Who Was Clotilde?


Quick Answer

Clotilde lived in France during the fifth to sixth centuries and was the wife and queen of the Frankish King Clovis I, together founding the Merovingian dynasty, which lasted 200 years. She is the patron saint of widows, brides and queens. She is also the patron saint of Les Andelys, Normandy, in France where in 511, she founded a convent for young women. She is venerated for protecting those in exile and who have suffered violent deaths.

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Full Answer

Clotilde was born in 474 A.D. in Lyon, France, the daughter of Burgundian King Gondiac. She became the second wife of King Clovis in 493. Raised in the Roman Catholic tradition, Queen Clotilde tried and succeeded in converting her husband from Arianism to Roman Catholicism. Clotilde and Clovis built a church in Paris that is now known as the Abbey of St. Genevieve.

After the death of Clovis, Clotilde led a war against the kingdom of Burgundy. The campaign failed, and Clotilde turned to religious life. She dedicated herself to the construction of churches and monasteries, many of which can still be seen in Laon and Rouen in France. Saint Clotilde died in 544 or 545 in Tours, France and became canonized at some point after her death.

The convent of Les Andelys that Saint Clotilde founded in 511 was destroyed by Normans. Our Lady's Collegiate Church was built over the remains and pays homage to the saint with a statue and a fountain named in her honor.

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