Compiled by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, 1275
Englished by William Caxton, First Edition 1483
From the Temple Classics Edited by F.S. Ellis
Also available in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format
HERE FOLLOWETH THE LIFE OF ST. GENEVIEVE
Caxton added this life to his edition of the Golden Legend, but it was not a part of Voragine’s original.
The noble St. Genevieve was born at Nanterre, beside Paris, in the time of the emperor Honorius and Theodosius the less, and was with her father and mother unto the time of the emperor Valentinian. Anon after her nativity, the Holy Ghost showed unto St. Germain of Auxerre how she should serve God holily and virginly, the which thing he told to many.
After, she was sacred of [consecrated by] the bishop of Chartres, Viliques, and came to dwell at Paris full of virtues and of miracles, in the time of St. Nicasius the martyr (whom the Hungarians martyred); and after, in the time of St. Remigius under Childeric, king of France; and after, under Clovis his son – first Christian king of France, and was named Louis in his baptism, whom St. Remigius christened. And an angel of paradise brought to him an ampul [vessel] full of chrism of which he was anointed, and also his successors, kings of France, be anointed and sacred at their coronation. And after, he was of good life, and founded the church that is now called St. Genevieve, on the mount of Paris, in the honour of St. Peter and St. Paul, at the request of St. Clotilde his wife, of whom the body resteth in the said church, at the incitation of St. Genevieve, and St. Remigius did hallow and dedifie it.
The said king [Clovis] did increase much the realm of France, and franchised it by his puissance from the Romans. He conquered Melun, and the land lying by Seine and Loire, Touraine, Toulouse, and all Guienne, and at his coming to Angouleme the walls of the city fell down. He made Almaine and Bourgogne his tributaries, he ordained and instituted Paris to be the chief siege of the realm, and he reigned thirty years, and after, he was interred in the said church, the year of our Lord five hundred and fourteen.
In the time of the said king lived the said virgin, unto the time of king Clothaire his son, of which virgin the soul flew into heaven and the body abode in earth, in the said church, in which she is yet whole and honorably interred, and devoutly worshipped by the good and devout Christian people.
St. Germain Invites Genevieve to the Religious Life
In the time that the said virgin St. Genevieve was a child, St. Germain of Auxerre and St. Lew of Troyes, elect of the prelates of France for to go quench an heresy that was in Great Britain (now called England), came to Nanterre for to be lodged and harboured. The people came against them for to have their benison [blessing]. Among the people, St. Germain, by the enseignements of the Holy Ghost, espied out the little maid St. Genevieve, and made her to come to him, and kissed her head and demanded her name, and whose daughter she was, and the people about her said that her name was Genevieve, and her father Severe, and her mother Geronce, which came unto him.
And the holy man said: Is this child yours?
They answered: Yea.
Blessed be ye, said the holy man, when God hath given to you so noble lineage, know ye for certain that the day of her nativity, the angels sang and hallowed great mystery in heaven with great joy and gladness; she shall be of so great merit against God. And of her good life and conversation many shall take ensample, that they shall leave their sin and shall convert them to God, and shall live religiously, by which they shall have pardon and joy perdurable.
Then he said to Genevieve: My daughter tell to me, and be not ashamed, if ye will be sacred and live in virginity unto the death, as espouse of Jesu Christ?
The maid answered: Holy father, ye demand that I desire; there lacketh no more but that by your prayers our Lord will accomplish my devotion.
The holy man said: Have firm belief in God, and prove by works the good things that ye believe in your heart and say with your mouth, and our Lord shall give you force and virtue.
St.Germain held his hand on her head till he came unto the minster, there he gave to the people the benison. St. Germain said to the father and mother of the maid that they should bring her again on the morn to him. When she was brought again on the morn, St. Germain saw in her a sign celestial, I wot [know] not what, and said to her: God thee saluteth, Genevieve. Daughter, rememberest thou what thou promisedst to me yesterday of the virginity of thy body?
Holy father, said the maid, I remember well that, and by the help of God I desire and think to accomplish my purpose.
Then the holy man looked on the ground and saw a penny signed with the cross, which came by the grace and will of God; he took it up and gave it her and said: Fair daughter take this and bear it in mind of Jesu Christ your espouse, and suffer not about you none other arrayment of gold ne silver, ne of precious stones, for if the beauty of this world surmount a little your thought, ye shall lose the goods of heaven.
He commended her to God, and prayed her that she would remember him in her orisons and prayers, and recommended her to father and mother. The two holy bishops went from thence into England, where were heretics against the faith, which said that children born of father and mother baptized had no need to be christened, which is not truth, for our Lord Jesu Christ saith clearly, in the gospel, that none may enter into the kingdom of heaven if he be not regenerate of water and of the Holy Ghost, that is to say, regenerate by the sacrament of baptism.
By this scripture, and by semblable, the holy prelates destroyed their false creance and belief, and by virtue also and by miracles, for in a solemnity of Easter, by many that were new baptized, in singing Alleluia they chased and drove away their enemies of Scotland, and strangers of other places, that were come for to grieve them.
Genevieve is Consecrated, Despite Her Mother’s Opposition
It happed on a day that Geronce, the mother of the holy maid Genevieve, went on an holy and festal day toward the minster [church of a monastery], and her daughter went after, saying that the faith that she had promised to St. Germain she should keep by the help of God and that she should oft go to the minster to the end that she might desire to be the espouse of Jesu Christ, and that she might be worthy of his love.
The mother was angry and smote her on the cheek. God avenged the child that the mother became blind, and that in twenty-one months she saw not. When the mother had been long in this pain, which much annoyed her, she remembered of the goodness that St. Germain had said of her daughter, and called her and said: My daughter, go to the pit and fetch me water.
The maid went hastily; when she was at the pit she began to weep because her mother had lost her sight for her sake, and took up water and bare it to her mother. The mother stretched her hands to heaven, and took the water with great faith and reverence, and made her daughter to sign her with the sign of the holy cross and wash her eyes, and anon she began for to see a little. When she had twice or thrice washed, her sight came whole to her again as it had been tofore.
After this it happed that the holy maid was offered to the bishop of Chartres, Viliques, for to be sacred [consecrated] with two other elder maidens; for men [someone] offered them after their age. But the holy bishop knew by the Holy Ghost that Genevieve was the most worthy and digne [worthy], and said to her, that was behind, that she should come before, for God had then sanctified her.
Genevieve at Paris
After the death of her father and her mother the holy damsel came and dwelt at Paris for to assay and prove her there, and for to avail the more she was sick of the palsy, so much that it seemed that her members were disjoined and departed that one from that other, whereof she was so sore tormented that during three days she was kept as for dead, for there appeared on her no sign of life save that her jowes [cheeks] were a little red. In this space and time, as she confessed after, an angel led her in spirit whereas the rest was of good folk, and where the torment was of evil people. Afterward she showed to many the secrets of their consciences, as she that was taught and enseigned [instructed] of the Holy Ghost.
The second time St. Germain returned from England and came to Paris the people almost all went against him with great joy, and tofore all other things St. Germain demanded how Genevieve did, but the people, which more is inclined to say evil of good people than well, answered that of her was nothing, in blaming her, which was to her a praising. Of other men's praising is none the better, ne of others blaming is none the worse, therefore the holy man set nought of their jangling, but as soon as he entered into the city he went straight to the house of the holy virgin, whom he saluted in so great humility that all they marvelled, and showed to them that dispraised her, the ground wet of her tears, and recited to them the beginning of her life, and how he found at Nanterre that she was chosen of God, and recommended her to the people.
She Plans the Defense Against Attila the Hun
Tidings came to Paris that Attila, the felon king of Hungary, had enterprised to destroy and waste the parts of France, and to subdue them to his domination. The burgesses of Paris, for great dread that they had, sent their goods into other cities more sure. St. Genevieve warned and admonished the good women of the town that they should wake in fastings and in orisons, by which they might assuage the ire of our Lord and eschew the tyranny of their enemies, like as did sometime the two holy women Judith and Esther. They obeyed her, and were long and many days in the church in wakings, fastings and in orisons. She said to the burgesses that they should not remove their goods, ne send them out of the town of Paris, for the other cities that they supposed should be more sure, should be destroyed and wasted, but by the grace of God, Paris should have none harm. And, some had indignation at her, and said that a false prophet was risen and appeared in their time, an began among them to ask and treat whether they should drown her or stone her.
Whilst they were thus treating, as God would, came to Paris, after the decease of St. Germain, the archdeacon of Auxerre, and when he understood that they treated together of her death, he came to them and said: Fair sirs, for God's sake do not this mischief, for she of whom ye treat, St. Germain witnesseth that she was chosen of God in her mother's belly, and lo! here be the letters that he hath sent to her in which he recommendeth him to her prayers.
When the burgesses heard these words recited by him of St. Germain, and saw the letters, they marvelled and feared God, and left their evil counsel and did no more thereto. Thus our Lord kept her from harm, which keepeth alway them that be his, and defendeth, after that the apostle saith, and for her love did so much that the tyrants approached not Paris, thank and glory to God and honour to the virgin.
This holy maid did great penance in tormenting her body all her life, and became lean for to give good example. For sith she was of the age of fifteen years unto fifty, she fasted every day save Sunday and Thursday. In her refection [eating] she had nothing but barley bread, and sometime beans, the which, sodden after fourteen days or three weeks, she ate for all delices [as a delicacy]. Always she was in prayers in wakings and in penances, she drank never wine ne other liquor, that might make her drunk, in all her life. When she had lived and used this life fifty years, the bishops that were that time, saw and beheld that she was over feeble by abstinence as for her age, and warned her to increase a little her fare.
The holy woman durst not gainsay them, for our Lord saith of the prelates: Who heareth you heareth me, and who despiseth you, despiseth me, and so she began by obedience to eat with her bread, fish and milk, and how well that, she so did, she beheld the heaven and wept, whereof it is to believe that she saw appertly [openly] our Lord Jesu Christ after the promise of the gospel that saith that, Blessed be they that be clean of heart for they shall see God; she had her heart and body pure and clean.
There be twelve virtues virginal, saith Hermes Pastor, without which no virgin may be agreeable to God, that is to wit: Faith, abstinence, patience, magnanimity, simplesse, innocence, concord, charity, discipline, chastity, truth, and prudence. These virtues accomplished the holy virgin by work, she taught and enseigned by word, and showed oft by ensample.
She Has a Church Constructed to Honor the Relics of Saint Denis
Oft and tofore all other holy places, she visited the place whereas rested St. Denis and his fellows, and had great devotion to edify [build] upon the said holy bodies a church, but she had not whereof [did not have the means]. On a time came to her the priests, as oft they had done tofore, to whom she said: Reverend Fathers in God, I pray and require that each of you do his power and his devoir to assemble matter whereof might be made and edified a church in the honour of the glorious martyrs St. Denis and his fellows, for the place where they rest ought much to be worshipped and doubted [reverenced], which first taught to our ancestors the faith.
Dame, answered the priests, we would fain, and have great will thereto, but we can get no chalk ne lime.
Then said the holy virgin with a glad cheer in prophesying as she that was replenished by the Holy Ghost: Go ye I pray you to Paris upon the great bridge, and bring that ye shall find there.
They went thither and abode there a while, marvelled and abashed. And anon came by them two swineherds speaking together, of which that one said: As I went yesterday after one of my sows, I found a fournil [limekiln] of lime marvellously great.
That other answered: And I found in the wood under the root of a tree that the wind had thrown down a fournil of lime of which I trow was never none taken away.
When the priests heard this they had great admiration, and blessed our Lord that had given such grace to Genevieve his handmaid. They demanded where the fournils were, and after returned and told to the virgin what they had found.
She began to weep for joy, and as soon as the priests were gone and departed, she set on her knees and was all the night in orisons and in tears, in requiring help of God to perform this work, and on the morn early, all mat [tired] and travailed of waking [staying awake], she went to Genese, a good priest, and prayed him that he would do his pain and labour that the church might be edified, and told him tidings of the lime.
When Genese heard this he was all amarvelled, and fell down to her feet and promised to her that night and day he would do his labour to accomplish her commandment. By the help of God and of St. Genevieve, and of the people of Paris, the said church was begun in the honour of the blessed martyrs St. Denis, St. Rustique, and St. Eleuthere which now is called St. Denis de Lestree. There be yet the holy bodies where our Lord showeth fair miracles, for as the workmen entended to make the edifice each after his craft, it happed that their drink failed [ran out] and was done, and Genese the priest said to Genevieve, which knew not hereof, that she should talk with the workmen so long that he might go to Paris and fetch drink.
When she heard this she demanded for the vessel that they had emptied, and it was brought to her; she made them to depart from her. Then she kneeled down on her knees and prayed God with warm tears to help her, and when she felt that our Lord had heard her prayer, she arose up, and made the sign of the cross upon the said vessel, and a marvellous thing happed, for the vessel was full. The workmen drank their bellyful, and as oft as they would, unto the time the church was perfectly made, whereof they thanked our Lord.
Miracles of St. Genevieve
The holy virgin had devotion to wake the night that our Lord rose from death to life, after the custom and statutes of ancient fathers. It happed on a time that she put her on the way, tofore day, to go to the said church of St. Denis, and made to bear a candle burning tofore her. The night was dark, the wind great, and it rained fast, which quenched the light of the candle.The maidens that were in her company were sore troubled; she asked after the candle, and as soon as she had it in her hand it was lighted by God's will again, and so she bare it burning unto the church.
Another time when she had ended her prayer, a candle that she held, lighted in her hand by the grace of God.
Semblably in her cell, on a time was a candle lighted in her hand without any fire of this world, of which candle many sick folk by their faith and reverence have been healed. That taper is kept yet at Notre Dame de Paris.
The Woman Who Stole St. Genevieve’s Shoes and Was Blinded
A woman which by the temptation of the devil, which to his power always deceiveth the good, stole away her shoes, but as soon as she was at home she lost her sight. When she saw that our Lord had avenged the wrong that she had done to the virgin, she did her to be led to her with the theft. When she came tofore the holy virgin she fell down to her feet, and required her of forgiveness and restoring of her sight. Genevieve, that was right debonair [mild], took her up from the ground, and in smiling, gave to her the sight again of her eyes.
The Paralytic Girl
The holy virgin on a time went to Laon, and the people of the town went out against her, among whom were the father and mother of a maid that had been nine years so paralytic that none might show the jointure of her members. They besought and required St. Genevieve that she would visit the sick maid. She went and saw her, and sith made her prayer as she was accustomed, and after, handled the members of the maid, and commanded her to do on her clothes and hosen and shoes. Incontinent [immediately] she arose in good health in such wise that she went unto the church with the people. The folk that saw this blest our Lord, that had given such grace to his damsel Genevieve, and when she returned they conveyed her, singing with great joy.
The Gates That Opened to Her
The king of France, Childeric, how be it he was a paynim, held her in great reverence, so did also the barons of France, for the fair miracles that she did in the name of our Lord Jesu Christ. Whereof It happed on a time that the said king held certain prisoners judged to death, but because Genevieve should not demand them, he issued out of Paris, and made to shut the gates after him. The holy virgin knew it anon, and went hastily after him for to help to deliver them. As soon as she came to the gates, they opened without key, all the people seeing which, thought it a great wonder. She pursued the king and obtained grace for the prisoners.
Her Name Known to a Good Man in the Orient
In the parts of the Orient beyond Antioch, was a good man named Simeon, which had despised this world, and was of marvellous holy life, which demanded of St. Genevieve of the merchants that went in to those parts, and by them he saluted her much honourably, and recommended him unto her prayers. It was a great marvel that the holy man which had never seen ne heard speak of her did do greet her by her name. Verily the friends of God that know his will and do thereafter, have tidings that one from that other by administration of [owing to the assistance of] the Holy Ghost, they shall never be separate ne departed, as St. Ambrose being at Milan knew of the death of St. Martin at Tours.
She Delivers St. Céline from a Would-Be Fiancé
At Meaux was a noble damsel which was named by her proper name Celine, which, when she had heard of the grace that God had given to St. Genevieve, she required her to change her habit [i.e., enter the religious life]. A young man had fianced and trothed her, which had great indignation when he heard of those tidings, and came to Meaux in a great ire, where the two virgins dwelt; and when they knew of his coming they fled unto the church. There happed a fair miracle, for as they came to the church door, which was locked and fast shut, the door that was so locked opened by his gree by himself; thus St. Genevieve delivered St. Celine from peril and from the contagion of the world, the which persevered in abstinence, and in chastity to her end.
She Heals St. Céline’s Chambermaid
In this time the said Celine offered to St. Genevieve one, her chamberer, which had lain sick two years and might not go; the holy virgin handled her members with her worthy hands and anon she was whole and in good point.
The Twelve Demoniacs
There were brought to her twelve men that were wood [mad] and beset with devils, unto Paris, which were over hard bestead and tormented of the enemy. The virgin had great pity, and went to prayer and orisons in requiring [begging] our Lord, with salt tears, that by his grace and goodness he would deliver them of this pestilence. And as she persevered in her prayers, they were hanged in the air in such manner as they touched nothing. She arose from her prayer, and said that they should go to St. Denis.
The wood men answered that they might [could] not but [unless] she unbound them. The virgin which was for them in great sorrow commanded that they should go; then anon they suffered them to be led secretly, their hands bound behind their backs. She went after them, and when she was in the church of St. Denis, she stretched herself on the ground in orisons and in weepings. Thus as she persevered in prayers and weepings, the wood men cried with a high voice that they approached whom the virgin called in to their help.
None ought to doubt that the enemy, that saw that he must needs issue and go out, signified by the mouth of the demoniacs, that the apostles, martyrs and other saints, that the holy virgin called, came unto her help by the gift of God, which is ready to do the will of them that dread him and call him in truth.
When the holy virgin heard this that they said, she arose up and blessed each after other with the sign of the cross, and anon they were delivered of the enemies. They that were present felt so great stench that they doubted nothing but the souls were delivered from the vexation of the devil, and blessed our Lord for this miracle.
The Deflowered Nun
There was at Bourges a damsel, which heard speak of the great renomee [reputation] of this holy saint, and came to Paris for to speak to her. She had been sacred [consecrated], but after the consecration she had lost her virginity. The holy Genevieve demanded of her if she was a virgin nun, or wife, or a widow. She answered that she was a virgin sacred; Genevieve said nay, telling to her the place and time of her defloration and the man that had done the fait [deed]. When she saw that it was for nought that she said she was a virgin, her conscience remorsed her, and fell down to her feet in requiring pardon. In semblable wise the holy Genevieve discovered to many the secrets of their consciences, which be not here written because it were over noyous and long to write.
She Revives a Dead Boy
A woman whom the holy virgin had healed, had a child of the age of four years which felI in a pit. He was therein the space of three hours. The mother came and drew it out, and bare it all dead unto the saint, in rending her hair and beating her breast and paps, and weeping bitterly, and laid the child dead at her feet. The holy virgin covered it with her mantle, and after, she fell down in her prayers and wept, and anon after, when she ceased of her weeping, our Lord showed a fair miracle, for the child that was dead revived, the which was baptized at Easter after, and was named Celonier because she was raised in the cell of St. Genevieve.
The Withered Hand
There came from Meaux a man to this holy virgin which had his hand dried unto the wrist, and she handled his joints and fingers, and made thereon the sign of the cross, and anon the hand became all whole.
A Blind Woman
Genevieve that knew well, that our Lord Jesu Christ was baptized the day of Epiphany, and after, went into desert in giving enseignement [instruction] to them that be regenerate in the sacrament of baptism, to fast, wake and adore busily, and to accomplish by work the grace that they have taken in the baptism, by the ensample of sweet Jesu Christ. Then entered the holy virgin in to her cell the Sunday tofore the said feast, and abode there as recluse unto the Thursday, absolute in waking, in prayers, in tastings and orisons. Thither came a woman to see her, more for curiosity than for good faith, and therefore God punished her, for as soon as she approached the door of the cell she lost her sight and became blind, but the holy maid by her debonairty [mildness], and by her prayer gat her sight again, and by the sign of the holy cross, when she issued out of her cell in the end of Lent.
In the time that the city of Paris was assieged by the term of ten years, like as the ancient histories rehearse, there followed so great famine and hunger that many died for hunger. The holy virgin, that pity constrained her, went to the Seine for to go fetch by ship some victuals [foodstuffs]. When she came unto a place of Seine, whereas of custom ships were wont to perish [often sank], she made the ship to be drawn to the rivage [bank] and commanded to cut down a tree that was in the water, and she set her to prayer. Then, as the ship should have smitten upon the tree it fell down, and two wild heads, grey and horrible, issued thereout, which stank so sore that the people there were envenomed by the space of two hours, and never after perished ship there, thank be to God and to his holy saint.
She Heals a Woman with Palsy
Unto Arcy, the castle, went this holy virgin, and there came against her a great lord which required her that she should visit his wife, which had had long time the palsy. The holy virgin went and visited her which had been long sick, with prayers and orisons, and after, blessed her with the sign of the cross, and commanded her that she should arise. She then, that had been four years sick and might not help herself, arose, which seeing, all the people thanked our Lord.
From Arcy she went to Troyes in Champagne. The people came to meet with her, and offered to her great multitude of sick people without number. She blessed them and signed them with the sign of the cross, and incontinent [immediately] they were healed in the sight of all the people, which marvelled much and rendered thankings to our Lord.
The Miraculous Cures at Troyes
There was brought to her a man, which by the punition [punishment] of God was made blind, because he wrought [did work] on the Sunday; and a blind maid also. The holy virgin blessed them in the name of the Father, and Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and anon their sight was restored to them.
There was a sub-deacon present and saw this; he went and fetched a child which had been sick ten years of the fevers right sore, the holy virgin did do bring holy water and blessed it and gave him drink, and that done, by the grace of God, the child was in good health.
In this time many took of the cuttings of her vesture by devotion, whereof many sick were healed, and many vexed by spirits were delivered and remised [put back] in to their good mind.
She Returns to Paris with Foodstuffs for the People
From Arcy returned the holy virgin to Paris with eleven ships charged with victual. Wind, tempest, and orage [storm] assailed them so strongly that they weened [expected] to have perished without remedy. The holy virgin lift up her hands to heaven requiring help of our Lord, and anon the tempest ceased. Then Bessus, a priest that was present and saw it, which tofore had trembled for fear, began to sing for joy: Cantemus domino gloriose [“Let Us Sing Gloriously to the Lord”]. All that there were thanked our Lord that had saved them by the prayer of the damsel Genevieve.
When the goods came to Paris that she had brought, she departed them [divided them up] and gave for the love of God to some poor, wool, and to others whole loaves of bread, and sometimes she so hasted for pity that she took the loaves hot out of the oven secretly and gave it to the poor. The women marvelled why she took their loaves, but they spake ne said nothin, and they much doubted [feared] that they should not find their count ne tale [correct number]. But notwithstanding that she had so taken, by the grace of God they found all their loaves and lacked none, by the merits of the holy saint.
Her hope was nothing in worldly things, but in heavenly, for in the holy scriptures that saith: Who so giveth to the poor lendeth for a vaile [advantage, profit]. The reward which they receive that give to poor people, the Holy Ghost had showed to her long tofore, and therefore she ceased not to weep, to adore, and to do works of pity, for she knew well that she was none other in this world but a pilgrim passing.
The Deaf Burgess of Meaux
There was at Meaux a burgess that by the space of four years he might not hear ne go [walk]. He did him be brought [had himself brought] to the holy virgin which dwelt at Paris, and required her that she would restore to him his health and hearing. She touched his ears and blessed him, and anon he was whole, and went and heard as he did before, thanking our Lord.
She Cures a Girl in Orleans
On a time the holy virgin went to Orleans. A woman named Fraterne was in great sorrow for her daughter that lay dying. Anon, as she wist the coming of the holy virgin, she went to her to St. Aiguen where she found her in prayer. Fraterne fell down to her feet saying: Dame Genevieve give me again Claude my daughter. When Genevieve saw the good faith of her, she said: Discomfort thee nothing, thy daughter is in health, the which by the marvellous puissance [power] of God, at the word of the holy virgin, was brought from the wicket of death, and came all whole against her mother, and met with her at the portal of the house. The people thanked our Lord for this fair miracle.
The Felonous Master
In the said city there was a servant culpable against his master; the holy maid prayed his master that he would forgive him his trespass. The master, as felonous and proud, deigned not to do it at her request. Then said the holy virgin: Though ye despise me, our Lord will not have me in despite. As soon as he was at home he was taken with a hot fever ague, which vexed him in such wise that he might not sleep of all the night. On the morn he came to the holy virgrin, running with open mouth, like a bear of Almaine [Germany], the tongue hanging out, and foaming like a boar, requiring [asking] pardon, which would give no pardon. The saint had pity on him and blessed him, and the fever left him, thus made she the master whole and the servant excused.
She Cures Demoniacs and Madwomen in Tours
From Orleans the holy woman went to Tours by the water of Loire, where she suffered many perils. When she arrived at Tours great foison [plenty] of demoniacs came against her out of the church of St. Martin, and the spirits cried by the mouth of them that were mad and vexed, which were burnt by the merits of St. Martin and St. Genevieve, and the perils that the virgin had in the water of Loire, they had done it by envy.
The holy virgin went into the church of St. Martin whereas she healed many demoniacs by prayers and by the sign of the cross, and the demoniacs said at the hour of the torment that the fingers of the saint burnt about them as tapers inflamed with fire of heaven.
Hereof heard three men which kept their wives mad; they went to the church and prayed her that she would visit their wives. The blessed virgin, which was debonair, went and visited them and delivered them from the enemy by unction of holy oil and by prayer.
Anon after, it happed as she was in orisons in a corner in the church of St. Martin that, one of the singers was so sore vexed with the enemy that he ate his members, which went out of the chancel and came straight to the holy virgin. The blessed virgin commanded the spirit to issue out. He answered: If he issued, he would issue by the eye. She commanded that he should no longer abide ne dwell there, and then he issued out anon – wold he, nold he – by the flux of the womb, and left foul enseigns and tokens, and the sick man was all whole and in good mind, whereof he thanked our Lord.
They of Tours honoured much this blessed virgin, how well it was against her will. On a time as she was at her door she saw a maid pass by bearing a burette [cruet] of oil; she called her and asked what she bare, she answered and said, oil which she had bought. The holy maid which saw the enemy sit on the mouth of the burette, blew on it, and the burette brake; she blessed the oil and bade the maid bear it forth safely. The people that saw this had great marvel that the enemy could not hide him, but that she perceived him, and thanked our Lord.
The Boy Who Was Dumb, Blind, and Lame
There was brought to her a child by his friends which was dumb, blind, and lame; the blessed virgin anointed him with the holy oil, and the same hour he saw clearly, spake and went, and received health entirely.
The Storm That Spared Her Field
In the territory of Meaux the holy maid did do labour a field that she had [i.e., she had it ploughed], and a storm and tempest of wind and rain arose which troubled much the workmen. She lay down stretching on the earth, in orison and prayer, and our Lord showed there a fair miracle, for the rain fell on all the corn in the fields thereabout, and in her field fell not one drop.
Another time as she was on the Seine there was a great tempest, and she besought God of help, and anon it ceased in such wise that they that were present saw well that our Lord at her request and for her love made wind and rain to cease.
The Miracle of the Oil
All sick men that she anointed with holy oil devoutly, were healed and made whole.
It happed so that on a time when she would have anointed a demoniac she found no oil in her ampul [vessel], whereof she was so sorry that she wist not what to do, for there was no bishop present for to bless it. She lay down in orisons and prayers, beseeching God that he would deliver the man from the enemy. Our Lord showed there two fair virtues, for as soon as she arose her ampul was full of oil, being in her hands, of which she anointed the madman, and anon he was delivered of the wicked spirit, which ampul, with the oil, saw the same man that wrote her life eighteen years after her decease.
The Death of St. Genevieve
Many other miracles without number showed our Lord for the love of the holy and blessed saint, St. Genevieve, the which lived in this world full of virtues and miracles more than four score years, and departed out of this world and died worthily the third day of January, and was buried in the mount of Paris called Mount Parlouer, and is now called the Mount of St.Genevieve, in the church of St. Peter and Paul, the which, as said is at the beginning, the King Louis, sometimes called Clovis, did do make [ordered to be made] by the exhortement of this holy virgin, for the love of whom he gave grace to many prisoners at her departing. And after, there were many fair miracles which by negligence, by envy, and not recking, were not written, as he confessed that put her life in Latin, except two which he set in the end of his book as here followeth.
Unto the sepulchre of the holy virgin was brought a young man that was so sick of the stone that his friends had no hope of life. In great weeping and sorrow they brought him thither requiring aid of the holy virgin. Anon after their prayer, the stone issued, and he was forthwith all whole as he had never been sick.
Another man came thither that gladly wrought on the Sunday, wherefor our Lord punished him, for his hands were so benumbed and lame that he might not work on other days. He repented him and confessed his sin, and came to the tomb of the said virgin, and there honoured and prayed devoutly, and on the morn he returned all whole, praising and thanking our Lord, that by the worthy merits and prayers of the holy virgin, grant and give us pardon, grace, and joy perdurable [eternal].
After the death of the blessed virgin St. Genevieve was assigned a lamp at her sepulchre in which the oil sourded [sprang up] and sprang like water in a well or fountain. Three fair things showed our Lord by this lamp, for the fire and light burned continually, the oil lessed [became less] not ne minished, and the sick people were healed there. Thus wrought our Lord by the merits of the blessed virgin corporally, which much more abundantly worketh by her merits to the souls spiritually. Many more miracles hath our Lord showed at her sepulchre which be not here written, for it would be over long to remember them all, and yet daily be showed, wherefore in every necessity and need let us call on this glorious saint, the blessed Genevieve, that she be mediatrix unto God for us wretched sinners, that we may so live and amend us in this present life that we may come when we shall depart hence by her merits unto the life perdurable in heaven. Amen.
For other saints, see the index to this Golden Legend website.
Scanned by Robert Blackmon. firstname.lastname@example.org.
This text was taken from the Internet Medieval Source Book. The Sourcebook is a collection of public domain and copy-permitted texts related to medieval and Byzantine history.
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E-text © Paul Halsall, September 2000
Reformatted with paragraphs, rubrics, italics, and explanatory insertions by Richard Stracke, email@example.com