Genevieve, I. The patron saint of Paris, born in Nanterre about 422, died in Paris in 512. According to the most common tradition, her parents, Severus and Gerontia, were very poor, and Genevieve's early occupation was tending flocks. On the summit of Mont Valerien is a field which still bears her name, as well as a spring and grotto at its foot. In her 15th year she was dedicated to the divine service by St. Germanus of Auxerre. She predicted in 449 the invasion of the Huns under Attila, and when in 451 he threatened to attack Paris, her prayers were believed to have saved that city. Again, during the protracted siege of Paris by the Franks under Clovis, she animated the courage of the citizens, and contrived to introduce into the city a supply of provisions.

When Paris fell, Genevieve's intercession saved the vanquished from harsh measures. She was revered by Clovis, and was buried near him in the church of Sts. Peter and Paul, which he had built, and which together with the adjoining abbey bore her name. Her shrine, said to be the work of St. Eloi, was replaced in the 13th century by one much larger and richer, which was long considered the palladium of Paris. It was sent to the mint in 1791, and the relics it contained were burned. A monumental church, begun by the architect Soufflot in 1757, was named the Pantheon in 1791, and restored to public worship in 1852, under the title of St. Genevieve. The stone sarcophagus which formerly contained her remains has been transferred to the church St. Etienne-du-Mont. The life of St. Genevieve, written by her contemporary Genesius, was restored to its original simplicity by the Bollandists, and republished in 1643 in the Acta Sanctorum. Her feast is celebrated on Jan. 3.

II. A daughter of the duke of Brabant, born about 680. Ha-giographers and historians have spoken of Genevieve de Brabant sometimes as a canonized saint, sometimes as only beatified; the Bollandists say her feast was kept in April; but she was never acknowledged as a saint by Rome. Her history, the subject of so much romance and poetry, may thus be condensed from the best sources. She was married about 700 to Sigfrid, count palatine of Oftendick in the territory of Treves. He was summoned to attend Charles Martel on his expedition against the Saracens, leaving his wife and estates to the guardianship of one of his knights named Golo. The lady, whose pregnancy was not known to her husband, had now to resist the criminal solicitations of Golo, who after the birth of her boy accused her of adultery, and obtained from Sigfrid an order to put mother and child to death. Instead of executing this order, Golo abandoned them in a forest, where they subsisted for several years, until they were discovered by Sigfrid during a hunt, and carried back in triumph to his castle of Hohen-Simmern. Genevieve, in thanksgiving for her preservation, had a chapel built on the spot which had sheltered her babe and herself.

The ruins of this chapel, called Frau-enkirchen, are still visible, and contain, together with the despoiled tombs of Genevieve and Sigfrid, an altar on which are rudely sculptured the main facts of their history.