| By Candace Bryant-Lester, assistant editor at FAITH Catholic

St. Clotilde


Feast: June 3 | Queen of the Franks

Clotilde was a Christian princess, born in the fifth century, who hailed from Burgundy, France; she married Clovis, chief of the pagan warrior Franks. Their marriage was a popular theme for many storytellers, but the facts beyond the legends show the deep respect the king had for his wife despite their differences in faith.

Although Clovis led a pagan kingdom, Clotilde practiced her Christian faith unhindered. Clotilde wanted all five of her children baptized, and Clovis agreed. Throughout their marriage, Clotilde prayed ceaselessly for her husband’s salvation, and eventually her prayers were answered. Clovis became the first Catholic king of France after promising Clotilde that he would convert if God helped him win a battle he was losing. The battle was won, and Clovis was baptized by St. Remigius, who was Archbishop of Reims.

The baptism of their sons, and eventually the conversion of Clovis, assured the future of Catholicism for many years in the kingdom of the Franks.

In 511, Clotilde and Clovis built a great church in Paris and named it Sts. Peter and Paul; it has since been renamed St. Genevieve. Clovis died soon after, which set off vicious feuding among their sons over who would control the kingdom. Clotilde was unable to stop their fighting and so retired to an abbey in Tours, near the tomb of St. Martin. She spent the rest of her life tending to the sick and poor, giving alms and praying at the tomb of St. Martin of Tours until she died in 545. St. Clotilde and Clovis are buried at the church they founded in Paris.