Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Offsite Post: ‘Facing 2024 with St. Genevieve’


2024 promises to be a breathtaking year politically in Louisiana as Gov. Landry and the new Louisiana Legislature, BESE Board, etc., get to work implementing a conservative/revivalist agenda.  Because of that intensity, it is perhaps all the more essential that we take care not to overlook other important aspects of life in our State.

Before the political fireworks begin exploding in Baton Rouge on January 8th, there is a feast day, January 3rd, celebrating an exceptional French kinswoman of ours, St. Genevieve of Paris.  Here in short are the details of her life:

As a child St. Geneviève met St. Germanus of Auxerre (31st July) who foretold her future sanctity, and at the age of fifteen, she received monastic tonsure. St. Geneviève had the gift of clairvoyance, which at times led many around her to persecute her until the Bishop of Paris came to her defence. When Paris was under attack by the Franks and later by Attila and the Huns, St. Geneviève encouraged those defending the city, and organised groups to pray for God’s protection. St. Geneviève reposed in 500, and ever since has been considered the special protectress and patroness of Paris.

To understand St. Genevieve’s importance for Louisiana today, we must go deeper into her life and legacy:  specifically, to the miracles that she has worked for the people of Paris.

First are the miracles associated with water.  The author Moshe Sluhovsky relates some of them:

In the winter of 834, heavy rains deluged Paris; the city's bishop encouraged the residents to fast and do penance. The only dry church where prayers could be conducted was Genevieve's abbey, where the only dry area was floor found her deathbed, which was kept in the abbey. The waters of the Seine receded immediately. The miracle was compared to Moses' parting of the Red Sea in the Bible and her reliquary was compared to the Ark of the Covenant, which, according to Sluhovsky, authenticated Genevieve's power.[54] In December 1206, Genevieve was called upon to protect the city from a flood; another procession was organised and her relics were, like in 1129-1130, paraded into Paris and relics from other churches were escorted with hers. Her body was brought from the abbey to Notre-Dame, a Mass was said, and then she was returned to the abbey. The Seine receded and even though the relics and the participants in the procession crossed the Petit Pont twice and the bridge's foundations were weakened from the threatening flood waters, it did not collapse until the reliquary was returned and no one was injured.[55] According to Sluhovsky, by the second half of the 1200s and continuing into the early 16th century, a tradition of invoking Genevieve to protect Paris from floods was established . . . .

The link to Louisiana isn’t difficult to discern, as she, like Paris, is surrounded and crisscrossed by numerous bodies of water, which often threaten and sometimes do overflow their boundaries and cause destruction.  Louisianans, like Parisians, ought not to be shy about asking for her intercession when floodwaters threaten.

Second are miracles associated with drought and farming.  Sluhovsky again:

During the 1560s and 1570 and throughout the latter half of the 16th century, Genevieve was invoked for assistance during famines and food shortages, both in Paris and its outlaying areas.[90] Her invocations against water-based disasters, which influenced the country's crop yields, began to include "all sorts of agricultural and meteorological exigencies".[91] As Sluhovsky stated, Genevieve "gradually became the patron saint of subsistence, the supplier of grain to the city".[91] Beginning in late 1500s, most of the processions with her reliquary occurred during the spring and early summer harvest months; in the previous centuries they occurred during the fall and winter, when the Seine was likely to flood.[91] The response to all the major climate disasters of the 17th and 18th centuries were public invocations of Genevieve's interventions.[92]


 . . . In 1694, for example, Paris was in the middle of a severe economic crisis, with poor harvests, bad weather, threats of starvation, and an ongoing war, so the residents of Paris and the Ile-de-France invoked Genevieve her intervention. Spontaneous processions and pilgrimages to St. Genevieve's abbey started in early May, before an official proclamation allowed both clerics and lay people to participate. At first, invocations were made at the abbey, but it was not enough to improve the weather, so a public procession was called for on May 27.[100] . . . Also according to Sluhovsky, "The procession led to the expected results".[102] Rain began immediately after the procession began, saving the country's crops, and other miracles occurred, including a victory against Spain, healings from paralysis, and the decrease in the price of wheat. The government of Paris commissioned a painting commemorating the event by Nicolas de Largillière.[102]

As a State with an economy that is more heavily agricultural than others, these works of St. Genevieve are also of great interest to us.  This past year, Louisiana experienced a severe drought and wildfires along with it, harming crops, livestock, and timber.  We deprived ourselves of a powerful helper in the midst of all that distress by ignoring St. Genevieve.

Last are the miracles associated with protection from war.  Here are a couple.  This one occurred during her lifetime:

 . . .

The rest is at https://thehayride.com/2024/01/garlington-facing-2024-with-st-genevieve/.


Holy Ælfred the Great, King of England, South Patron, pray for us sinners at the Souð, unworthy though we are!

Anathema to the Union!

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