Celebrating Saints: Genevieve (Feast Day: January 3)

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Genevieve lived in a village in France a long time ago. Even as a child, she knew that she wanted to devote her life to serving God and others. After her parents died, she went to live in Paris with her godmother. As a young woman, she took vows as a religious sister. Today Genevieve is known as the patron saint of Paris.

Prayed always

Genevieve loved God with all her heart and prayed in everything she did. Prayer helps us connect with God, who is already here with us. We, too, should make prayer a part of our lives each day. Genevieve trusted God and encouraged others to do the same. Once, when an army was coming to attack Paris, she told people to pray. After that, the attackers went a different way, and Paris was saved.

Helped the hungry

Not a lot is known about this saint because she lived a long time ago. Yet her example of faith has come down through the centuries. Statues of this saint often show her with a loaf of bread because she baked bread for hungry people in need. She lived a life of service to others. She helped people living in poverty in any way she could.

Gave thanks to God

Genevieve thanked God for all the blessings in her life. She found joy in celebrating all that God did for her. We, too, can thank God for the blessings of each day. Genevieve was a person of faith throughout her life. She died in the year 512. Her example reminds us to be people who trust in God, help others, and pray in all we do.

What we can do

■ Talk about this saint. What city has her as a patron saint? Why is it important to be people of prayer? How did she help people who were hungry? How can we help hungry people in our community? Why don’t we know a lot about this saint?

■ Pray in all things. Share different ways to pray, such as praying for others, praying in our own words, singing as prayer, making a prayer journal, praying a decade of the Rosary, praying the Psalms, and offering each day to God.

■ Thank God for blessings. Encourage the children to name some blessings in their lives, such as people who care about us, sunny days, mountains and rivers, stars in the sky, pets of all kinds, and God’s love for us.


God, we thank you for the many gifts you have given us, especially your love for each one of us. Show us how to be people of prayer in all things like St. Genevieve. Help us to serve you in our lives by serving others. May we share what we have so others will have what they need. Amen.

1 Mary, Mother of God
2 Basil and Gregory
4 Elizabeth Ann Seton
6 Andre Bessette
23 Marianne Cope
24 Francis de Sales
25 Conversion of Paul
27 Angela Merici
28 Thomas Aquinas
31 John Bosco


PATRICIA MATHSON, MRE, has years of experience as a director of religious education. She has authored many books, including her latest: 33 Mass Lessons and Activities for Children from Twenty-Third Publications.


This article was originally published in Catechist, January 2020.

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