The Golden Legend or Lives Of The Saints

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

147// HERE FOLLOWETH OF ST. REMIGIUS[1]

Remigius is said of remige that is a boatman or a rower. Or it is said of remis, which be instruments by which the ship is rowed and conducted, and of gyon, that is to say wrestling. He governed the church and kept it from peril of wreck, and brought it to the port of heaven. And for the church he wrestled against the assaults of the devil.

Clotilde and Her Children

St. Remigius converted to the faith the king and the people of France. The king had a wife named Clotilde, which was Christian, and she enforced her much to convert her husband to the Christian faith, but she might not. And when she had a child she would have christened him, but the king defended [forbade] it to her. And she rested not till at the last the king granted that it should be Christian, and after that it was christened, it died anon. Then said the king: Now it appeareth well that Christ is a vile God, for because he may not keep him which in his faith should have been enhanced in my kingdom after me.

And she said to him: Now feel I well that I am loved of my God because he hath received the first fruit of my womb; he hath enhanced to a better kingdom my son, and to reign perpetually without end, which is much better than thy kingdom is.

And soon after she conceived again, and had a fair son, whom with great prayers she baptized as she did the first, but anon after, he was sick, so that they had no hope of his life. And then the king said to his wife: Certainly this is a feeble god which may not conserve, ne keep none that is baptized in his name, and if thou hadst a thousand and didst them to be baptized, all should perish.

Yet nevertheless the child revived and was whole, so that he reigned after his father, and the faithful queen enforced her to bring her husband to the faith, but he refused it in all manners.

The Angry Miller

It is said in that other feast which is after the Epiphany [see below], how the king was converted to the faith. And the foresaid king Clovis, when he was christened, said that he would give to St. Remigius, for to endow his church, as much land as he might go [walk] about whilst he slept at mid-day, and so it was done. But there was a man which had a mill within the circuit which St. Remigius had closed. And as St. Remigius went about it the milner put him out with great indignation and great despite. And St. Remigius said to him: Friend, have no disdain and let it not be too hard if we have also this mill with that other.

Nevertheless the milner put him out, and anon the wheel of the mill began to turn contrary, and then the milner cried after St. Remigius and said: Servant of God, come and let us have the mill together.

And St. Remigius said: Nay, it shall neither be mine nor thine, and anon the earth opened and swallowed in all the mill.

St. Remigius Prophesies a Famine

And St. Remigius knew by the spirit of prophecy and by the will of God, that a great famine should come, and assembled in a town great plenty of wheat. And the drunken villains of the town mocked and scorned him of his providence [prophecy], and set the garners afire. And when he knew it he came thither, and because he was cold for age and his last time approached fast, he sat down by the fire and warmed him, and said with a peaceable heart: The fire is always good.

Nevertheless they that made that fire, and all the men of their lineage, were broken in their members and the women gouty. And this endured in the same town unto the time of Charles, which chased and made them go their way, and so disperpled them [dispersed].

The Translation of St. Remigius

And it is to be known that the feast of St. Remigius that is hallowed in January is the feast of his blessed death and disposition, and this is the feast of the translation [moving from one place to another] of his blessed body. For when, after his death, the holy body should have been brought to the church of St. Timothy and Apollinarius with the shrine, and came nigh unto the church of St. Christopher, it began to weigh so much that they might not move it from thence in no manner. At the last they prayed our Lord that he would vouchsafe to show them if it were his will that the body should be buried in that church, whereas no relics rest. And then anon they took up the body lightly enough and buried him there honourably. And many miracles were there showed, so that they enlarged and made the church more ample and large.

And then they made an oratory behind the altar, and would have dolven [dug] for to have laid the body in that oratory, but they could not move it in no manner. Then they watched, and prayed unto our Lord, and at midnight they fell all asleep, and on the morn they found the sepulchre with the body in the place, which angels had borne thither while they slept. And this was the kalends of October which afterwards by long time on the same day, it was translated into a feretre or shrine of silver. He flourished about the year of our Lord four hundred and ninety.

THE JANUARY 13 CHAPTER[2]

Remigius is said of remi, that is to say feeding, and geos, that is earth, as who saith feeding the earthly people with doctrine. Or of geon, that is a wrestler, for he was a pastor and a wrestler he fed his flock with the word of preaching, with suffrages of praying, and with example of conversation. There is three manner of armour that is for the defence, the shield, for to fight, the sword, for his salvation and health, the habergeon and helm. He wrestled against the devil with the shield of faith, with the sword of the word of God, and with the helmet of hope. Ignatius Archbishop of Rheims wrote his life.

Remigius, an holy doctor [teacher of doctrine] and confessor glorious of our Lord, was tofore his birth provided of [foreseen by] our Lord, and foreseen of a holy hermit. When the persecution of the Vandals had almost wasted [laid waste] and destroyed nigh all France, there was a man recluse, holy and virtuous, which had lost his sight, which oft prayed to our Lord for peace and welfare of the church of France. He had on a time a vision, and him seemed an angel came to him and said: Know thou that the woman that thou knowest named Aline shall bring forth a son that shall be named Remigius, which shall deliver all the country from this persecution.

And when he awoke he came to the house of this Aline and told to her his vision, and she would not believe it because of her age. The recluse said: It shall be so as I have said, and when thou hast given thy child suck, thou shalt give to me of thy milk, to put upon mine eyes, and therewith I shall be whole and recover my sight again.

And like as he said all these things happened. And the woman had a child named Remigius, which when he came to the age of discretion, he fled the world, and entered into a reclusage [hermitage]. And sith after [And afterwards], for the great renown of his holy life, when he had been twenty-two years therein he was elect and chosen to be Archbishop of Rheims.

He was so debonair that little birds came and ate on his table and took meat [food] at his hand.

The Miracle of the Wine

It happed on a day that he was lodged in an house of a good woman which had but a little wine in her tonnel [cask] or vessel, and St. Remigius went in to the cellar and made the sign of the cross upon the ton [barrel], and prayed a while. Anon the ton was so full that it leapt over, by the merits of the good saint.

The Conversion of King Clovis

Now it happed that Clodovius the king of France, which was a paynim [pagan], might not be converted for any preaching that his wife might do, which was a Christian woman, unto the time that a great host of Alemans [Germans] came into France. Then by the admonishment of his wife he made a vow that if the God that his wife worshipped would give him victory, he would be baptized at his returning from the battle. Thus, as he demanded, he vanquished the battle, and after came to Rheims to St. Remigius and prayed him that he would christen him. And when St. Remigius baptized him he had no chrisom [holy oil] ready, then a dove descended from heaven which brought the chrisom in an ampull [flask] of which the king was anointed and this ampull is kept in the church of St. Remigius at Rheims, of which the kings of France be anointed when they be crowned.

The Wayward Bishop

St. Remigius had a niece which was married to a clerk named Genebaldus, which by devotion left his wife for to enter into religion. Then St. Remigius saw that the see of Rheims was over great, and ordained a see of a bishopric at Laon and made Genebald first bishop of that place. When Genebald was bishop his wife came thither to see him, and he remembered of the privity that they were wont to have together, and lay on a night with her, and engendered on her a child. When his wife knew that she was great and let him have knowledge thereof, and when he wist [knew] that it was a son, he commanded that it should be named Thief, because he had engendered it by theft. After, for to quench the suspicion and the words of the people, he suffered that his wife should come to him as she did tofore, and anon after she conceived a daughter, whom he commanded to name a Fox's Whelp.

And after {he} came to St. Remigius and confessed him of his sin, and took the stole off his neck and would leave his bishopric. But St. Remigius, after he had confessed him, comforted him, and gave him penance, and shut him in a little cell seven years long, and gave to him bread and water, and in the meanwhile he governed the church himself.

At the end of seven years an angel came to the prison, and said to him that he had done well his penance, and bade him go out of the prison. To whom he said: I may not go out, for my lord St. Remigius hath closed the door and sealed it.

And the angel said to him: Know thou that the door of heaven is opened to thee; I shall open this door without breaking of the seal which St. Remigius hath sealed.

And anon the door was opened. Then Genebald fell down in the midst of the door in manner of a cross, and said: If our Lord Jesu Christ came hither I shall not go out but if St. Remigius, which shut and closed me herein, come and bring me out.

And then the angel went anon and fetched St. Remigius and brought him to Laon, and he delivered him out of prison, and remised him and set him again in his see there, where he lived after, all the days of his life, holily.

After his death, Thief his son was made bishop after him, which is also a saint in heaven.

And at the last St. Remigius, after that God had shown many miracles for him, he departed out of this life unto everlasting joy the year of the incarnation of our Lord five hundred.

 

 


The iconography of St. Remigius is available at the Christian iconography website.

For other saints, see the index to this Golden Legend website.

Scanned by Robert Blackmon. bob_blackmon@mindspring.com.

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.

Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational purposes and personal use. If you do reduplicate the document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.

E-text Paul Halsall, September 2000
halsall@fordham.edu

Reformatted with paragraphs, rubrics, italics, and explanatory insertions by Richard Stracke, rstracke@aug.edu

 

 



[1] Two chapters on Remigius are included here. The first pertains to the feast of the Translation of St. Remigius, October 1, and is in the William Granger Ryan translation. The second is for the actual feast of St. Remigius, January 13.

[2] See note 1 above.