13.01.

The Ampulla with Holy Oil for the Anointing of French Kings – 533

The Ampulla with Holy Oil for the Anointing of French Kings – 533

The Legend of the Holy Ampulla is related to the famous St. Remigius (Saint Remy). According to the legend, it was found precisely in the tomb of that saint.

The famous Catholic Saint Remigius died on this day. Maybe he is not so famous by that name, but everyone has probably heard of the French form of his name – Saint Remy. Namely, St Remigius is the most celebrated saint precisely in France because he played a key role in the Christianization of the Franks. St. Remigius baptized in 496 the first king that united the Franks – the famous Clovis of the Merovingian dynasty. Clovis thus became the first Christian king in Gaul, and his conversion was crucial for the christening of the entire population of the country on the territory of present-day France.

Saint Remigius was the bishop of the city of Reims. For French history, Reims is one of the most important clerical centers, because the Kings of France were crowned in the city’s cathedral for over 1000 years. The coronation was performed by Archbishop of Reims, and the most important ritual was the anointment of the king with holy oil. According to the legend, it was precisely in the tomb of Saint Remigius that the Ampulla with the holy oil used for the anointing of French kings was found. Because of the enormous importance of the Holy Ampulla (Sainte Ampoule in French), it was guarded personally by the monks of the Abbey of Saint-Remi in Reims, who wore it on a chain around their neck. Saint Remigius died a martyr’s death in Reims on this day.

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