Sunday, June 10, 2012

Abbé Magnin's Testimony


Lenotre's The Last Days of Marie Antoinette (1907) includes some revealing first hand accounts, including the testimony of the priest who, in spite of the great risks, was able to say Mass for the queen before her death. Abbé Magnin stated the following:  
The day of the sacred ceremony being agreed upon, the gaoler came to meet us during the night at a particular spot, and took us into the prison. I heard the Queen's confession. Mademoiselle Fouché was prepared to receive her Saviour and the two gendarmes assured me that they also were ready, and earnestly desired to communicate in these fortunate and unexpected circumstances.
I celebrated Holy Mass and gave the Communion to the Queen, who, as she fortified herself with the eucharistic bread, received from God the courage to bear uncomplainingly all the torture that awaited her. Mademoiselle Fouché and the two gendarmes were at the same time admitted to the divine banquet. Having undertaken to tell my story in few words, I cannot possibly dwell upon the emotion to which so touching a scene must give rise....

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6 comments:

Christine said...

Isn't this beautiful? I've just finished Jacque Herissay's essay, "Les Aumoniers de la Guillotine", and he dedicates a section to M. Magnin. I have been thinking of translating the essay and posting it on my blog. The accounts have been inspiring and powerful to read these past few days.

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Christine! You should indeed translate the essay. There are a lot of people who would find it quite informative.

Sanctus Belle said...

That was a beautiful story, thank you so much for this post. Is the picture the scene described?

elena maria vidal said...

Thank you, Sanctus Belle. Yes, the painting is of the secret Mass in the queen's cell at the Conciergerie.

Thirtytwo degrees said...

Very touching to realize this powerful moment. God grant her fortitude in her hour of death. Very touching.

Matterhorn said...

Of course, someone will come along and say this is "hagiography." Many people do not want to believe that there really are saints in this world.