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Gregory of Tours
On Clovis
page 2

After this another son was born to him, and called in baptism Clodomir. He fell very ill. Then the king said: "Because he, like his brother, was baptized in the name of Christ he must soon die." But his mother prayed, and by God's will the child recovered.
The queen unceasingly urged the king to acknowledge the true God, and forsake idols. But he could not in any wise be brought to believe until a war broke out with the Alemanni. Then he was by necessity compelled to confese what he had before willfully denied.
It happened that the two armies were in battle and there was great slaughter. Clovis' army was near to utter destruction. He saw the danger; his heart Was stirred; he was moved to tears, and he raised his eyes to heaven, saying - , Jesus Christ, whom Clotilde declares to be the son of the living God, who it is said givest aid to the oppressed and victory to those who put their hope in thee, I beseech the glory of thy aid. If thou shalt grant me victory over these enemies and I test that power which people consecrated to thy name say they have proved concerning thee, I will believe in thee and be baptized in thy name. For 1 have called upon my gods, but, as 1 have proved, they are far removed4 from my aid. So I believe that they have no power, for they do not succor those who serve them. Now 1 call upon thee, and I long to believe in thee -all the more that may escape my enemies."
When he had said these things, the Alemanni turned their backs and began to flee. When they saw that their king was killed, they submitted to the sway of Clovis, saying: "We wish that no more people should perish. Now we are thine." When the king had forbidden further war, and praised his soldiers, he told the queen how he had won the victory by calling on the name of Christ.
Then the queen sent to the blessed Remigius, bishop of the city of Rheims, praying him to bring to the king the gospel of salvation. The priest, little by little and secretly, led him to believe in the true God, maker of heaven and earth, and to forsake idols, which could not help him nor anybody else.
But the king said: "Willingly will I hear thee, O father; but one thing is in the way - that the people who follow me are not First to leave their gods. I will go and speak to them according to thy word."
When be came among them, the power of God went before him, and before he had spoken all the people cried out together: " We cast off mortal gods, 0 righteous king, and we are ready to follow the God whom Remigius tells us s immortal."
These thin-s were told to the bishop. He was filled with joy, and ordered the font to be prepared. The streets were shaded with embroidered hangings ; the churches were adorned with white tapestries, the baptistery was set in order, the odor of balsam spread around, candles gleamed, and all the temple of the baptistery was filled with divine odor. . . . Then the king confessed the God omnipotent in the Trinity, and was baptized in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and was anointed with the sacred chrism with the sign of the cross of Christ. Of his army there were baptized more than three thousand.

This text is part of the Internet Medieval Source Book


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