Saint Séverin and Clodoald, the survivor of a gory tragedy

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Clodomir, Childebert, Theodoric and Clotaire - ©The British Library / Public domain Clodomir, Childebert, Theodoric and Clotaire - ©The British Library / Public domain
Saint-Séverin church in Paris Parish church Homicide Clodomir Clotaire I Childebert I Clotilde

550. Séverin the hermit lived in a small oratory raised on the current church spot. Fresh water, clear air, solitude... he had everything he needed to be happy! Until a young man, Clodoald, turned up: he wanted to be a monk! He was king Clodomir’s son, Clovis’ grandson! He should have been king but a gory destiny decided something else...

Crop or kill, just choose

Clovis had 4 sons. One of them, Clodomir, died at war. He let 3 kids: Theobald, Gunthaire and Clodoald. Queen Clotilde, the grandma, took them under her wings. She raised them with care, hoping one day, they would be on their dad’s throne.

But their two ambitious uncles, Childebert and Clotaire, didn’t want that. They wanted to get back the lands they inherited from their father, for instance... And they’ll stop at nothing. They even decided to kill the 3 brothers.

On the pretext of appointing them heirs to the royal throne, the two treacherous invited the kids in their own palace. The children were immediately taken hostage! Kidnapped... with a little note sent to Clotilde. She had two choices: to kill them or to crop them.

Crop?? Yes: Frankish kings get all their strength and power from their long hairs. To cut them meant to give up the crown... So, when Clotilde answered she’d rather see them dead than cropped, Clotaire didn’t hesitate: he stabbed Theobald, then Gunthaire who implored him all the same.

Séverin and Clodoald

One came through thanks to kind domestics: Clodoald. He was 3 years. Whoa: when he grew up, he was outraged, disgusted by human kind and power above all. He didn’t want to be king. So he cut his long hairs and became a monk.

Then he met Séverin near the river Seine, in his hut: he begged him to teach him all he knew about religion. And few years later, Clodoald raised a monastery near Paris: Clodoald became saint Cloud! Which later gave the city of Saint-Cloud, in the current Hauts-de-Seine departement...


And also!