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.
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