NINTH DAY of CHRISTMAS:
St. Genevieve’s Day
Beginning with yesterday’s feast day of St. Macarius, we’ve entered into a more contemplative period of our Yuletide Twelve Days, a trend that will continue through tomorrow. Today on this Ninth Day of Christmas we celebrate St. Genevieve, patron saint of Paris. She was born in the fifth century in the French countryside and eventually settled in Paris, where she became a nun. She is attributed with saving the city from an attack by Attila and his Huns in 451 through fasting and prayer, and she was the founder, around 475, of the Basilica of St. Denis.
St. Genevieve is often depicted with a candle, and here again at the deep darkness of solsticetide we have an image of light, much like Santa Lucia on the 13th of December. It is said that although the devil continually blew out her candle when she would pray at night, St. Genevieve was able to relight it without use of flint or fire… and again the bleak midwinter’s darkness is overcome.