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August 30, 2008

Genevieve standing watch.

Get down on your knees and pray! I know it, I see it. The Huns will not come.

Sainte Genevieve (422-512) saved Parisians from the Huns, the legend goes, in 451. People had started to flee Paris in anticipation of the invasion led by Attila--but stopped when she told them she had a vision that the Huns would not enter Paris. She became the city's patron saint. In 1928, a grateful Paris erected a statue to her on the Pont de la Tournelle (now about 400 years old). Genevieve is facing east, the direction from which the Huns approached. She is also said to have converted Clovis, king of the pagan Franks, to Christianity. If you walk from the Right Bank to the Left Bank near the Ile Saint Louis, you walk right under her, with Notre Dame on your right.


Posted by JD Hull at August 30, 2008 11:59 PM


I hadn't heard of Genevieve before. (I'm shamefully behind on my hagiographies.) Marvelous legend.

I wonder if it accounts in part for the popularity of the name Genevieve in Quebec?

Do you happen to have the "other side" of the story? Now I'm curious whether there's an existing secular account of the Huns' movements.

Posted by: Shaula Evans at July 8, 2008 01:09 PM

Genevieve is a family name and a great story.

Posted by: Tertium Quid at July 13, 2008 09:48 PM

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