anti-human trafficking · anti-slavery · history · human trafficking · slavery

Bathildis – Godly Monarch in the late 600s

I have been reading this book called Sisterhood of Faith (it’s a daily devotional but I read a few a day, so I’m in February now). The other day I came across a fascinating woman’s story in which I was a little disappointed I had never heard of before in my 2.5 years of researching human trafficking. I would like to share a portion of what was said of her.

Bathildis reigned over the Frankish kingdom, using her influence and riches to fight abuses in the church and in the country.
Born in England, Bathildis was taken as a slave to the Frankish kingdom. She served in the court of King Clovis II, and the two married in 649. When Bathildis ascended the throne after her husband’s death in 657, she bought and freed large numbers of slaves and permitted former slaves to own property as citizens.  Always mindful of her impoverished past, she paid debts for the poor and eliminated a burdensome tax. Queen Bathildis also used her influence to correct abuses in the church, where at that time offices were bought and sold.
Bathildis founded St. Denis monastery and a Benedictine convent. She restored the Abbey of St. George, near Paris.  Although in later years she suffered with a painful illness, she spent her last fifteen years living and working at the convent instead of enjoying the comfort of a palace court.  Her subjects admired her generosity and faithfulness to God’s work.

What an inspiring woman she was! A slave who made her way to the top for a specific reason and purpose.  I love the fact that somehow she pleased the king so much that he married her. She sounds like a modern day Esther (for her time). I was trying to think of what life must have been like for her after her crude slave life came to a fall and royalty rose her up. I am sure the high society of the kingdom looked down upon her for all she did for slaves when slavery was certainly legal during that time. No wonder why she spent so much time outside of her palace helping others. She cared more about what God wanted of her rather than what people probably prodded her about ignoring. That is the type of woman I want to be: more concerned with doing right in God’s eyes than listening to peers.

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