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496 A.D.:  A Miracle on the day King Clovis was baptized!

  Here is an account of the day that King Clovis was baptized.  He is referred to as King Chlodovocar.  It is an interesting account, in that a beautiful miracle occurred during the event:

  When St. Remi had preached to the King the Christian faith and taught him the way of the Cross, and when the king had known what the faith was, Chlodovocar promised fervently that he would henceforth never serve any save the all-powerful God. After that he said he would put to the test and try the hearts and wills of his chieftains and lesser people: for he would convert them more easily if they were converted by pleasant means and by mild words, than if they were driven to it by force; and this method seemed best to St. Remi. The folk and the chieftains were assembled by the command of the King. He arose in the midst of them, and spoke to this effect: "Lords of the Franks, it seems to me highly profitable that you should know first of all what are those gods which you worship. For we are certain of their falsity: and we come right freely into the knowledge of Him who is the true God. Know of a surety that this same God which I preach to you has given victory over your enemies in the recent battle against the Alemanni. Lift, therefore, your hearts in just hope; and ask the Sovereign Defender, that He give to you all, that which you desire---that He save our souls and give us victory over our enemies." When the King full of faith had thus preached to and admonished his people, one and all banished from their hearts all unbelief, and recognized their Creator.

When shortly afterward Chlodovocar set out for the church for baptism, St. Remi prepared a great procession. The streets of Rheims were hung with banners and tapestry. The church was decorated. The baptistry was covered with balsams and all sorts of perfumes. The people believed they were already breathing the delights of paradise. The cortege set out from the palace, the clergy led the way bearing the holy Gospels, the cross and banners, chanting hymns and psalms. Then came the bishop leading the King by the hand, next the Queen with the multitude. Whilst on the way the King asked of the bishop, "If this was the Kingdom of Heaven which he had promised him." "Not so," replied the prelate; "it is the road that leads to it."

When in the church, in the act of bestowing baptism the holy pontiff lifted his eyes to heaven in silent prayer and wept. Straightway a dove, white as snow, descended bearing in his beak a vial of holy oil. A delicious odor exhaled from it: which intoxicated those near by with an inexpressible delight. The holy bishop took the vial, and suddenly the dove vanished. Transported with joy at the sight of this notable miracle, the King renounced Satan, his pomps and his works; and demanded with earnestness the baptism; at the moment when he bent his head over the fountain of life, the eloquent pontiff cried, "Bow down thine head, fierce Sicambrian! Adore that which once thou hast burned: burn that which thou hast adored!"

After having made his profession of the orthodox faith, the King is plunged thrice in the waters of baptism. Then in the name of the holy and indivisible Trinity---Father, Son, and Holy Ghost---the prelate consecrated him with the divine unction. Two sisters of the king and 3000 fighting men of the Franks and a great number of women and children were likewise baptized. Thus we many well believe that day was a day of joy in heaven for the holy angels; likewise of rejoicing on earth for devout and faithful men!

End of that quote.

  From another source, a Catholic site, I found the following written concerning that vial of oil that was carried in the dove's beak:

  It is told that the cathedral was so packed that the servant carrying the oil for confirmation could not get through the crowd. St. Remigius looked up to see a dove descending from Heaven with a vial of oil in its beak. Kings of France were anointed with this oil for over thirteen hundred years. This vial was smashed in the French Revolution, but some drops were collected for the coronation of Charles X in 1824.

End Quote.

  It adds an interesting twist to Clovis' baptism. Since a normal sized dove could not carry too large of a vial in it's beak, I would suppose that the oil must have renewed itself, or that the vial was connected to a thread or ribbon, or something like that which a dove might more easily carry. But, if God wanted a dove to carry a gallon of milk then it would certainly be no challenge to our Lord to accomplish that, so attempting to work out the fine points from 1,500 years later is foolish, I suppose.

  Clovis was about the only powerful temporal leader in that region of Europe at that time who was not an Arien Christian.  Ariens believed in Christ, but not in His divinity as the son of God. It was a heresy that could have easily polluted every Bible that we read today, were it not for a few powerful leaders placed into authority in just the right places at just the right times. God always protects his Word!

   

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