FEAST OF ST. REMIGIUS, ARCHBISHOP OF RHEIMS.
Born about the year 435; died about 532.
SEVEN feet high and of handsome countenance, as transpires in his after-life, St. Remigius, being then a young man, was sitting in the Church of Rheims, where clergy and people were convened to choose a Bishop, when a ray of light penetrating through the clerestory, illumined his face amid the surrounding comparative darkness, and he was elected by acclamation to the vacant See. Whereupon, he being at the time no more than twenty-two years old, the canonical impediment of youth was waived: he received Holy Orders, and assumed his allotted dignity.
To him appertains the glory of having instructed and baptized Clovis, King of the Franks, whom at the Font he exhorted in the novel words: "Adore what thou hast burned: burn what thou hast adored."
Various miraculous incidents are narrated in connection with him. The following forms so striking a parable of the hazard in matters spiritual of ever, under any pretext, reopening a channel once closed against temptation, that either as history or as allegory I transcribe it:--
"A tremendous conflagration broke out at Rheims. St. Remigius came to the rescue when more than half the city was in flames. He went before the raging fire and made the sign of the cross; the flames retreated; he advanced, and continued making the sign, and the fire backed before him step by step, till he drove it through a gate. Then he ordered the gate to be walled up, and forbade any one ever opening it again. Many years after the owner of the adjoining house, wanting an ash-pit, knocked a hole in the wall that he might shoot his rubbish through it. Instantly out burst the demon of the conflagration and killed the man, his wife, children, and servants."