Saint Remigius

Saint Remigius

Infobox Saint
name=Saint Remigius
birth_date=c. 437
death_date=January 13, 533
feast_day=October 1
venerated_in=Roman Catholic Church

caption="Saint Remigius baptizes Clovis I," by the Master of Saint Gilles, c. 1500 (National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC)
birth_place=Cerny-en-Laonnois, Picardy, France
death_place=Rheims, Champagne, France
titles=Bishop and Confessor
attributes=dove, book, lamp

Saint Remigius ( _fr. Saint Rémi or Saint Rémy; _it. Remigio; _es. Remigio; _oc. Romieg; _pl. Remigiusz; and _br. Remig), was Bishop of Reims and Apostle of the Franks, (c. 437January 13, 533). St Remigius effected the conversion to Christianity of Clovis I, King of the Franks, on Christmas eve, in the year 496, one of the turning points in the success of the Roman Catholic Faith and a climactic moment in European history.


Remigius was born, traditionally at Cerny-en-Laonnois, near Laon, Picardy, into the highest levels of Gallo-Roman society. He is said to have been the son of Emilius, count of Laon (who is not otherwise attested) and of Celina, daughter of the Bishop of Soissons, which Clovis had conquered in 486. He studied at Reims and soon became so noted for his learning and sanctity, in addition to his high status, that he was elected Bishop of Reims in his twenty-second year, though still a layman. [ [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Remigius"] ]

The story of the return of the sacred vessels (most notably the Vase of Soissons), which had been stolen from the church of Soissons testifies to the friendly relations existing between him and Clovis, King of the Franks, whom he converted to Christianity with the assistance of Saint Vedast (Vedastus, Vaast, Waast) and Saint Clotilde, the Burgundian princess who was wife to Clovis. Even before he embraced Christianity, Clovis had showered benefits upon Remigius and the Christians of Reims, and after his victory over the Alamanni in the battle of Tolbiac (probably 496), he requested Remigius to baptize him at Reims (December 24, 496) in the presence of a large company of Franks and Alamanni: according to Saint Gregory of Tours, 3,000 Franks were baptized with Clovis. [The legend of the ampulla of holy oil that was used to anoint the kings crowned at Reims originated after St Remigius' time, with Bishop Hincmar of Reims.]

King Clovis granted Remigius stretches of territory, in which the latter established and endowed many churches. He erected bishoprics at Tournai; Cambrai; Thérouanne, where he personally ordained the first bishop in 499; Arras, where he installed St. Vedast; and Laon, which he gave to his niece's husband Gunband. In 530 he consecrated Medardus, Bishop of Noyon. Remigius' brother Principius was Bishop of Soissons and also corresponded with Sidonius Apollinaris, whose letters give a sense of the highly cultivated courtly literary Gallo-Roman style all three men shared. [ [ Book IX, p. viii] ] The chroniclers of "Gallia Christiana" record that numerous donations were made to Remigius by the Frankish nobles, which he presented to the cathedral at Reims.

Though Remigius never attended any of the church councils, in 517 he held a synod at Reims, at which after a heated discussion he converted a bishop of Arian views. Although St Remigius's influence over people and prelates was extraordinary, upon one occasion his condoning of the offences of one Claudius, a priest whom Remigius had consecrated, brought upon him the rebukes of his episcopal brethren, who deemed Claudius deserving of degradation. The reply of Remigius, still extant, is able and convincing.

Few authentic works of Remigius remain: his "Declamations" were elaborately admired by Sidonius Apollinaris, in a finely-turned letter to Remigius, but are now lost. [ [ Book IX, p. vii] ] Four letters survive: one containing his defence in the matter of Claudius, two written to Clovis, and a fourth to Bishop Falco of Tongeren. The "Testament of St. Remigius" is apocryphal. A brief and strictly legendary "Vita" was formerly ascribed to Venantius Fortunatus. Another, according to Jacobus de Voragine, was written by Ignatius, bishop of Reims. [Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, October 1: "St. Remigius." ] A letter congratulating Pope Hormisdas upon his election (523) is apocryphal, and "the letter in which Pope Hormisdas appears to have appointed him vicar of the kingdom of Clovis is proved to be spurious; it is presumed to have been an attempt of Hincmar to base his pretensions for the elevation of Reims to the primacy, following the alleged precedent of Remigius." [ [ Philip Schaff, "The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge," entry by A. Hauck] ]

A Commentary on the Pauline Epistles (edited Villalpandus, 1699) is not his work, but that of Remigius of Auxerre. [Encyclopaedia Britannica" 1911] St Remigius' relics were kept in the Cathedral of Reims, whence Hincmar had them translated to Epernay during the Viking invasions and thence, in 1099, at the instance of Pope Leo IX, to the Abbey of Saint-Rémy. His feast is celebrated on October 1.

ee also

*Vase of Soissons
*Saint Abran, hermit of Brittany

External links

* [ Catholic Encyclopedia: "St. Remigius"]
* [ Philip Schaff, "The New Schaff-Herzog Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge," entry by A. Hauck]


*Jacobus de Voragine, The Golden Legend, October 1: "St. Remigius."
* [ "Of the life of St. Remigius"]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Saint Remigius —     St. Remigius     † Catholic Encyclopedia ► St. Remigius     Apostle of the Franks, Archbishop of Reims, b. at Cerny or Laon, 437; d. at Reims, 13 January 533. His feast is celebrated 1 October. His father was Emile, Count of Laon. He studied… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Remigius — may refer to: *Saint Remigius of Reims (died 533), who converted Clovis I, king of the Franks * Remigius of Lyon, died 875, archbishop *Remigius of Auxerre, died 908, theologian and teacher *Nicholas Remy (1534 1600), French witch hunter… …   Wikipedia

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  • Remigius — (c. 438–c. 533)    Archbishop and Saint.    Remigius was from an aristocratic Frankish family and he became Archbishop of Rheims at the age of twenty two. He is remembered primarily as the one who baptised King clovis. According to legend, the… …   Who’s Who in Christianity

  • Saint-Rémy — Rémy or Rémi is short for and derives from Saint Remigius of Reims, q.v. Saint Rémy or Saint Remy is the name or part of the name of many communes in France:*Saint Rémy, Ain, in the Ain département *Saint Rémy, Aveyron, in the Aveyron département …   Wikipedia

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  • Remigius of Auxerre — Remigius (Remi) of Auxerre (ca. 841 908) was a Benedictine monk during the Carolingian period, a teacher of Latin grammar, and a prolific author of commentaries on classical Greek and Latin texts. He is also accredited with collecting and… …   Wikipedia

  • Remigius von Auxerre — Remigius von Auxerre, lateinisch: Remigius Autissiodorensis, französisch: Remi d’Auxerre (* in Burgund um 841; † um 908) war ein Benediktinermönch, Lehrer und Verfasser von Kommentaren zur Bibel und antiken Texten. Remigius war in der Abtei Saint …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Remigius von Auxerre —   [ o sɛːr], mittellateinischer Autor, * nach 841, ✝ Paris 2. 5. 908 (?); war im Kloster Saint Germain zu Auxerre Schüler Heirics und nach dessen Tod Lehrer ebenda, 893 an die Reimser Domschule berufen; um 900 ging er nach Paris, wo Odo von Cluny …   Universal-Lexikon

  • Remigius, Saint — • Apostle of the Franks, Archbishop of Reims, d. 553 Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006 …   Catholic encyclopedia

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