Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Marie-Antoinette receives Holy Communion in prison

The Queen was bone tired. She was led across the courtyard of the Palais de Justice to the Conciergerie and her damp, moldy cell. Yet in that hopeless place she had received much spiritual consolation. Two of her guards were devout Catholics, and earlier in the fall had permitted the holy, non-juring priest Abbé Magnin to twice hear her confession, and even once say Mass in her cell. She had been able to receive Holy Communion for the first time in more than a year. "Now you will have the strength to endure your torments," the Abbé said to her. The guards assisted at Mass with her. Two nights before the trial began, another non-juring priest secretly brought her Holy Communion. She knew it was her Viaticum....
~
from Trianon by Elena Maria Vidal, Chapter Seven "The Sacrifice"
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17 comments:

Elisa said...

I'm sure these two guards were taking a risk to bring a non-juring priest to the Queen and were willing to do so. A little light in a time of darkness.
Ste. Chappelle is in the same area as the Palais de Justice and the Conciergerie.

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, they were taking a great risk. I think they were both arrested later on. Only Abbe Magnin survived to tell of the secret Mass. Yes, dear Elisa, the Sainte-Chapelle adjoins the Palias de Justice.

Terry Nelson said...

The painting seems to depict the Queen in almost Carmelite attire - is this from a Carmelite source, because she was close to the carmel, Am I correct?

I cannot believe how horribly her reputation has been distorted for all of history - and why on earth is Bastille Day a huge celebration?

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Terry, Marie-Antoinette was a benefactress of the Carmelite order. Her husband's aunt was a Carmelite nun and is a Blessed of the Church, Madame Louise, as you probably know. The king and queen would visit her once a year at the Carmel of Saint Denis. What the queen is wearing in the picture is actually just plain old widows' weeds, what any woman at the time would wear when her husband passed away.

Yes, her reputation has been distorted beyond belief because people are still trying to justify the Revolution and its crimes. Bastille Day will be celebrated as long as people continue to celebrate the spirit of Revolt.

Suzanne said...

Did Abbe Mignon ever suffer for saying Mass/hearing confession? or did they leave him alone? If so, why?

After reading a lot over the past several months about the Revolution, I asked myself the same question about Bastille Day. Having lived in France and gone to school there, I never heard anyone question this or actually talk about how horrible this day was and what the implications were. And, we were always told, "It's the French version of our 4th of July".

elena maria vidal said...

The abbe was able to get away with it saying mass for the prisoners-- he was never discovered. There were many priests who ministered in the prisons of the Revolution, and some managed to elude the authorities. The abbe was already a prisoner there himself.

As with many secular holidays Bastille Day is based upon a myth and was invented by the authorities to replace the Christian fetes. There were only seven prisoners in the Bastille when it was stormed and were all living quite comfortably. No one talks about the REAL tyranny which followed when the supposed symbol of "tyranny" was torn down.

Suzanne said...

I didn't realize the Abbe was a PRISONER too.

elena maria vidal said...

Oh, yes, because he would not take the oath to the government and deny the papal supremacy. All the non-juring priests were arrested and many guillotined or killed. Many were murdered in the September Massacres in 1792. Marie-Antoinette would only receive the sacraments from a non-juring priest.

Paula said...

The French Revolution had a major contribution to what we call today the "culture of death".

The life of Marie-Antoinette is prophetic for the fate of many women in the times to come... Therefore her story should be better understood.

I am glad that you, Elena-Maria, have chosen this area.

elena maria vidal said...

Dear Paula, thank you so much for understanding. That is exactly why so much of my writing is devoted to Marie-Antoinette. Her life, her agony, her death was a prophetic moment of things to come, which is why I quoted the Book of Apocalypse so often in "Trianon." It is not just about her, it is about all of us, NOW.

Paula said...

Dear Elena, while reading your last posts it struck me that THIS (see our last comments) is the reasons of your books...The seeds planted by the French Revolution yielded poisoned fruits in the last century.

I like the quote below the picture of the Queen on your blog: it is so telling... The chivalry was really abolished in the era inaugurated by the Revolution.

I will return perhaps today to write one more comment.
I am happy for our conversation.:-)
Thank you for the delicious "tea".

elena maria vidal said...

You are welcome, Paula! I am happy for it, too!!

Paula said...

Dear Elena, the suffering of the Queen and of those persecuted on one hand, the profiles of the tormentors on the other hand resemble so much what has happened in my old country, Romania when the communism was imposed...such a pity that the books that I read about the communist prisons of East-Europe (Romania in special) are not translated in English... I should consider posting on the topic. You inspired me.

elena maria vidal said...

It all ties in, Paula, it all ties in. Yes, the Communists were the heirs of the Jacobins. You should post about them, dear. Everyone talks about the Nazis but they forget the horrors of Communism....

Paula said...

Dear Elena, I actually consider to make a blog on the topic.
Perhaps not very soon rather in few weeks/months.
Here is almost 10 pm. Thank you for the having me as a guest, Elena.:-)

elena maria vidal said...

Yes, Paula, there should be a blog on that topic! Our Lady of Fatima will guide you! You are a most welcome guest here, my dear.

Marie Antoinette Voges said...

When I visited the Palais de Justice, I was the only visitor at that time and words cannot describe my feelings and emotions when I realised that now I am treading on history!
Marie Antoinette Voges