From Ordinary People, Extraordinary Lives
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