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A French legend relates that St. Grimonia was the daughter of a pagan Irish chief, and that when she was twelve years old, she was converted to Christianity and made a vow of perpetual virginity. Her father, in defiance of or not understanding such a vow, wished her to marry, and when she refused, shut her up. Grimonia escaped and fled to France, where she became a solitary in the forest of Thierache in Picardy. Here the contemplation of the beauty of created things would often bring her to the state of ecstacy. After a prolonged search, the messengers of her father traced her to her retreat, where they before her the alternatives of return in a forced marriage or death. Grimonia remained firm and so she was beheaded on April 20th in an unknown year. A chapel was built over her grave which became famous for miracles, and around it, grew up a town called from its origin, LaChapelle. On September 7, 1231, her relics, together with those of Saint Proba (Preuve), another Irish woman, who is supposed to have suffered with Grimonia, were enshrined at LesQuielles. The facts about St. Grimonia are hard to come by; she may have been a solitary who lost her life in defending her chastity. Her feast day is September 7th.
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By Kenya Sinclair (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
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