Saint Balthild, Queen

Balthild was born in 626.  She was beautiful, intelligent, modest, and cared about the needs of others. Balthild was sold into slavery as a young girl and served in the household of Archibald, the mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis. Archibald’s first wife had died.  He was attracted to Balthild and wanted to marry her, but she did not want to marry him. She hid and waited until Archibald had remarried. Because of Archibald, Clovis noticed her and asked her to marry him.  

Balthild remained humble and modest, even as queen. She is famous for her charitable service and generous donations. She donated enough to have the abbeys of Corbie and Chelles were founded.  She also helped fund the abbeys at Jumièges, Jouarre, and Luxeuil were also founded.  She provided support for Claudius of Besançon and his abbey in the Jura Mountains.

Balthild had three of Clovis’ sons.  All three became kings.  When Clovis died, around 657, his oldest son Clotaire succeeded to the throne. His mother Balthild acted as the queen regent. As queen, she was a capable stateswoman. She abolished the trading of Christian slaves.  She tried to free the children who had been sold into slavery like she had.  Balthild and Eligius worked together on their favorite charity, the buying and freeing of slaves.  After a time, Balthild withdrew to her favorite Abbey of Chelles near Paris.  

Balthild died on 30 January 30, 680, and was buried at the Abbey of Chelles. Balthild was canonized by Pope Nicholas.