Short Lives of the Saints – Saint Genevieve, Virgin

detail of an illustration of Saint Genevieve; 1887 by Charles Sprague Pearce; swiped from Wikimedia CommonsEntry

About the year 422, Saint Genevieve was born in a village near Paris named Nanterre. When she was yet a little child, the bishop of Auxerre, Saint Germain, passing near that spot, saw the young Genevieve among the crowd which pressed to welcome him; and discerning in her (by inspiration) the religious vocation, with his own hands invested her, then, with the holy habit. She made, thereafter, rapid progress in piety; but her holiness was exercised and augmented by many tribulations and humiliations. When Paris was besieged, first by Attila and his hosts, and again by Merovee, king of the Franks, Saint Genevieve, on both occasions, was instrumental in saving the city from destruction. She died in 512, and is invoked as the patroness of Paris.

Patience and abnegation of self, and devotion to others,
This was the lesson a life of trial and sorrow had taught her.
So was her love diffused, but, like to some odorous spices,
Suffered no waste or loss, though filling the air with aroma.
Other hope had she none, nor wish in life, but to follow
Meekly, with reverent steps, the sacred feet of her Saviour.
– Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Favorite Practice – A generous courage in trials arising from the ingratitude or injustice of men.

MLA Citation

  • Eleanor Cecilia Donnelly. “Saint Genevieve, Virgin”. Short Lives of the Saints, 1910. CatholicSaints.Info. 1 April 2021. Web. 6 May 2021. <>