Scandalously irreverent and theologically imprecise briefs on heroines of the faith, written by a recovering Protestant agnostic seeker with practically no training and exactly zero filter.
Balthild was born between 626 & 627. As a young girl she was sold into slavery and ended up at the house of Erchinoald, the mayor of the palace of Neustria to Clovis. Erch’s wife died and he took a liking to young Bathild. He made it known that he wanted to marry her, so she decided to peace out until he married someone else.
Now, seeing as she was a slave, it’s not like she could just up and leave, so I have to imagine this just meant she made herself scarce. Like, she didn’t just stop returning his texts, she had to turn into a legit ghost in this dude’s own house.
But hey, it worked! Erch did remarry and by that time she’d caught the eye of Clovis himself. Which meant she went from being a servant to being the Queen.
As a ruler, she was famous for her charitable work and she basically became the Oprah of Abbies. She was like, “You get an abbey! And you get an abbey! YOU ALL GET ABBIES!!!”
I’m a firm believer that all people should work in the service industry for this. very. reason. My first job at 15, was working at a Sonic Drive-In, and from there I waited tables until I was 19.
I experienced people treating me with kindness and others treating me like trash. It made me a better person AND someone who always tips very generously. Like, even if I straight up see a waiter spit in my drink, I’ll just assume they’re dealing with some personal stuff and tip them even more than 20% so they can afford online therapy. I’ve also said that each of my kids will work in the service industry themselves, because working for nothing makes you appreciate everything so much more… and it also keeps you from being a complete a-hole later in life.
When you know what it’s like to start from the bottom, you never treat those that are still there as if they’re beneath you. I’m just doing my best to be a ‘decent people’ maker, while Bathild was a straight-up king maker. All three of her sons, Clotaire, Childeric and Theuderic, became legit kings. Even with those gawd awful names. That’s saying something.
Between 655 & 658, her husband Clovis died, and Clot became the king.
Yeah, Clot, that’s definitely what I’m calling him. And Bathild became the queen regent. In that position she made it illegal to sell Christian slaves, which imma be honest, probably helped grow the Church quite a bit… I know that would incentivize me to cross the Tiber real fast… and she also worked to free child slaves as well.
Bathild died on January 30, in 680 and was buried at one of her abbeys and she was canonized by Pope Nicholas I around 880. According to Wikipedia, however, her cult was started before then, in 833. And this is where my agnosticism is gonna start showing because I didn’t know that was a thing. Y’all have cults?!? Perhaps it’s a word that means something different to you guys… probably. Because while my husband prefers murder shows like Dateline, I’m all about some cult documentaries… so imma need to know if she has one because these Saint columns will QUICKLY turn into movie reviews for Catholic cult docs if that’s an option, jus’ sayin’.
[EDITOR’S NOTE: The redoubtable Destiny has aced it in one, as the largely fish-eating Papist readership of these pages will have noted already. “Cult” here is indeed a technical term — a term of art, if you will — referring to the practice of devotion to a saint. The “cult” of Balthild might well have been, “devotion” to Balthild. We enjoy messing with people’s heads, though. TBH, it often seems we delight in making things difficult for the Pagans and hereticsseekers and separated brethren to understand. Think of it as a strange sort of secret code or linguistic “handshake” and it’ll mostly go away. Also, let’s face it: sometimes we’re just weird. That, too, is part of the fun. – Ed.]
Destiny Herndon De La Rosa is the founder of the secular pro-life New Wave Feminists organization. She is a frequent op/ed contributor to the Dallas Morning News and a sought-after speaker.