October 2011- St. Remigius, Bishop of Rheims

St. Remigius, Bishop of RheimsWhen a bishop was needed in Reims, the clergy and people carried him off from his retreat and made him their bishop. He was only twenty-two years old at the time.

The holy bishop soon became renowned throughout northern Gaul. He converted pagans; brought heretics back to the Orthodox Faith and cared for the many who suffered at the hands of barbarian marauders. Wherever he went, miracles attended him. He healed the sick and cast out demons.  Once, when a town was on fire, he walked into the flames and quenched them. Birds would come to his table whenever he ate, and he would share his meal with them.

In 482 the young warrior Clovis became leader of the Frankish tribes in that region. Though he was a pagan, he knew and admired Bishop Remigius.  Clovis was married to a Christian who later became a saint, St Clotilde (June 3). When his army faced defeat by the Alemanii, Clovis prayed to 'the God of Clotilde and Remigius' and achived a great victory. This answer to his prayers convinced him of the truth of the Christian Faith, and he asked Bishop Remigius to instruct him. Two years later, he gathered all his chieftains in Rheims to attend his baptism. The baptism was accompanied by many miracles, seen by all in attendance. According to St. Gregory of Tours, two of the king's sisters and three thousand of his lords and soldiers were baptized at the ceremony. This event is considered the birth of France as a Christian nation.

In great old age, Bishop Remigius went blind, but miraculously recovered his sight. He reposed in peace at the age of 105, immediately after serving the Divine Liturgy.

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