I noticed on Monday, looking at my Catholic wall calendar, that today (September 7) is the feast of St. Cloud. “St. Cloud” I wondered. Hmm. Was there ever such a person? He's known as St. Clodoald in France.
Yes, he was a real man, and a real saint. Nope, not just the name of the city in Minnesota. Here's a photo of the parish church in France which holds his relics:
Saint Clodoald (Cloud) is the most well-known saint among the princes of the royal family of the earliest French dynasty, the Merovingians (499-752). Born in 522, he was the son of Chlodomir, King of Orleans and eldest son of Clovis and Saint Clotilda. He was not yet three years old when his father was killed during a war. His grandmother, Saint Clotilda, brought him and his two brothers to Paris to be educated, and doted over them with loving care.
Their ambitious and sinister uncles, however, covetous of the kingdom of Orleans, murdered the youngest boys with their own hands. Clodoald alone was saved from the massacre. Later, renouncing the world, he privately consecrated himself to the service of God. After distributing to the poor what he could salvage of his heritage, he retired to a hermitage to be a disciple pf the holy recluse St. Severinus, who dwelt near the gates of Paris and who clothed him with the monastic habit. His uncles left him alone, seeing his final decision to live as a religious, and conceded certain heritages to him. When he became famous through an act of charity rewarded by a miracle, he withdrew secretly to Provence. There again, his hermitage was sought out by petitioners. He decided to return to Paris, where he was welcomed back with the great joy.
The people petitioned the bishop and Clodoald was ordained a priest in 551 by Eusebius, Bishop of Paris, and served the Church of that city for some time in the sacred ministry. Again he found himself held in great honor, so he retired to Nogent, a place now known as Saint Clodoald, several miles south of Paris, where he built a monastery. There he was joined by many pious men, who fled from the world for fear of losing their souls through it. Saint Clodoald was chosen by them to be their Superior, and he animated them to virtue both by word and example. He was tireless in instructing and exhorting the faithful of the surrounding area. He died at Nogent in 560, and the major part of his relics remain still in the parish church of the village (see pictures).
Commemoration of the holy confessor, St. Cloud – Collect for September 7:
O God, Who didst exalt Blessed Clodoald thy confessor, humbled for Thy sake in this world, both by raising him to the dignity of the priesthood and by enduring him with the splendor of many virtues: grant unto us, following his example, to do thee worthy service and, helped by his prayers, ever to grow in virtue and merit. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Thy Son, Who liveth and reigneth with Thee in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
St. Clodoald, pray for us and especially for all those who call upon you for aid.