Saturday, September 1, 2007

Martyrs of the September Massacres, 1792

They are remembered tomorrow. Thanks to The Western Confucian for the reminder. Here is an account, and here. To quote:

“In all, more than fourteen hundred were murdered during the diabolic orgy of violence that constituted the September massacres. All done, of course, under the flag of "liberty"; a point immortalized in a small attic above the church. On the wall, alongside a faded streak of blood, one reads the desperate cry of an ill-fated prisoner:

‘Liberty, Liberty, what have they done to thee, what horrors are committed in thy name….’

In the crypt of the Church of St-Joseph-des-Carmes, built by the Carmelites between 1613 and 1625 and now the church of the Institut Catholique, are the tomb of Ozanam and the remains of the 120 priests massacred in this church on 2 September 1792, after fifteen days of captivity. In this crypt, Lacordaire remained attached to a cross for three hours.

This group of beati consists of 191 individuals who were martyred during the French Revolution, including 120 who were massacred at the Carmelite church (Les Carmes) on the rue de Rennes, Paris. They were imprisoned by the Legislative Assembly for refusing to subscribe to the constitutional oath that had been condemned by the Holy See. They were massacred by a mob with the connivance of the assembly.

Among them were these prominent figures: Augustine Ambrose Chevreux, OSB, the last superior general of the French Benedictines of Saint Maur, was imprisoned at Les Carmes in Paris and killed in the general massacre; beatified in 1931. Charles de la Calmette, count of Valfons. Francis de la Rochefoucauld, bishop of Beauvais. John Mary du Lau, archbishop of Arles, was also imprisoned in Les Carmes and murdered by the mob. Louis Barreau de la Touche, OSB, nephew of Augustine of Chevreux and monk of Saint Maur. Louis de la Rochefoucauld, bishop of Saints and brother of Blessed Francis (Benedictines).



Vara said...

This reminds me of von le Fort's "Die Letze am Schafott" ("The Song at the Scaffold", I believe) concerning the nuns murdered by the Jacobins. Has the Roman Church glorified them as saints? One would hope that they have.

Also, one cannot forget that the Jacobins were as passionately anti-Church as the communists, and, indeed, they were an inspiration for Lenin et al (It was not for nothing that the Reds renamed a battleship the "Marat"). If we can point to the ur-secularists, they are it. This was the bitter fruit of the "Enlightenment", something that Americans would do well to keep in mind concerning their "Founding Fathers".

I would say that one should remember that when God is chased away, then "everything is permitted" (as Dostoyevsky put it). What is "everything"? Look at 1792 and 1917 and be instructed and warned.


elena maria vidal said...

Very true, Vara. Yes, the feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Compiegne is July 17. They were guillotined in July of 1794.

Vara said...

You are aware that the feast of the Holy Royal Martyrs and their Companions is... 17 July? Eerie coincidence, wot?

As an aside, one of the martyrs of 17 July 1918 was Colonel Aleksei Igorovich Trupp, a Roman Catholic. The Church in Exile accepts him as a saint, so, of course, do I. The truth IS stranger (and better!) than fiction!

(By the way, Colonel Trupp is buried along with the royal family in Petersburg. If their blood mingled together on the floor of the Ipatiev House, I say let them lie together in rest.)


elena maria vidal said...

That is an interesting coincidence, especially since July 16 is the feast of Our Lady of Mt Carmel. Trupp was a Catholic?? I NEVER knew that!! Fascinating!!!

Vara said...

Yes, indeed, he was a practising (not merely a baptised) Catholic. In fact, at the reburial in 1998, whilst all the other coffins bore Orthodox three-bar crosses, Colonel Trupp's coffin was marked with a Latin crucifix, as is right and proper. I believe that one of the chapels in the Church-on-the-Blood in Yekaterinburg is consecrated in his honour and memory (as is just, as he proved his devotion with his life).

The relationship between Orthodox and Latin is MUCH more complex and interrelated than most realise. Although I reject John Paul's analogy of "two lungs", I accept that the Schism of 1054 is a tragedy, but it is not the place of people such as you and me to solve it. Rather, it is our duty to show the utmost in Christian charity and forebearance to one another.

I bow before you in all respect, and hope that all our affairs (including civil disagreements) may be in all peace and concord.

In friendship,