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St Remigius

Saint Remigious, or Remi, was the great apostle of the Franks.  They were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as occupying land on the Rhine. In the 3rd Century some Franks raided Roman territory, while others joined the Roman troops in Gaul. The term Frank was used as a synonym for 'Roman Catholic' in the Middle Ages, as the Franks were rulers most of western Europe and were closely affiliated with the Church in Rome.

Remigius was born in Picardy, near to the town of Laon, to noble and pious parents, and grew to be known as learned.  As a boy, Saint Sidonius Apollinaris described him as the most eloquent person of that age.  He was consecrated as Bishop of Reims in 459 AD, at the age of twenty two and it is said that he made up for his lack of experience with fervour, charity and enthusiasm.  Over an episcopacy of seventy years or more, he became famous within the church for these qualities.

Under the protection of the Clovis, King of the Franks, who was baptized by Remigius at Christmas in 496 AD, he spread the gospel of Christ, in which work God endowed him with an extraordinary gift of miracles. With Clovis he gained the whole Frank nation. He threw down the idol altars, built churches, and appointed bishops. He withstood and silenced the Arians, and converted so many that he left France a Catholic Kingdom.  The bishops who were assembled in a conference that was held at Lyons against the Arians in his time, declared they were stirred by the example of Remigius, "who", say they, "has everywhere destroyed the altars of the idols by a multitude of miracles and signs."

Saint Remigius, whom Saint Gregory of Tours refers to as "a man of great learning, fond of rhetorical studies, and equal in his holiness to St. Silvester", died about the year 530. His feast-day is October 1.