Our Ladies: La Dame, La liberté . . .

Our first stop this morning is the Basilica of Saint-Denis, north of Paris.  The details of the legend of Saint Denis are lost in the fogs of time, but believers hold that in the third century the Romans, still trying to quell the new Christian religion, beheaded three evangelists on the hill near Paris now called Montmartre (Mount of Martyrs).  Saint Denis was among those beheaded.  His head was cut off, but that doesn't mean he lost it.  In fact, he picked it up, washed it off, and took toward this isolated site several kilometers away.  Here he posed his head, lay down, and was soon buried by his admirers.  By the time of the Barbarian invasions this story convinced even the heathens, and the Frankish kings newly arrived from Germania adopted this site as one dear to the faith they now took for their own.  Clovis, the first barbarian to seek baptism, took Saint Denis to heart.  This ground was now not only legend, it was royal.
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This page last updated on 5/28/2004 7:30:25 PM.