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Sunday, 11 May 2014

Clovis I

Clovis I (c. 466 – 511) succeeded his father Childeric I in 481 as King of the Salian Franks, one of two main groups of Frankish tribes.

 Clovis roi des Francs by François-Louis Dejuinne (1786–1844) Wikipedia 
Clovis was married to a Christian Princess, Clotilda. For years she faithfully spoke to her barbarian husband about the one true God and on one occasion impressed her spouse when as a result of her prayers, their sick son miraculously recovered.

In 496 Clovis was on the verge of a total rout during a battle with the Alamanni tribe. He cried to the Jesus whom his wife worshiped, to help him, and the King of the Alamanni fell and his army fled. Consequently Clovis was converted to Christianity, the first barbarian chief of any importance to convert to orthodox Christianity, rather the Arian religion.

Clovis was baptized into the Catholic faith on Christmas Day 496, along with his 3,000 strong army at Reims Cathedral. The Bishop Remigius of Rheims declared to him, "bow thy head, proud Frank: adore what thou hast burned; burn what thou hast adored."

Despite having become a Christian ruler, Clovis had a limited understanding of Christ’s teachings about peace and love and his reign was marred by various treacherous and brutal acts. His comment on hearing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion was, “had I been there at the head of my army of valiant Franks, I would have avenged his death!”

King Clovis I died at Paris ("Lutetia") on November 27, 511 and was buried in the Abbey of St Genevieve. Clovis achieved many military victories and by his death his kingdom extended to the Pyrenees. closely resembling geographically modern France. Indeed, he is considered to be the founder of France.

The Merovingian dynasty was continued by his four sons, Theuderic I, Chlodomer, Childebert I and Chlothar I, who divide the Frankish Kingdom and rule from the capitals at Metz, Orléans, Paris and Soissons.

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