“On the tenth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me, ten lords a-leaping ...”
It is also the day that both the Eastern and Western churches remember the French shepherd girl Saint Geneviève, who lived in the mid- and late- fifth century. Her sanctity was noted at a very early age by Saint Germanus, bishop of Auxerre, who consecrated her to God at the age of seven. Genevieve is patroness of the city of Paris, which has been saved through her intercession more than once, the first time from her contemporary, Attila the Hun.
Geneviève loved to pray in church alone at night. On one such occasion, a gust of wind came into the church and blew out her candle, leaving her in darkness. She attributed this act of nature to the Evil One himself, that he was trying to frighten her. Thus she is often pictured as she is here, holding a candle. Other images show an irritated devil standing nearby.
In more than a decade of this weblog's existence, her commemoration has been a popular one. Don't ask me why.