Above: Statue of St. Bathildas
Image in the Public Domain
SAINT BATHILDAS (630-680)
Queen of France
St. Bathildas was an Anglo-Saxon. Danes captured her in 641 and sold her to Erchinoald, chief palace officer to Clovis II, King of France. She became a capable and popular servant, whom Erchinoald sought to marry. Yet St. Bathildas did not want to marry him, so she hid among the other servants. Erchinoald, thinking that she had run away, married another woman.
In 649, at age 19, St. Bathildas married King Clovis II. They had three sons, all whom became kings: Clotaire III, Childeric II, and Thierry III. When Clovis II died, she became regent for her eldest son, Clotaire III, who was five years old when his father died. As regent, St. Bathildas designated much money to redeem captives. Also, she reduced taxes on the poor, outlawed the purchase of Christian slaves and the sale of French subjects, and decreed freedom for any slave who entered France. In addition, she founded many abbeys, promoted agriculture, built hospitals, and sold her jewelry for the benefit of the poor.
St. Bathildas retired to the abbey near Paris at Chelle when Clotaire III became king in his own right.
O God, your Son came among us to serve and not to be served, and to give his life for the life of the world. Lead us by his love to serve all to whom the world offers no comfort and little help. Through us give hope to the hopeless, love to the unloved, peace to the troubled, and rest to the weary, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
–Adapted from Evangelical Lutheran Worship (2006)
Revised on November 21, 2016