Bathildis, St.

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Queen of France; d. Chelles, Jan. 30 c. 680. A native of England, whence she had been kidnapped by pirates, she lived at the court of Neustria as a part of the household of Erchinoald, mayor of the palace, but refused to become his wife. She married Clovis II, king of Neustria and Burgundy, and bore him three sons: Chlotar, Childeric, and Theodoric. At the death of Clovis, she became queen regent under the nominal reign of her eldest son Chlotar, with such advisers as (St.) Ouen and Chrodobert, bishop of Paris. Before 673, the mayor of the palace Ebroinus deprived her of power and had her conducted to the abbey of Chelles, France (Department Seine-et-Marne), where she lived in all simplicity. Bathildis founded the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles and was lavish in endowing the churches and monasteries of her kingdom. Although not entirely vindicated for her part in the assassination of Bishop aunemund of lyons (658), her memory is honored because of her struggle against slavery, simony, and abusive taxation. The Vita prima s. Bathildis is an excellent biography, written by a contemporary who used as a model the life of St. radegunda. A Vita secunda was composed at the end of the eighth century or at the beginning of the ninth century. Her cult began before 822.

Feast: Jan. 30.

Bibliography: Monumenta Germaniae Historica: Scriptores rerum Merovingicarum 2:475508. o. abel, tr., Die Chronik Fredegars und der Frankenkönige, die Lebensbeschreibungen des Abtes Columban, der Bischöfe Arnulf, Leodegar und Eligius, der Königin Bathilde (Leipzig 1888). e. vacandard, Vie de Saint Ouen (Paris 1902). m. j. couturier, Sainte Bathilde, reine des Francs (Paris 1909). a. bellessort, Sainte Bathilde, reine de France (Paris 1941). j.-p. laporte, Sépultures et reliques de la reine Bathilde. (Chelles 1991). La vie de sainte Bathilde, ed. a. bengtsson (Lund, Sweden 1996). l. van der essen, Dictionnaire d'histoire et de géographie ecclésiastiques, ed. a. baudrillart et al. (Paris 1912) 6: 132122. j. l. baudot and l. chaussin, Vies des saints et des bienhereux selon l'ordre du calendrier avec l'historique des fêtes (Paris 193556) 1:616619. Histoire de l'église depuis les origines jusqu'à nos jours, ed. a. fliche and v. martin (Paris 1935) 5:350352. r. aigrain, Catholicisme 1:119495. e. ewig, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 2:50. j. marilier, Bibliotheca sanctorum 2:971972.

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