Sunday, August 15, 2010

Relics of the Martyr-Queen

Marie-Antoinette's last crucifix. "Her Christ" to translate from the French.
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.
~from Trianon by Elena Maria Vidal
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13 comments:

Coffee Catholic said...

Will Rome ever investigate Marie-Antoinette's cause? To see if she was indeed a Saint and a martyr?

elena maria vidal said...

Probably not while she is being confounded in the public mind with the likes of Michelle Obama. That is why it is important to get the truth out.

However, we are permitted to have private devotion for a person who by all accounts gave evidence of heroic virtue before their death. Canonization and beatification mean that the Church has determined that the person is worthy of public devotion and an official place in the liturgy. But from the early days of the Church, the faithful have been allowed to seek the intercession of those deemed holy, long before the days that they began to formally canonize saints.

Mylynka said...

Do Catholics (particularly in France) consider Marie Antoinette a martyr for her faith? Is she considered holy at all? I am just curious. Thanks.

elena maria vidal said...

She is in traditional Catholic circles but not by the majority of French citizens, as far as I can tell.

Coffee Catholic said...

Why would Rome care about what the public thinks? (This is an honest question, I promise!) If a person was a Saint don't you think that making this truth known to the public would be far more important then pandering to the public and its tendancy to create cults of personalities, like Michelle Obama?

You see in the generations following the various Reformations a systematic slaughter of Europe and Britain's Catholic monarchy and nobility. And people wonder why the Catholic Faith has basically died a death over here across the pond? :-(

elena maria vidal said...

Coffee honey, it's not that Rome cares what people think. It is just with such a generally false perception that most people have of the Queen, fed by movies like the Coppola film which shows her rolling in the bushes with a lover, to declare her Blessed would tarnish the public view of sainthood. I once told a young nun that I hoped Marie-Antoinette would be beatified someday and she laughed her head off. To beatify the Queen with the current public image of her would scandalize to the faithful. That is why it is important to educate people....

Also, people are usually beatified only when they have a strong promotion from a religious order or congregation, with someone to promulgate the cause. It is necessary for the person to have a "cult" or a following of devotees among the faithful. Right now, most of the people devoted to Marie-Antoinette are teenage girls interested in her as the "teen queen" with not much thought for her heroic virtues or good works.

lara77 said...

Elena Maria, you said the magic word, EDUCATE. If people are curious, interested in a time period; they will investigate not only the history written in the books but the other side of the story as well. I find in conversations with family and friends that they too were unaware of the horror and tragedy not only for Queen Marie Antoinette but the thousands of other innocents. Most people only see the "frivolous" Queen who lost her head. We now see the wife, mother, queen and Catholic woman who braved such horrors most of us could never imagine.

elena maria vidal said...

Exactly, Lara, and it is a huge task considering the ocean of revolutionary propaganda that is being taught in schools.

lara77 said...

Is it that the "means justify the ends?" I argue with people that the victims of the revolution were real people; mothers, fathers, children. Do they not count? The violence and the barbarism of the French Revolution would be replayed so many times in history. Look at the Paris Commune of 1870, the Russian and Chinese Revolutions. All those innocent people with no one but God to hear their cries. How does mankind ever advance if we shut the books on the truth?

elena maria vidal said...

Exactly. And in spite of all the murders committed in the name of progress, the world is not necessarily a better place....

Aron said...

I am pleased to know that one may...be of the private opinion...as it were that MA qualifies for sanctity, and act accordingly. (Louis too, actually). I have always thought such anyway. Apparently so does my friend in Rome. One does indeed try to educate people with regard to Marie Antoinette, but, sadly, so few seem to...care. In my undergrad I did a few papers and a mini-thesis to this end...I was considered "biased." Ahem. Sometimes I re-post from here and other places on my facebook page in an attempt to reach more people. My friends think I am nuts, but one keeps on. One of them was kind enough to reproduce "Marie Antoinette A La Rose," which now hangs above my mantle. What else can we do, Elena? Guys? There must be more...? <><

Stephanie A. Mann said...

What else can we do? We can certainly continue to tell the truth person to person and that might be our greatest effort.
Another strategy is to get someone who really influences society to accept this truth and advocate it. An acquaintance of mine once wrote a book on happiness, understood from a classical and Christian point of view. He said he had the opportunity to find such an advocate, but could not convince the MSM anchor to tell the story of true happiness. That's a tough row to hoe.

elena maria vidal said...

Aron, I would say that same thing as Stephanie. It is difficult, I know, to shout out the truth and then get the feeling that no one is listening but perseverance wins the crown.