Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wedding Day at the Guillotine

From Meghan Ferrara of Regina Magazine:
On 17 July 1794, the Carmelite sisters, attired in their religious habits because they had been washing their plain clothes the morning of their arrest, renewed their vows of baptism and religious profession. They then mounted a tumbrel and were led through the streets of Paris to the Place du Trône Renversé (now the Place de la Nation).

Witnesses reported that the sisters radiated joy, as if anticipating their wedding day. Juxtaposed against the ethereal silence of the usually raucous crowds were the voices of the sisters, singing their way to heaven. En route, they chanted the Salve Regina, the Te Deum, and Veni, Sancte Spiritus, and then intoned the psalm Laudate Dominum, omnes gentes. Before each sister mounted the scaffold, she knelt before the Mother Superior to receive a blessing, kissed a small statue of the Madonna and Child, and placed herself beneath the blade without allowing the executioner to touch her. The Mother Prioress was the last sacrificed. All throughout, the silence was complete. Not even a single drum-roll sounded. (Read more.)

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