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December 22, 2012

Sainte Genevieve of Paris (422-512): 'I know it, I see it. The Huns will not come'.

I know it, I see it. The Huns will not come.

And what or who is your Attila? In 451, Sainte Genevieve (422-512) saved Parisians from the Huns, the legend goes. 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 still-grateful Paris erected a statue to her on the Pont de la Tournelle, a bridge 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. She hasn't worked that magic on me. But I visit St. Genevieve in Paris anyway. You walk in a southwesterly direction--from, say, the Place des Vosges on the Right Bank--to get to the Left Bank, and use that bridge: Pont de la Tournelle. If you do, you walk right under Genevieve, with Notre Dame and Ile Saint Louis on your right.


Posted by JD Hull at December 22, 2012 12:59 AM


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