Feast Day: January 30
Born:(around)615 :: Died:680
The story begins around the year 630. A frightened, Christian English girl had been kidnapped and was on a pirate ship. Where was she going? Who could she ask? Finally, the ship docked and she heard people saying they were in France. Bathildis was quickly sold as a slave to Erkenwald, the Mayor of the Palace of King Clovis.
The rest of the story is like a Cinderella fairy tale, except that this story is really true. The quiet girl paid careful attention as her duties were explained or showed to her. Each day, she went from one task to another doing the very best she could. When she was older she was put in charge of the household.
Bathildis was shy and gentle, but even King Clovis began to notice her. The more he observed, the more he was impressed. This was the kind of girl who would make a wonderful wife - even for a king.
In 649, Clovis married Bathildis. The little slave girl had become the queen. They had three sons. Clovis died when the oldest son was only five, and Bathildis became ruler of France until her sons grew up.
Everyone was surprised that Bathildis could rule so wisely. She remembered only too well her years as a slave and what it was like to be poor. She had been sold as if she were a "thing of no importance." Bathildis wanted everyone to know how precious they were to God.
She was filled with love for Jesus and his Church. She used her royal position to help and protect the Church in every way she could. As queen, she did not become proud or haughty but cared for the poor. She also made a law that protected Christians from being captured and sold as slaves.
She filled France with hospitals. She started a seminary to train priests and a convent for nuns. When her son Clotaire was fifteen, Queen Bathildis handed the throne over to him and entered the convent of Chelles.
As a nun, she set aside her royal dignity and became humble and obedient. She never demanded or even expected that other people should treat her like royalty. She was also very kind and gentle with the sick. She suffered a long, painful illness before her death on January 30, 680.
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