Saint Cloud (originally Clodoald), is my 1st cousin, 42 times removed! We share an ancestor. His grandfather, Clovis I, King of the Franks and the originator of the Merovingian Dynasty, was the first to unite all the tribes of the Frankish empire under one king. Clovis I was my 42nd great grandfather.
Many people alive today are descended from Clovis and related to Saint Cloud, but most are unaware of it. Their genealogical links are lost in history. I love knowing a little history and where I fit into the mix, mostly because it expands my notion of family and my feeling of relationship to mankind, which is physical as well as spiritual.
Knowing that the saints reside in heaven amongst the angels gives me great joy, since I know that I may speak to them and ask them for their prayers. I look to them also for guidance by example in how to live the Christian life in this world, something which is becoming increasingly difficult to do.
Saint Cloud narrowly escaped death by the murderous machinations of his uncle. It is your typical story of assassination of one's rivals for control of territory or kingship. Cloud's two younger brothers did not escape and were murdered.
Since his father had died when Cloud was only three years old, he had been raised in Paris with his two younger brothers by his grandmother, Saint Clotilde, my 42nd great grandmother, who I suspect is at least partially responsible for his tendency toward the religious life.
Like a great number of our saints, Cloud eschewed kingdoms, power and money for the sake of his soul and to live as a monastic. In his case, he distributed what little inheritance was available to him at the time and put himself under the tutelage of the holy recluse Severinus, who clothed him in a monk's habit.
When Saint Cloud's fame grew to an intolerable point, after a miracle connected with some act of charity, he withdrew to Provence. Even in Provence, however, he could not hide from petitioners seeking him out and from the many men who wished to follow in his footsteps. Eventually, he returned to Paris, to the joy of many.
In 551, the Bishop Eusebius ordained him as a priest, and he served in that capacity for some time, until the honor heaped upon him became too much and he retired, once again, this time to Nogent, where he built a monastery and where he died in the year 560. Nogent has since been renamed "St. Cloud."
Saint-Cloud, France, is actually a suburb of Paris at this time and has a gorgeous park and a fair amount of quaint old streets and ruins of old buildings.
I have tried to find out if there are any extant buildings associated with the monastery established by Saint Cloud but have been unable to locate them. After 1500 years, it is no surprise.
Being disabled and mostly home-bound, I can only travel to these places of my ancestors in the pages of books or on the internet, but I am glad to have access to these, at least, and to be able to celebrate the feast day of my holy relatives in heaven. Today, September 7th, is the feast day of cousin Saint Cloud.
Anyone interested in learning more about Saint Cloud, will find more at these links:
CATHOLIC NEWS AGENCY
MAGNIFICAT - LIVES OF THE SAINTS
God bless us all.
Silver Rose Parnell
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