La Vie Creative

EP 179: Paris History Avec a Hemingway (Sainte Geneviève Part 2)

January 10, 2022 Krystal Kenney
La Vie Creative
EP 179: Paris History Avec a Hemingway (Sainte Geneviève Part 2)
Show Notes

In the second episode on the life of Sainte Genevieve we look at how she is remembered. When you visit the many churches of France you will find small marble plaques in many of the chapels. The Ex-votos are messages of appreciation to a certain saint or to Christ. These can also come in other forms as well. 

There are many dedicated to Sainte Genevieve all over Paris in statues, art and even a grand piece of architecture.  After her relics were used to save the city and country, members of the government and royalty thought it was a smart PR move to align themselves with Sainte Genevieve.  

The largest ex-voto was as a result of a promise made by Louis XV. On August 17, 1744. At war with Austria, Louis XV fell deathly ill in the city of Metz. He said a prayer that if he survived he would have a church built and dedicated to Sainte Genevieve. He survived and kept his promise, but it took ten years before the funds were requested and another ten before anything began.  

She didn’t stay there long and it was changed to the temple dedicated to the great men of France. However, you can find her inside on the walls where four artists told the beloved saint's life on the vast walls. 

Depicted in paintings going back to the 16th century she is hung on the walls of museums and churches and her statue guard the edge of the city and in many chapels across Paris. 

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