According to the BBC:

The Queen laid a wreath at the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red exhibit….

By 11 November – Armistice Day – there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and colonial death….

Stage designer Tom Piper, who helped create the poppy installation, said the Queen described the artwork as “‘impressive’…. It’s captured the imagination of the whole nation so I think it’s wonderful we’ve had the Queen at one end and also completely ordinary people at the other coming.”

To read the full article at the BBC, please click here.

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According to BBC.com

… The Queen laid a wreath at the Blood Swept Lands And Seas Of Red exhibit, where each poppy commemorates a fallen WWI serviceman.

By 11 November – Armistice Day – there will be 888,246 ceramic poppies, one for each British and colonial death.

The Tower of London was where more than 1,600 men swore an oath to the Crown after enlisting for the war.

It was also used as a military depot, ceremonial setting-off point for regiments stationed there and the execution location for 11 German spies.

To read the entire article in BBC.com, please click here.

 

 

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The Battle of Fontenoy, May 11, 1745. Oil by Louis Nicolas van Blarenberghe.

The Battle of Fontenoy, May 11, 1745. Oil by Louis Nicolas van Blarenberghe.

During the battle of Fontenoy, when French soldiers were being mowed down, the Dauphin positioned himself at the front of some troops and, sword in hand, shouted:

—   “Frenchmen, forward! Let’s fight for the honor of France!”

Some who were close to the Crown Prince cautioned that his life was too precious to risk in a charge, but he replied:

—   “On the day of battle, only the life of the general is precious, not mine.”

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Edmond Guérard, Dictionnaire encyclopédique d’anécdotes (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1872), Vol. 1, 262. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 430

 

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Making a Sacrifice

October 20, 2014

The baptism of Clovis in Reims in 496. Painting by François-Louis Dejuinne .

The baptism of Clovis in Reims in 496. Painting by François-Louis Dejuinne .

When these dedicated sectors flourished, the spirit of their constant personal self-sacrifice and restraint permeated and set the tone for all society and helped all to control and counter their disordered passions. It was by this spirit that the barbarians were gradually both restrained by force of arms and tamed by prayer and penance under the loving gaze of the Church.

Hence, Summerfield Ballwin succinctly writes that “it was the Way of the Cross . . . which preoccupied the minds and hearts of Christendom.”* The sublime perfume of this spirit of abnegation permeated economy, art, and thought, and gave value, meaning, and beauty to all things human.

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* Summerfield Ballwin, Business in the Middle Ages (New York: Cooper Square Publishers, 1968), 5.

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 331-2.

 

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Charles Martel

Born about 688; died at Quierzy on the Oise, 21 October, 741.

Charles MartelHe was the natural son of Pepin of Herstal and a woman named Alpaïde or Chalpaïde. Pepin, who died in 714, had outlived his two legitimate sons, Drogon and Grimoald, and to Theodoald, a son of the latter and then only six years old, fell the burdensome inheritance of the French monarchy.

Charles, who was then twenty-six, was not excluded from the succession on account of his birth, Theodoald himself being the son of a concubine, but through the influence of Plectrude, Theodoald’s grandmother, who wished the power invested in her own descendants exclusively.

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Blessed Karl, Emperor of Austria

Karl Franz Josef(Also known as Carlo d’Austria, Charles of Austria)

Born August 17, 1887, in the Castle of Persenbeug in the region of Lower Austria, his parents were the Archduke Otto and Princess Maria Josephine of Saxony, daughter of the last King of Saxony. Emperor Francis Joseph I was Charles’ Great Uncle.

The Imperial family, Franz Joseph I,  Karl I and Otto of Austria.

The Imperial family, Franz Joseph I, Karl I and Otto of Austria.

Charles was given an expressly Catholic education and the prayers of a group of persons accompanied him from childhood, since a stigmatic nun prophesied that he would undergo great suffering and attacks…

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St-Ursula-and-the-Holy-VirginsOnce upon a time, there was once a just and most Christian King of Britain, called Maurus. To him and to his wife Daria was born a little girl, the fairest creature that this earth ever saw. She came into the world wrapped in a hairy mantle, and all men wondered greatly what this might mean. Then the King gathered together his wise men to inquire of them. But they could not make known the thing to him, for only God in Heaven knew how the rough robe signified that she should follow holiness and purity all her days, and the wisdom of Saint John the Baptist. And because of the mantle, they called her Ursula, ‘Little Bear.’

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Statue of St. Wendelin

Statue of St. Wendelin

Born about 554; died probably in 617. His earliest biographies, two in Latin and two in German, did not appear until after 1417. Their narrative is the following: Wendelin was the son of a Scottish king; after a piously spent youth he secretly left his home on a pilgrimage to Rome. On his way back he settled as a hermit in Westricht in the Diocese of Trier. When a great landowner blamed him for his idle life he entered this lord’s service…

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St. John of Capistrano

Born at Capistrano, in the Diocese of Sulmona, Italy, 1385; died 23 October, 1456.

San Juan CapistranoHis father had come to Naples in the train of Louis of Anjou, hence is supposed to have been of French blood, though some say he was of German origin. His father dying early, John owed his education to his mother. She had him at first instructed at home and then sent him to study law at Perugia, where he achieved great success under the eminent legist, Pietro de Ubaldis.

In 1412 he was appointed governor of Perugia by Ladislaus, King of Naples, who then held that city of the Holy See. As governor he set himself against civic corruption and bribery.

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Blessed Thomas Thwing

Martyr. Born at Heworth Hall, near York, in 1635; suffered at York, 23 Oct., 1680. His father was George Thwing, Esq., of Kilton Castle and Heworth, nephew of Venerable Edward Thwing; his mother was Anne, sister of the venerable confessor Sir Thomas Gasciogne, of Barnbrow Hall.

A panoramic view of York in the 15th century.  Watercolour by E. Ridsdale Tate

A panoramic view of York in the 15th century. Watercolour by E. Ridsdale Tate. York Castle is on the right hand side of river, opposite the abandoned motte of Baile Hill.

Educated at Douai, he was sent to the mission in 1664 and laboured in his native country. Until April, 1668, he was chaplain at Carlton Hall, the seat of his cousins the Stapletons. He next opened a school at Quosque, the dower-house of the Stapletons. When in 1677 the “Institute of Mary” began their foundation in the house given by Sir Thomas Gasciogne at Dolebank, Thwing became their chaplain, three of his sisters being of the community. It was there that he was arrested in the early part of 1679. At the time of the Titus Oates scare, two servants who had been discharged from Sir Thomas Gasciogne’s employ for dishonesty, sought vengeance and reward by disclosing a pretend murder plot on the part of Gasciogne and others to murder the king. In their first allegation no mention was made of Thwing. Gasciogne, Thwing, and others were removed to London for trial at Newgate. All were acquitted except Thwing, who was brought back to York for trial in March, 1680. Owing to his challenging the jurors, his trial was postponed to the summer assizes, and he was brought to the bar on 29 July.

Stone marking the site of the Tyburn tree on the traffic island at the junction of Edgware Road, Marble Arch and Oxford Street

Stone marking the site of the Tyburn tree on the traffic island at the junction of Edgware Road, Marble Arch and Oxford Street

He was refused an impartial jury, and was found guilty on the very same evidence upon which his relatives had been acquitted. Upon receiving sentence, which in consideration of his gentle birth was passed on him apart from the felons and murderers found guilty at the same assizes, humbly bowing his head he replied “Innocens ego sum.” The king at first reprieved him, but owing to a remonstrance of the Commons the death-warrant was issued on the day after the meeting of Parliament. He was drawn from York Castle, past the convent where the sisters were dwelling, to Tyburn, where the sentence was carried out. He declared his innocence, protested his loyalty to the king and his charity to his neighbour; prayed for the king and royal family, and begged the prayers of all true Catholics. His dying words were “Sweet Jesus, receive my soul”. His mangled body was given to his friends, and buried in the churchyard of St. Mary, Castlegate.

Relics of the martyr are now preserved at the Bar Convent, York, and at Oscott College.

Knaresborough, MSS.; Coleridge, St. Mary’s Convent, York; Cobbett, State Trials, VII; Foley, Records S. J.; Waugh, Quosque Hall in Downside Review (July, 1909); Gillow in Cath. Rec. Soc., IV, IX; Dodd, Church History, III; Challoner, Memoirs of Missionary Priests (Edinburgh, 1877).

J. L. Whitfield (Catholic Encyclopedia)

[Nobility.org note: He was beatified by Pope Pius XI on 15 December 1929.]

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King Afonso V of Portugal and the Algarves

King Afonso V of Portugal and the Algarves

When King Afonso V of Portugal was in Ceuta he made some incursions into the lands of the Moors. On one of these raids into the mountains, he was surprised by numerous enemies and resolved to withdraw and spend the night in Tetouan. Upon reaching the city he saw that his troops were retreating in disorder and without direction. He therefore ordered Dom Duarte de Meneses, Count of Viana and captain of Alcácer, to return and organize the withdrawal. Knowing that death awaited him in this task, the noble said to the king:

— “Sire, I commend my wife and children to your care.”

When other nobles asked him why he was returning to the battlefield, he explained:

— “I return to die, for my lord the king commands it.”

And indeed, shortly thereafter, Dom Duarte de Meneses was killed in action.

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José Hermano Saraiva, Ditos portugueses dignos de memória (Sintra: Europa-América, 1997), 568. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 429

 

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Painting by Leopold Loeffler of a family that lost everything due to war.

Painting by Leopold Loeffler of a family that lost everything due to war.

Lest we be accused of glorifying the past, any dream of an ideal society cannot exclude the reality of hardship and suffering that comes from God’s punishment of our first parents: “With labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life” (Gn 3:17). Dreams become nostalgic and romantic fantasies if they are not linked with the reality of suffering and tragedy. We must therefore take to heart the model of the Cross.

crucifixJust as consumer society presupposes the consumer, Christian civilization presupposed the Christian. The Christian was not just a religious label. Rather it was the development of “the human type that had been produced by ten centuries of spiritual discipline and intensive cultivation of the inner life.”* He was and is “another Christ,” inseparable from His Cross.

Livonia KnightWhat characterized early medieval man was his understanding that once disordered passions were let loose, they would unleash a tyrannical rule upon everything. This applied to private life, but this could also be seen in the barbaric and unruly passions of invading peoples who wreaked such havoc on medieval Europe.

Painting by Gustav Reinhold

Painting by Gustav Reinhold

Thus, medieval man perceived that the fight against these unbridled passions must play a central role in his private life. He also understood that in society there must always be dedicated sectors on the front lines of this great battle that, inspired by the Faith, take an attitude of fighting to the death at any moment to defend society as a whole.** The medieval knight, for example, held this ideal literally, as the civilizing monks of the West did analogously in their interior martyrdom.

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* Christopher Dawson, Religion and the Rise of Western Culture (New York: Sheed and Ward, 1950), 9.

 

** “The life of man upon earth is a warfare” (Jb 7:1).

 

John Horvat II, Return to Order: From a Frenzied Economy to an Organic Christian Society—Where We’ve Been, How We Got Here, and Where We Need To Go (York, Penn.: York Press, 2013), 331.

 

 

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Painting of St. Francis by Giovanni Da Milano

Painting of St. Francis by Giovanni Da Milano

This recipe from the Umbria region of Italy is served on the feast day of St. Francis. It is supposedly one of the few foods that St. Francis let himself really enjoy. The recipe, according to tradition, originated with St. Clare.

 

divider

Paletta di Mandorla

(Almond Slices)

1 cup butter
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 cups flour
2 cups almonds, whole, finely chopped, or 4 cups almonds, ground
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla

almond biscotti

Cream butter, sugar and eggs. Add the other ingredients and knead until smooth. Form 2 rolls about 1 inch (3 cm) diameter.

Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven 375°F for 10 to 12 minutes until golden brown.

When cool, cut into slices 3/4 inch (2 cm) thick, and toast in the oven for 3 minutes.

 

Taken from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf

 

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St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

Religious of the Visitation Order. Apostle of the Devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, born at Lhautecour, France, 22 July, 1647; died at Paray-le-Monial, 17 October, 1690.

St. Margaret Mary AlacoqueHer parents, Claude Alacoque and Philiberte Lamyn, were distinguished less for temporal possessions than for their virtue, which gave them an honourable position. From early childhood Margaret showed intense love for the Blessed Sacrament, and preferred silence and prayer to childish amusements. After her first communion at the age of nine, she practised in secret severe corporal mortifications, until paralysis confined her to bed for four years. At the end of this period, having made a vow to the Blessed Virgin to consecrate herself to religious life, she was instantly restored to perfect health. The death of her father and the injustice of a relative plunged the family in poverty and humiliation, after which more than ever Margaret found consolation in the Blessed Sacrament, and Christ made her sensible of His presence and protection. He usually appeared to her as the Crucified or the Ecce Homo, and this did not surprise her, as she thought others had the same Divine assistance. When Margaret was seventeen, the family property was recovered, and her mother besought her to establish herself in the world. Her filial tenderness made her believe that the vow of childhood was not binding, and that she could serve God at home by penance and charity to the poor. Then, still bleeding from her self-imposed austerities, she began to take part in the pleasures of the world. One night upon her return from a ball, she had a vision of Christ as He was during the scourging, reproaching her for infidelity after He had given her so many proofs of His love. During her entire life Margaret mourned over two faults committed at this time—the wearing of some superfluous ornaments and a mask at the carnival to please her brothers.

Our Lord appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

Our Lord appearing to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque.

On 25 May, 1671, she entered the Visitation Convent at Paray, where she was subjected to many trials to prove her vocation, and in November, 1672, pronounced her final vows. She had a delicate constitution, but was gifted with intelligence and good judgement, and in the cloister she chose for herself what was most repugnant to her nature, making her life one of inconceivable sufferings, which were often relieved or instantly cured by our Lord, Who acted as her Director, appeared to her frequently and conversed with her, confiding to her the mission to establish the devotion to His Sacred Heart. These extraordinary occurrences drew upon her the adverse criticism of the community, who treated her as a visionary, and her superior commanded her to live the common life. But her obedience, her humility, and invariable charity towards those who persecuted her, finally prevailed, and her mission, accomplished in the crucible of suffering, was recognized even by those who had shown her the most bitter opposition.

A relief of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque part of the choir stalls in St. Gordian and St. Epimachus Church in Bavaria. Photo by Andreas Praefcke.

A relief of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, part of the choir stalls in St. Gordian and St. Epimachus Church in Bavaria. Photo by Andreas Praefcke.

Margaret Mary was inspired by Christ to establish the Holy Hour and to pray lying prostrate with her face to the ground from eleven till midnight on the eve of the first Friday of each month, to share in the mortal sadness He endured when abandoned by His Apostles in His Agony, and to receive holy Communion on the first Friday of every month. In the first great revelation, He made known to her His ardent desire to be loved by men and His design of manifesting His Heart with all Its treasures of love and mercy, of sanctification and salvation. He appointed the Friday after the octave of the feast of Corpus Christi as the feast of the Sacred Heart; He called her “the Beloved Disciple of the Sacred Heart”, and the heiress of all Its treasures. The love of the Sacred Heart was the fire which consumed her, and devotion to the Sacred Heart is the refrain of all her writings. In her last illness she refused all alleviation, repeating frequently: “What have I in heaven and what do I desire on earth, but Thee alone, O my God”, and died pronouncing the Holy Name of Jesus.

Her incorrupt body rests above the side altar in the Chapel of the Apparitions, located at the Visitation Monastery in Paray-le-Monial

Her incorrupt body rests above the side altar in the Chapel of the Apparitions, located at the Visitation Monastery in Paray-le-Monial

The discussion of the mission and virtues of Margaret Mary continued for years. All her actions, her revelations, her spiritual maxims, her teachings regarding the devotion to the Sacred Heart, of which she was the chief exponent as well as the apostle, were subjected to the most severe and minute examination, and finally the Sacred Congregation of rites passed a favourable vote on the heroic virtues of this servant of God. In March, 1824, Leo XII pronounced her Venerable, and on 18 September, 1864, Pius IX declared her Blessed. When her tomb was canonically opened in July, 1830, two instantaneous cures took place. Her body rests under the altar in the chapel at Paray, and many striking favours have been obtained by pilgrims attracted thither from all parts of the world. Her feast is celebrated on 17 October.

[Note: She was canonized by Pope Benedict XV in 1920.]

SISTER MARY BERNARD DOLL (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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Beaupréau

The Battle of Cholet was fought on 17 October 1793 during the French Revolutionary Wars, between French Republican forces under General Léchelle and French Royalist Forces under Louis d’Elbée. The battle was fought in the town of Cholet in the Maine-et-Loire department of France, and resulted in a Republican victory. D’Elbée was wounded and captured; he was later executed by Republican troops in Noirmoutier. Royalist Charles Melchior Artus de Bonchamps was fatally wounded in the battle.

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Destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

Main Entrance to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre

On October 18, 1009, under Fatimid caliph Al-Hakim bi-Amr Allah, orders for the complete destruction of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, also called the Church of the Resurrection, were carried out. The measures against the church were part of a more general campaign against Christian places of worship in Palestine and Egypt, which involved a great deal of other damage. Adhemar of Chabannes recorded that the church of St George at Lydda “with many other churches of the saints’ had been attacked, and the ‘basilica of the Lord’s Sepulchre destroyed down to the ground’”.

European reaction was…

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Pope Pius III

(Francesco Todeschini Piccolomini).

Pope Pius IIIB. at Siena, 29 May, 1439; elected 22 Sept., 1503; d. in Rome, 18 Oct., 1503, after a pontificate of four weeks. Piccolomini was the son of a sister of Pius II. He had passed his boyhood in destitute circumstances when his uncle took him into his household, bestowed upon him his family name and arms, and superintended his training and education. He studied law in Perugia and immediately after receiving the doctorate as canonist was appointed by his uncle Archbishop of Siena, and on 5 March, 1460, cardinal-deacon with the title of S. Eustachio. The following month he was sent as legate to the March of Ancona, with the experienced Bishop of Marsico as his counsellor. “The only thing objectionable about him”, says Voigt (Enea Silvio, III, 531), “was his youth; for in the administration of his legation and in his later conduct at the curia he proved to be a man of spotless character and many-sided capacity.” He was sent by Paul II as legate to Germany, where he acquitted himself with eminent success, the knowledge of German that he had acquired in his uncle’s house being of great advantage to him. During the worldly reigns of Sixtus IV and Alexander VI he kept away from Rome as much as possible. Sigismondo de Conti, who knew him well tells us that “he left no moment unoccupied; his time for study was before daybreak; he spent his mornings in prayer and his midday hours in giving audiences, to which the humblest had easy access. He was so temperate in food and drink that he only allowed himself an evening meal every other day.” Yet this is the excellent man to whom Gregorovius in his “Lucrezia Borgia”, without a shadow of authority, gives a dozen children-the calumny being repeated by Brosch and Creighton. After the death of Alexander VI, the conclave could not unite on the principal candidates, d’Amboise, Rovere, and Sforza; hence the great majority cast their votes for Piccolomini, who though only sixty-four was, like his uncle, tortured with gout and was prematurely old. He took the name of Pius III in honour of his uncle, was crowned on 8 Oct., after receiving priestly and episcopal orders. The strain of the long ceremony was so great that the pope sank under it. He was buried in St. Peter’s, but his remains were later transferred to S. Andrea della Valle where he rests by the side of Pius II.

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PASTOR, History of the Popes, VI, 185 sqq.; PANVINIO, Continuation of Platina; VON REUMONT, Gesch. der Stadt Rom; ARTAND DE MONTOR, History of the Popes (New York, 1867).

JAMES F. LOUGHLIN (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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St. Peter of Alcántara

St. Peter AlcantaraBorn at Alcántara, Spain, 1499; died 18 Oct., 1562. His father, Peter Garavita, was the governor of the place, and his mother was of the noble family of Sanabia. After a course of grammar and philosophy in his native town, he was sent, at the age of fourteen, to the University of Salamanca. Returning home, he became a Franciscan in the convent of the Stricter Observance at Manxaretes in 1515. At the age of twenty-two he was sent to found a new community of the Stricter Observance at Badajoz. He was ordained priest in 1524, and the following…

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The launch of the Montgolfier Balloon

The launch of the Montgolfier Balloon

In 1783, Montgolfier was preparing an experimental flight of his hot air balloon and planned to place live animals inside the basket. The laborer he employed insisted that he wanted to do the trip himself, but the inventor ruled this out as too risky and the rash endangering of the man’s life.

At last the flight took place in all safety, and the balloon landed a short distance away from Versailles. King Louis XVI ordered that the three animals that had made the trip were to remain on the grounds of the palace until their natural death.

Maria Teresa Luisa di Savoia, Princess  de Lamballe. Painting by Louis-Édouard Rioult.

Maria Teresa Luisa di Savoia, Princess de Lamballe. Painting by Louis-Édouard Rioult.

At this, the Princess of Lamballe, a lady of the court, saw a man weeping and asked him why he was sad.

— My Lady, I grieve because I was right. These three animals are going to have the best of everything, and I, poor laborer that I am who put together this balloon, received nothing at all.

Moved at the man’s distress, the Princess gave him some gold coins.

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Adolfo Padovan, Il Libro degli Aneddoti (Milan: Bottega di Poesia, 1924), 148. (Nobility.org translation.)

Short Stories on Honor, Chivalry, and the World of Nobility—no. 428

 

 

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Post-mortem of a Revolution

October 13, 2014

French Revolution

The last thirty years have given us a new version of the history of the French Revolution, the most diverse and hostile schools having contributed to it. The philosopher, Taine, drew attention to the affinity between the revolutionary and what he calls the classic spirit, that is, the spirit of abstraction which gave rise to Cartesianism and produced certain masterpieces of French literature. Moreover he admirably demonstrated the mechanism of the local revolutionary committees and showed how a daring Jacobin minority was able to enforce its will as that of “the people”. Following up this line of research M. Augustin Cochin has quite recently studied the mechanism of the sociétés de pensée in which the revolutionary doctrine was developed and in which were formed men quite prepared to put this doctrine into execution.

Louis Jean Joseph Charles Blanc, French politician, historian,  socialist and who greatly contributed to the development of socialism in France.

Louis Jean Joseph Charles Blanc, French politician, historian, socialist and who greatly contributed to the development of socialism in France.

The influence of freemasonry in the French Revolution proclaimed by Louis Blanc and by freemasonry itself is proved by the researches of M. Cochin. Sorel has brought out the connection between the diplomacy of the Revolution and that of the old regime. His works prove that the Revolution did not mark a break in the continuity of the foreign policy of France. The radically inclined historical school, founded and led by M. Aulard, has published numerous useful documents as well as the review, “La Révolution Française”. Two years since, a schism occured in this school, M. Mathiez undertaking opposition to M. Aulard the defence of Robespierre, in consequence of which he founded a new review “Les Annales Révolutionaires”. The “Société d’histoire contemporaine”, founded under Catholic auspices, has published a series of texts bearing on revolutionary history. Lastly the works of Abbé Sicard have revealed in the clergy who remained faithful to Rome various tendencies, some legitimist, others more favourable to the new political forms, a new side of the history of the French clergy being thus developed.

Such are the most recent additions to the history of the French Revolution. This article, however, will emphasize more especially the relations between the Revolution and the Church.

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau.

Honoré Gabriel Riqueti, comte de Mirabeau.

MEETING OF THE ESTATES

The starting point of the French Revolution was the convocation of the States General by Louis XVI. They comprised three orders, nobility, clergy, and the third estate, the last named being permitted to have as many members as the two other orders together. The electoral regulation of 24 January, 1789, assured the parochial clergy a large majority in the meetings of the bailliages which were to elect clerical representatives to the States General. While chapters were to send to these meetings only a single delegate for ten canons, and each convent only one of its members, all the curés were permitted to vote. The number of the “order” of clergy at the States General exceeded 300, among whom were 44 prelates, 208 curés, 50 canons and commendatory abbots, and some monks. The clergy advocated almost as forcibly as did the Third Estate the establishment of a constitutional government based on the separation of the powers, the periodical convocation of the States General, their supremacy in financial matters, the responsibility of ministers, and the regular guarantee of individual liberty. Thus the true and great reforms tending to the establishment of liberty were advocated by the clergy on the eve of the Revolution. When the Estates assembled 5 May, 1789, the Third Estate demanded that the verification of powers should be made in common by the three orders, the object being that the Estates should form but one assembly in which the distinction between the “orders” should disappear and where every member was to have a vote. Scarcely a fourth of the clergy advocated this reform, but from the opening of the Estates it was evident that the desired individual voting which would give the members of the Third Estate, the advocates of reform, an effectual preponderance.

The opening of the Estates General May 5, 1789 in the Salle des Menus Plaisirs in Versailles.

The opening of the Estates General May 5, 1789 in the Salle des Menus Plaisirs in Versailles.

As early as 23 May, 1789, the curés at the house of the Archbishop of Bordeaux were of the opinion that the power of the deputies should be verified in the general assembly of the Estates, and when on 17 June the members of the Third Estate proclaimed themselves the “National Assembly”, the majority of the clergy decided (19 June) to join them. As the higher clergy and the nobility still held out, the king caused the hall where the meetings of the Third Estate were held to be closed (20 June), whereupon the deputies, with their president, Bailly, repaired to the Jeu de Paume and an oath was taken not to disband till they had provided France with a constitution. After Mirabeau’s thundering speech (23 June) addressed to the Marquis de Dreux-Brézé, master-of-ceremonies to Louis XVI, the king himself (27 June) invited the nobility to join the Third Estate. Louis XVI’s dismissal of the reforming minister, Necker, and the concentration of the royal army about Paris, brought about the insurrection of 14 July, and the capture of the Bastille. M. Funck-Brentano has destroyed the legends which rapidly arose in connection with the celebrated fortress. There was no rising en masse of the people of Paris, and the number of the besiegers was but a thousand at most; only seven prisoners were found at the Bastille, four of whom were forgers, one a young man guilty of monstrous crimes and who for the sake of his family was kept at the Bastille that he might escape the death penalty, and two insane prisoners. But in the public opinion the Bastille symbolized royal absolutism and the capture of this fortress was regarded as the overthrow of the whole regime, and foreign nations attached great importance to the event. Louis XVI yielded before this agitation; Necker was recalled; Bailly became Mayor of Paris; Lafayette, commander of the national militia; the tri-colour was adopted, and Louis XVI consented to recognize the title of “National Constituent Assembly”. Te Deums and processions celebrated the taking of the Bastille; in the pulpits the Abbé Fauchet preached the harmony of religion and liberty. As a result of the establishment of the “vote by order” the political privileges of the clergy may be considered to have ceased to exist.

Another view of the Opening of the Estates General, May 5, 1789.

Another view of the Opening of the Estates General, May 5, 1789.

During the night of 4 August, 1789, at the instance of the Vicomte de Noailles, the Assembly voted with extraordinary enthusiasm the abolition of all privileges and feudal rights and the equality of all Frenchmen. A blow was thereby struck at the wealth of the clergy, but the churchmen were the first to give an example of sacrifice. Plurality of benefices and annates was abolished and the redemption of tithes was agreed upon, but two days later, the higher clergy becoming uneasy, demanded another discussion of the vote which had carried the redemption. The result was the abolition, pure and simple, of tithes without redemption. In the course of the discussion Buzot declared that the property of the clergy belonged to the nation. Louis XVI’s conscience began to be alarmed. He temporized for five weeks, then merely published the decrees as general principles, reserving the right to approve or reject the measures which the Assembly would take to enforce them.

DECLARATION OF THE RIGHTS OF MAN.

CATHOLICISM CEASES TO BE THE RELIGION OF THE STATE

Before giving France a constitution the Assembly judged it necessary to draw up a “Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen”, which should form a preamble to the Constitution. Camus’s suggestion that to the declaration of the rights of man should be added a declaration of his duties, was rejected. The Declaration of Rights mentions in its preamble that it is made in the presence and under the auspices of the Supreme Being, but out of three of the articles proposed by the clergy, guaranteeing the respect due to religion and public worship, two were rejected after speeches by the Protestant, Rabaut Saint-Etienne, and Mirabeau, and the only article relating to religion was worded as follows: “No one shall be disturbed for his opinions, even religious, provided their manifestation does not disturb the public order established by law.” In fact it was the wish of the Assembly that Catholicism should cease to be the religion of the State and that liberty of worship should be established. It subsequently declared Protestants eligible to all offices (24 Dec., 1789), restored to their possessions and status as Frenchmen the heirs of Protestant refugees (10 July and 9 Dec., 1790), and took measures in favour of the Jews (28 January, 26 July, 16 Aug., 1790). But it soon became evident in the discussions relating to the Civil Constitution of the clergy that the Assembly desired that the Catholic Church, to which the majority of the French people belonged, should be subject to the State and really organized by the State.

Maximilien Robespierre dressed as deputy of the Third Estate.

Maximilien Robespierre dressed as deputy of the Third Estate.

The rumours that Louis XVI sought to fly to Metz and place himself under the protection of the army of Bouillé in order to organize a counter-revolutionary movement and his refusal to promulgate the Declaration of the Rights of Man, brought about an uprising in Paris. The mob set out to Versailles, and amid insults brought back the king and queen to Paris (6 Oct., 1789). Thenceforth the Assembly sat at Paris, first at the archiepiscopal residence, then at the Tuileries. At this moment the idea of taking possession of the goods of the clergy in order to meet financial exigencies began to appear in a number of journals and pamphlets. The plan of confiscating this property, which had been suggested as early as 8 August by the Marquis de Lacoste, was resumed (24 Sept.) by the economist, Dupont de Nemours, and on 10 October was supported in the name of the Committee of Finances in a report which caused scandal by Talleyrand, Bishop of Autun, who under the old regime had been one of the two “general agents” charged with defending the financial interests of the French clergy. On 12 October Mirabeau requested the Assembly to decree (1) that the ownership of the church property belonged to the nation that it might provide for the support of the priests; (2) that the salary of each curé should not be less than 1200 livres. The plan was discussed from 13 October to 2 November. It was opposed the Abbé de Montesquieu, and the Abbé Maury, who contended that the clergy being a moral person could be an owner, disputed the estimates placed upon placed upon the wealth of the clergy, and suggested that their possessions should simply serve as a guarantee for a loan of 400,000,000 livres to the nation. The advocates of confiscation maintained that the clergy no longer existed as an order, that the property was like an escheated succession, and that the State had a right to claim it, that moreover the Royal Government had never expressly recognized the clergy as a proprietor, that in 1749 Louis XV had forbidden the clergy to receive anything without the authority of the State, and that he had confiscated the property of the Society of Jesus. Malouet took an intermediate stand and demanded that the State should confiscate only superfluous ecclesiastical possessions, but that the parochial clergy should be endowed with land. Finally, on 2 November, 1789, the Assembly decided that the possessions of the clergy be “placed at the disposal” of the nation. The results of this vote were not long in following. The first was Treilhard’s motion (17 December), demanding in the name of the ecclesiastical committee of the Assembly, the closing of useless convents, and decreeing that the State should permit the religious to release themselves from their monastic vows.

Assignat of 400 livres, issued 24 Sept, 1792, first year of the Republic. The value of these bills or bonds was based on the estimated value of the clerical properties. The Assignats were issued by the National Constituent Assembly. Initially meant as bonds, the assignats developed into a paper currency used as legal tender.

Assignat of 400 livres, issued 24 Sept, 1792, first year of the Republic.  The value of these bills or bonds was based on the estimated value of the clerical properties. The Assignats were issued by the National Constituent Assembly. Initially meant as bonds, the assignats developed into a paper currency used as legal tender.

The discussion of this project began in February, 1790, after the Assembly by the creation of assemblies of departments, districts, and commons, had proceeded to the administrative reorganization of France. The discussion was again very violent. On 13 February, 1790, the Assembly, swayed by the more radical suggestions of Barnave and Thouret, decreed as a “constitutional article” that not only should the law no longer recognize monastic vows, but that religious orders and congregations were and should remain suppressed in France, and that no others should be established in the future. After having planned a partial suppression of monastic orders the Assembly voted for their total suppression. The proposal of Cazalès (17 February) calling for the dissolution of the Constituent Assembly, and the rightful efforts, made by the higher clergy to prevent Catholics from purchasing the confiscated goods of the Church provoked reprisals. On 17 March, 1790, the Assembly decided that the 400,000,000 livres worth of alienated ecclesiastical properties should be sold to municipalities which in turn should sell them to private buyers. On 14 April it decided that the maintenance of Catholic worship should be provided for without recourse to the revenues of former ecclesiastical property and that a sufficient sum, fixed at more than 133,000,000 livres for the first year, should be entered in the budget for the allowances to be made to the clergy; on 17 April the decree was passed dealing with the assignats, the papers issued by the Government paying interest at 5 per cent, and which were to be accepted as money in payment for the ecclesial property, thenceforth called national property; finally, on 9 July, it was decreed that all this property should be put up for sale.

 

CIVIL CONSTITUTION OF THE CLERGY

On 6 February, 1790, the Assembly charged its ecclesiastical committee, appointed 20 Aug., 1789, and composed of fifteen members to prepare the reorganization of the clergy. Fifteen new members were added to the committee on 7 February. The “constituents” were disciples of the eighteenth century philosophes who subordinated religion to the State; moreover, to understand their standpoint it is well to bear in mind that many of them were jurists imbued with Gallican and Josephist ideas. Finally Taine has proved that in many respects their religious policy merely followed in the footsteps of the old regime, but while the old regime protected the Catholic Church and made it the church exclusive, recognized, the constituents planned to enslave it after having stripped it of its privileges. Furthermore they did not take into account that there are mixed matters that can only be regulated after an agreement with ecclesiastical authority. They were especially incensed against the clergy after the consistorial address in which Pius VI (22 March, 1790) reproved some of the measures already taken by the Constituent Assembly, and by the news received from the West and South where the just dissatisfaction of Catholic consciences had provoked disturbances; in particular the election of the Protestant Rabaut Saint-Etienne to the presidency of the National Assembly brought about commotions at Toulouse and Nîmes. Under the influence of these disturbances the Civil Constitution of the Clergy was developed. On 29 May, 1790, it was laid before the Assembly. Bonal, Bishop of Clermont, and some members of the Right requested that the project should be submitted to a national council or to the pope. But the Assembly proceeded; it discussed the Civil Constitution of the Clergy from 1 June to 12 July, 1790, on which date it was passed.

The Princes of the French Church swearing the Oath demanded by the Concordat of 1801.

The Princes of the French Church swearing the Oath demanded by the Concordat of 1801.

This Constitution comprised four titles.

Title I, Ecclesiastical Offices: Diocesan boundaries were to agree with those of departments, 57 episcopal sees being thus suppressed. The title of archbishop was abolished; out of 83 remaining bishoprics 10 were called metropolitan bishoprics and given jurisdiction over the neighbouring dioceses. No section of French territory should recognize the authority of a bishop living abroad, or of his delegates, and this, adds the Constitution, “without prejudice to the unity of faith and the communion which shall be maintained with the head of the Universal Church”. Canonries, prebends, and priories were abolished. There should no longer be any sacerdotal posts especially devoted to fulfilling the conditions of Mass foundations. All appeals to Rome were forbidden.

Title II, Appointment to Benefice: Bishops should be appointed by the Electoral Assembly of the department; they should be invested and consecrated by the metropolitan and take an oath of fidelity to the nation, the King, the Law, and the Constitution; they should not seek any confirmation from the pope. Parish priests should be elected by the electoral assemblies of the districts. Thus all citizens, even Protestants, Jews, and nominal Catholics, might name titulars to ecclesiastical offices, and the first obligation of priests and bishops was to take an oath of fidelity to the Constitution which denied to the Holy See any effective power over the Church.

Title III, Salary of ministers of Religion: The Constitution fixed the salary of the Bishop of Paris at 51,000 livres (about $10,200), that of bishops of towns whose population exceeded 50,000 souls at 20,000 livres (about $4000), that of other bishops at 12,000 livres (about $2400), that of curés at a sum ranging from 6000 (about $1200) to 1200 livres (about $240). For the lower clergy this was a betterment of their material condition, especially as the real value of these sums was two and one-half times the present amount.

Title IV, dealing with residence, made very severe conditions regarding the absences of bishops and priests.

The oath of La Fayette at the Fête de la Fédération, 14 July 1790. Talleyrand, then Bishop of Autun can be seen on the right. The standing child is the son of La Fayette, the young Georges Washington de La Fayette. French School, 18th century. Musée Carnavalet.

The oath of La Fayette at the Fête de la Fédération, 14 July 1790. Talleyrand, then Bishop of Autun can be seen on the right. The standing child is the son of La Fayette, the young Georges Washington de La Fayette. French School, 18th century. Musée Carnavalet.

At the festival of the Federation (14 July, 1790) Talleyrand and three hundred priests officiating at the altar of the nation erected on the Champs-de-Mars wore the tri-colored girdle above their priestly vestments and besought the blessing of God on the Revolution. Deputations were present from the towns of France, and there was inaugurated a sort of cult, of the Fatherland, the remote origin of all the “Revolutionary cults”. On 10 July, 1790, in a confidential Brief to Louis XVI, Pius VI expressed the alarm with which the project under discussion filled him. He commissioned two ecclesiastics who were ministers of Louis XVI, Champion de Cicé and Lefranc de Pompignan, to urge the king not to sign the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. On 28 July, in a letter to the pope, Louis XVI replied that he would be compelled, “with death in his soul”, to promulgate the Constitution, that he would reserve the right to broach as soon as possible the matter of some concession, but that if he refused, his life and the lives of his family would be endangered.

The pope replied (17 August) that he still held the same opinion of the Constitution, but that he would make no public declaration on the subject until he consulted with the Sacred College. On 24 August the king promulgated the Constitution, for which he was blamed by the pope in a confidential Brief on 22 September. M. Mathiez claims to have proved that the hesitancy of Pius VI was due to temporal rather than to spiritual considerations, to his serious fears about the affairs of Avignon and the Comtat Venaissin, where certain popular parties were clamoring for French troops, but the truth is that Pius VI, who had made known his opinion of the Constitution to two French prelates, was awaiting some manifestation on the part of the French episcopate. Indeed the bishops spoke before the pope had spoken publicly. At the end of October, 1790, they published an “Exposition des principes sur la constitution civile du clergé”, compiled by Boisgelin, Archbishop of Aix in which they rejected the Constitution and called upon the faithful to do the same. This publication marks the beginning of a violent conflict between the episcopate an the Constitution. On 27 November, 1790, after a speech by Mirabeau, a decree stipulated that all bishops and priests should within a week, under penalty of losing their offices, take the oath to the Constitution, that all who refused and who nevertheless continued to discharge their priestly functions should be prosecuted as disturbers of the public peace. The king, who was much disturbed by this decree, eventually sanctioned it (26 December, 1790) in order to avoid a rising.

The Fête de la Fédération, July 14, 1790. Painting by Charles Thévenin.

The Fête de la Fédération, at Champs-de-Mars on July 14, 1790. Painting by Charles Thévenin.

Hitherto a large section of the lesser clergy had shown a certain amount of sympathy for the Revolution, but when it was seen that the episcopal members of the Assembly refused to take the oath, thus sacrificing their sees, a number of the priests followed this disinterested example. It may be said that from the end of 1790 the higher clergy and the truly orthodox elements of the lower clergy were united against the revolutionary measures. Thenceforth there were two classes, the non-juring or refractory priests, who were faithful to Rome and refused the oath, and the jurors, sworn, or Constitutional priests, who had consented to take the oath. M. de la Gorce has recently sought to estimate the exact proportion of the priests who took the oath. Out of 125 bishops there were only four, Talleyrand of Autun, Brienne of Sens, Jarente of Orleans, and Lafond de Savine, of Viviers; three coadjutors or bishops in partibus, Gobel, Coadjutor Bishop of Bâle; Martial de Brienne, Coadjutor of Sens; and Dubourg-Miraudet, Bishop of Babylon. In the important towns most of the priests refused to take the oath. Statistics for the small boroughs and the country are more difficult to obtain. The national archives preserve the complete dockets of 42 departments which were sent to the Constituent Assembly by the civil authorities. This shows that in these 42 departments, of 23,093 priests called upon to swear, 13,118 took the oath. There would be therefore out of 100 priests, 56 to 57 jurors against 43 to 44 non-jurors. M. de la Gorce gives serious reasons for contesting these statistics, which were compiled by zealous bureaucrats anxious to please the central administrators. He asserts on the other hand that the schism had little hold in fifteen departments and concludes that in 1791 the number of priests faithful to Rome was 52 to 55 out of 100; this is a small enough majority, but one which M. de la Gorce considers authentic.

On 5 February, 1791, the Constituent Assembly forbade every non-juring priest to preach in public. In March the elections to provide for the vacant episcopal sees and parishes took place. Disorder grew in the Church of France; young and ambitious priests, better known for their political than for their religious zeal, were candidates, and in many places owing to the opposition of good Catholics those elected had much difficulty in taking possession of their churches. At this juncture, seeing the Constitutional Church thus set up in France against the legitimate Church, Pius VI wrote two letters, one to the bishops and one to Louis XVI, to inquire if there remained any means to prevent schism; and finally, on 13 April, 1791, he issued a solemn condemnation of the Civil Constitution in a solemn Brief to the clergy and the people. On 2 May, 1791, the annexation of the Comtat Venaissin and the city of Avignon by the French troops marked the rupture of diplomatic relations between France and the Holy See. From May, 1791, there was no longer an ambassador from France at Rome or a nuncio at Paris. The Brief of Pius VI encouraged the resistance of the Catholics. The Masses celebrated by non-juring priests attracted crowds of the faithful. Then mobs gathered and beat and outraged nuns and other pious women. On 7 May, 1791, the Assembly decided that the non-juring priests as prêtres habitués might continue to say Mass in parochial churches or conduct their services in other churches on condition that they would respect the laws and not stir up revolt against the Civil Constitution. The Constitutional priests became more and more unpopular with good Catholics; Sciout’s works go to show that the “departmental directories” had to spend their time in organizing regular police expeditions to protect the Constitutional priests against the opposition of good Catholics, or to prosecute the non-juring priests who heroically persisted in remaining at their posts. Finally on 9 June, 1791, the Assembly forbade the publication of all Bulls or Decrees of the Court of Rome, at least until they had been submitted to the legislative body and their publication authorized. Thus Revolutionary France not only broke with Rome, but wished to place a barrier between Rome and the Catholics of France.

The return of the royal family to Paris on 25 June 1791. Painting by Jean Duplessis-Bertaux.

The return of the royal family to Paris on 25 June 1791. Painting by Jean Duplessis-Bertaux.

The king’s tormenting conscience was the chief reason for his attempted flight (20-21 June, 1791). Before fleeing he had addressed to the Assembly a declaration of his dissatisfaction with the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, and once more protested against the moral violence which had compelled him to accept such a document. Halted at Varennes, Louis XVI was brought back on 25 June, and was suspended from his functions till the completion of the Constitution, to which he took the oath 13 Sept., 1791. On 30 Sept., 1791, the Constituent Assembly dissolved, to make way for the Legislative Assembly, in which none of the members of the Constituent Assembly could sit. The Constituent Assembly had passed 2500 laws and reorganized the whole French administration. Its chief error from a social standpoint, which Anatole Leroy-Beaulieu calls a capital one, was to pass the Chapelier Decree (15 June, 1791), which forbade working people to band together and form associations “for their so-called common interest”. Led astray by their spirit of individualism and their hatred for certain abuses of the old corporations, the Constituents did not understand that the world of labour should be organized. They were responsible for the economic anarchy which reigned during the nineteenth century, and the present syndicate movement as well as the efforts of the social Catholics in conformity with the Encyclical “Rerum novarum” marks a deep and decisive reaction against the work of the Constituent Assembly.

Third Estate representatives locked out of the assembly room Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs in Versailles.

Third Estate representatives locked out of the assembly room Hôtel des Menus-Plaisirs in Versailles.

THE LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY

When the Constituent Assembly disbanded (30 Sept., 1791), France all was aflame concerning the religious question. More than half the French people did not want the new Church, the factitious creation of the law; the old Church was ruined, demolished, hunted down, and the general amnesty decreed by the Constituent Assembly before disbanding could do nothing towards restoring peace in the country where that Assembly’s bungling work had unsettled the consciences of individuals. The parties in the Legislative Assembly were soon irreconcilable. The Feuillants, on the Right, saw no salvation save in the Constitution; the Girondins on the Left, and the Montagnards on the Extreme Left, made ready for the Republic. There were men who, like the poet André Chénier, dreamed of a complete separation of Church and State. “The priests”, he wrote in a letter to the “Moniteur” (22 October, 1791), “will not trouble the Estates when no one is concerned about them, and they will always trouble them while anyone is concerned about them as at present.” But the majority of the members of the Legislative Assembly had sat in the departmental or district assemblies; they had fought against the non-juring priests and brought violent passions and a hostile spirit to the Legislative Assembly. A report from Gensonné and Gallois to the Legislative Assembly (9 October, 1791) on the condition of the provinces of the West denounced the non-juring priests as exciting the populace to rebellion and called for measures against them. It accused them of complicity with the émigrés bishops. At Avignon the Revolutionary Lécuyer, having been slain in a church, some citizens reputed to be partisans of the pope were thrown into the ancient papal castle and strangled (16-17 Oct., 1791). Calvados was also the scene of serious disturbances.

The Legislative Assembly, instead of repairing the tremendous errors of the Constituent Assembly, took up the question of the non-juring priests. On 29 November, on the proposal of François de Neufchâteau, it decided that if within eight days they did not take the civil oath they should be deprived of all salary, that they should be placed under the surveillance of the authorities, that if troubles arose where they resided they should be sent away, that they should be imprisoned for a year if they persisted in remaining and for two years if they were convicted of having provoked disobedience to the king. Finally it forbade non-juring priests the legal exercise of worship. It also requested from the departmental directories lists of the jurors and non-jurors, that it might, as it said, “stamp out the rebellion which disguises itself under the pretended dissidence in the exercise of the Catholic religion”. Thus its decree ended in a threat. But this decree was the object of a sharp conflict between Louis XVI and the Assembly. On 9 Dec., 1791, the king made his veto known officially. Parties began to form. On one side were the king and the Catholics faithful to Rome, on the other the Assembly and the priests who had taken the oath. The legislative power was on one side, the executive on the other. In March, 1792, the Assembly accused the ministers of Louis XVI; the king replaced them by a Girondin ministry headed by Dumouriez, with Roland, Servan, and Clavière among its members. They had a double policy: abroad, war with Austria, and at home, measures against the non-juring priests. Louis XVI, surrounded by dangers, was also accused of duplicity; his secret negotiations with foreign courts made it possible for his enemies to say that he had already conspired against France.

Map of France showing the percentage of priests who had sworn allegiance to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, in 1791.  Map made by Marmelad.

Map of France showing the percentage of priests who had sworn allegiance to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy, in 1791. Map made by Marmelad.

A papal Brief of 19 March, 1792, renewed the condemnation of the Civil Constitution and visited with major excommunication all juring priests who after sixty days should not have retracted, and all Catholics who remained faithful to these priests. The Assembly replied by the Decree of 27 May, 1792, declaring that all non-juring priests might be deported by the directory of their department at the request of twenty citizens, and if they should return after expulsion they would be liable to ten years of imprisonment. Louis vetoed this decree. Thus arose a struggle not only between Louis XVI and the Assembly, but between the king and his ministry. On 3 June 1792, the Assembly decreed the formation of a camp near Paris of 20,000 volunteers to guard the king. At the ministerial council Roland read an insulting letter to Louis, in which he called upon him to sanction the decrees of November and May against the non-juring priests. He was dismissed, whereupon the populace of Paris arose and invaded the Tuileries (20 June, 1792), and for several hours the king and his family were the objects of all manner of outrages. After the public manifesto of the Duke of Brunswick in the name of the powers in coalition against France (25 July, 1792) and the Assembly’s declaration of “Fatherland in danger” there came petitions for the deposition of the king, who was accused of being in communication with foreign rulers. On 10 August, Santerre, Westermann, and Fournier l’Américain at the head of the national guard attacked the Tuileries defended by 800 Swiss. Louis refused to defend himself, and with his family sought refuge in the Legislative Assembly. The Assembly passed a decree which suspended the king’s powers, drew up a plan of education for the dauphin, and convoked a national convention. Louis XVI was imprisoned in the Temple by order of the insurrectionary Commune of Paris.

Madness spread through France caused by the threatened danger from without; arrests of non-juring priests multiplied. In an effort to make them give way. The Assembly decided (15 August) that the oath should consist only of the promise to uphold with all one’s might liberty, equality, and the execution of the law, or to die at one’s post”. But the non-juring priests remained firm and refused even this second oath. On 26 August the Assembly decreed that within fifteen days they should be expelled from the kingdom, that those who remained or returned to France should be deported to Guiana, or should be liable to ten years imprisonment. It then extended this threat to the priests, who, having no publicly recognized priestly duties, had hitherto been dispensed from the oath, declaring that they also might be expelled if they were convicted of having provoked disturbances. This was the signal for a real civil war. The peasants armed in La Vendée, Deux Sèvres, Loire Inférieure, Maine and Loire, Ile and Vilaine. This news and that of the invasion of Champagne by the Prussian army caused hidden influences to arouse the Parisian populaces hence the September massacres. In the prisons of La Force, the Conciergerie, and the Abbaye Saint Germain, at least 1500 women, priests and soldiers fell under the axe or the club. The celebrated tribune, Danton, cannot be entirely acquitted of complicity in these massacres. The Legislative Assembly terminated its career by two measures against the Church: it deprived priests of the right to register births etc., and authorized divorce. Laicizing the civil state was not in the minds of the Constituents, but was the result of the blocking of the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. The Legislative Assembly was induced to enact it because the Catholics faithful to Rome would not have recourse to Constitutional priests for registering of births, baptisms, and deaths.

Title page from the Reflections on the Revolution in France, And on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event. In a Letter Intended to Have Been Sent to a Gentleman in Paris. By the Right Honourable Edmund Burke.

Title page from the Reflections on the Revolution in France, And on the Proceedings in Certain Societies in London Relative to that Event. In a Letter Intended to Have Been Sent to a Gentleman in Paris. By the Right Honourable Edmund Burke.

 

THE CONVENTION; THE REPUBLIC; THE REIGN OF TERROR

The opening of the National Convention (21 Sept., 1792) took place the day following Dumouriez’s victory at Valmy over the Prussian troops. The constitutional bishop, Grégoire, proclaimed the republic at the first session; he was surrounded in the assembly by fifteen constitutional bishops and twenty-eight constitutional priests. But the time was at hand when the constitutional clergy in turn was to be under suspicion, the majority of the Convention being hostile to Christianity itself. As early as 16 November, 1792, Cambon demanded that the salaries of the priests be suppressed and that thenceforth no religion be subsidized by the State, but the motion was rejected for the time being. Henceforth the Convention enacted all manner of arbitrary political measures: it undertook the trial of Louis XVI, and on 2 January, 1793, “hurled a kings head at Europe”. But from a religious standpoint it was more timid; it feared to disturb the people of Savoy and Belgium, which its armies were annexing to France. From 10 to 15 March, 1793, formidable insurrections broke out in La Vendée, Anjou, and a part of Brittany. At the same time Dumouriez, having been defeated at Neerwinden, sought to turn his army against the Convention, and he himself went over to the Austrians. The Convention took fright; it instituted a Revolutionary Tribunal on 9 March and on 6 April the Committee of Public Safety, with formidable powers, was established.

Increasingly severe measures were taken chiefly against the non-juring clergy. On 18 Feb., 1793, the Convention voted a prize one hundred livres to whomsoever should denounce a priest liable to deportation and who remained in France despite the law. On 1 March the émigrés were sentenced to perpetual banishment and their property confiscated. On 18 March it was decreed that any émigré or deported priest arrested on French soil should be executed within twenty-four hours. On 23 April it was enacted that all ecclesiastics, priests or monks, who had not taken the oath prescribed by the Decree of 15 August, 1792, should be transported to Guiana; even the priests who had taken the oath should be treated likewise if six citizens should denounce them for lack of citizenship. But despite all these measures the non-juring priests remained faithful to Rome. The pope had maintained in France an official internuncio, the Abbé de Salamon, who kept himself in hiding and performed his duties at the risk of his life, gave information concerning current events, and transmitted orders. The proconsuls of the Convention, Fréron and Barras at Marseilles and Toulon, Tallien at Bordeaux, Carrier at Nantes, perpetuated abominable massacres. In Paris the Revolutionary Tribunal, carrying out the proposals of the public accuser, Foquier-Tinville, inaugurated the Reign of Terror. The proscription of the Girondins by the Montagnards (2 June, 1793), marked a progress in demagogy. The assassination of the bloodthirsty demagogue Marat, by Charlotte Corday (13 July 1793) gave rise to extravagant manifestations in honour of Marat. But the provinces did not follow this policy. News came of insurrections in Caen, Marseilles, Lyons, and Toulon; and at the same time the Spaniards were in Roussillon, the Piedmontese in Savoy, the Austrians in Valenciennes, and the Vendeans defeated Kleber at Torfou (Sept., 1793). The crazed Convention decreed a rising en masse; the heroic resistance of Valenciennes and Mainz gave Carnot time to organize new armies. At the same time the Convention passed the Law of Suspects. (17 Sept., 1793), which authorized the imprisonment of almost anyone and as a consequence of which 30,000 were imprisoned. Informing became a trade in France. Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded 16 October, 1793. Fourteen Carmelites who were executed 17 July, 1794, were declared Venerable by Leo XIII in 1902.

Marie Antoinette's execution on October 16, 1793 at the Place de la Révolution.

Marie Antoinette’s execution on October 16, 1793 at the Place de la Révolution.

From a religious point of view a new feature arose at this period – the constitutional clergy, accused of sympathy with the Girondins, came to be suspected almost as much as the non-juring priests. Numerous conflicts arose between the constitutional priests and the civil authorities with regard to the decree of the Convention which did not permit the priests to ask those intending to marry if they were baptized, had been to confession, or were divorced. The constitutional bishops would not submit to the Convention when it required them to give apostate priests the nuptial blessing. Despite the example of the constitutional bishop, Thomas Lindet, a member of the Convention, who won the applause of the Assembly by announcing his marriage, despite the scandal given by Gobel, Bishop of Paris, in appointing a married priest to a post in Paris the majority of constitutional bishops remained hostile to the marriage of priests. The conflict between them and the Convention became notorious when, on 19 July, 1793, a decree of the Convention decided that the bishops who directly or indirectly offered any obstacle to the marriage of priests should be deported and replaced. In October the Convention declared that the constitutional priests themselves should be deported if they were found wanting in citizenship. The measures taken by the Convention to substitute the Revolutionary calendar for the old Christian calendar, and the decrees ordering the municipalities to seize and melt down the bells and treasures of the churches, proved that certain currents prevailed tending to the dechristianization of France. On the one hand the rest of décadi, every tenth day, replaced the Sunday rest; on the other the Convention commissioned Leonard Bourdon (19 Sept., 1793) to compile a collection of the heroic actions of Republicans to replace the lives of the saints in the schools. The “missionary representatives”, sent to the provinces, closed churches, hunted down citizens suspected of religious practices, endeavoured to constrain priests to marry, and threatened with deportation for lack of citizenship priests who refused to abandon their posts. Persecution of all religious ideas began. At the request of the Paris Commune, Gobel, Bishop of Paris, and thirteen of his vicars resigned at the bar of the Convention (7 November) and their example was followed by several constitutional bishops.

The Montagnards who considered worship necessary replaced the Catholic Sunday Mass by the civil mass of décadi. Having failed to reform and nationalize Catholicism they endeavoured to form a sort of civil cult, a development of the worship of the fatherland which had been inaugurated at the feast of the Federation. The Church of Notre-Dame-de-Paris became a temple of Reason, and the feast of Reason was celebrated on 10 November. The Goddesses of Reason and Liberty were not always the daughters of low people; they frequently came of the middle classes. Recent research has thrown new light on the history of these cults. M. Aulard was the first to recognize that the idea of honouring the fatherland, which had its origin in the festival of the Federation in 1790, gave rise to successive cults. Going deeper M. Mathiez developed the theory that confronted by the blocking of the Civil Constitution, the Conventionals, who had witnessed in the successive feasts of the Federation the power of formulas on the minds of the masses, wanted to create a real culte de la patrie, a sanction of faith in the fatherland. On 23 November, 1793, Chaumette passed a law alienating all churches in the capital. This example was followed in the provinces, where all city churches and a number of those in the country were closed to Catholic worship. The Convention offered a prize for the abjuration of priests by passing a decree which assured a pension to Priests who abjured, and the most painful day of that sad period was 20 November, 1793, when men, women, and children dressed in priestly garments taken from the Church of St. Germain des Prés marched through the hall of the Convention. Laloi, who presided, congratulated them, saying they had “wiped out eighteen centuries of error”. Despite the part played by Chaumette and the Commune of Paris in the work of violent dechristianization, M. Mathiez has proved that it is not correct to lay on the Commune and the Exagérés, they were called, the entire responsibility, and that a Moderate, an Indulgent, namely Thuriot, the friend of Danton, was one of the most violent instigators. It is thus clear why Robespierre who desired a reaction against these excesses, should attack both Exagérés and Indulgents.

Indeed a reactionary movement was soon evident. As early as 21 November, 1793, Robespierre complained of the “madmen who could only revive fanaticism”. On 5 December he caused the Convention to adopt the text of a manifesto to the nations of Europe in which the members declared that they sought to protect the liberty of all creeds; on 7 December, he supported the motion of the Committee of Public Safety which reported the bad effect in the provinces of the intolerant violence of the missionary representatives, and which forbade in the future all threats or violence contrary to liberty of worship. These decrees were the cause of warfare between Robespierre and enthusiasts such as Hébert and Clootz. At first Robespierre sent his enemies to the scaffold; Hébert and Clootz were beheaded in March, 1704, Chaumette and Bishop Gobel in April. But in this same month of April Robespierre sent to the scaffold the Moderates, Desmoulins and Danton, who wanted to stop the Terror, and became the master of France with his lieutenants Couthon and Saint-Just. M. Aulard regards Robespierre as having been hostile to the dechristianization for religious and political motives; he explains that Robespierre shared the admiration for Christ felt by Rousseau’s Vicar Savoyard and that he feared the evil effect on the powers of Europe of the Convention’s anti-religious policy. M. Mathiez on the other hand considers that Robespierre did not condemn the dechristianization in principle; that he knew the common hostility to the Committee of Public Safety of Moderates such as Thuriot and enthusiasts like Hébert; and that on the information of Basire and Chabot he suspected both parties of having furthered the fanatical measures of dechristianization only to discredit the Convention abroad and thus more easily to plot with the powers hostile to France. Robespierre’s true intentions are still an historical problem. On 6 April, 1794, he commissioned Couthon to propose in the name of the Committee of Public Safety that a feast be instituted in honour of the Supreme Being, and on 7 May Robespierre himself outlined in a long speech the plan of the new religion. He explained that from the religious and Republican standpoint the idea of a Supreme Being was advantageous to the State, that religion should dispense with a priesthood, and that priests were to religion what charlatans were to medicine, and that the true priest of the Supreme Being was Nature. The Convention desired to have this speech translated into all languages and adopted a decree of which the first article was: “The French people recognize the existence of a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul”. The same decree states that freedom of worship is maintained but adds that in the case of disturbances caused by the exercise of a religion those who “excite them by fanatical preaching or by counter-Revolutionary innovations”, shall be punished according to the rigour of the law. Thus the condition of the Catholic Church remained equally precarious and the first festival of the Supreme Being was celebrated throughout France on 8 June, 1794, with aggressive splendour. Whereas the Exagérés wished simply to destroy Catholicism, and in the temples of Reason political rather than moral doctrines were taught. Robespierre desired that the civic religion should have a moral code which he based on the two dogmas of God and the immortality of the soul. He was of the opinion that the idea of God had a social value, that public morality depended on it and that Catholics would more readily support the republic under the auspices of a Supreme Being.

The victories of the Republican armies, especially that of Fleurus (July, 1794), reassured the patriots of the Convention; those of Cholet, Mans, and Savenay, marked the checking of the Vendean insurrection. Lyons and Toulon were recaptured, Alsace was delivered, and the victory of Fleurus (26 June, 1794) gave Belgium to France. While danger from abroad was decreasing, Robespierre made the mistake of putting to vote in June the terrible law of 22 Prairial, which still further shortened the summary procedure of the Revolutionary tribunal and allowed sentence to be passed almost without trial even on the members of the Convention. The Convention took fright and the next day struck out this last clause. Montagnards like Tallien, Billaud-Varenne, and Collot d’Herbois, threatened by Robespierre, joined with such Moderates as Boissy d’Anglas and Durand Maillane to bring about the coup d’état of 9 Thermidor (27 July, 1794). Robespierre and his partisans were executed, and the Thermidorian reaction began. The Commune of Paris was suppressed, the Jacobin Club closed, the Revolutionary tribunal disappeared after having sent to the scaffold the public accuser Fouquier-Tinville and the Terrorist, Carrier, the author of the noyades (drownings) of Nantes. The death of Robespierre was the signal for a change of policy which proved of advantage to the Church; many imprisoned priests were released and many émigré priests returned. Not a single law hostile to Catholicism was repealed, but the application of them was greatly relaxed. The religious policy of the Convention became indecisive and changeable. On 21 December 1794, a speech of the constitutional bishop, Grégoire, claiming effective liberty of worship, aroused violent murmurings in the Convention, but was applauded by the people; and when in Feb., 1795, the generals and commissaries of the Convention in their negotiations with the Vendeans promised them the restoration of their religious liberties, the Convention returned to the idea supported by Grégoire, and at the suggestion of the Protestant, Boissy d’Anglas, it passed the Law of 3 Ventôse (21 Feb., 1795), which marked the enfranchisement of the Catholic Church. This law enacted that the republic should pay salaries to the ministers of no religion, and that no churches should be reopened, but it declared that the exercise of religion should not be disturbed, and prescribed penalties for disturbers. Immediately the constitutional bishops issued an Encyclical for the Establishment of Catholic worship, but their credit was shaken. The confidence of the faithful was given instead to the non-juring priests who were returning by degrees. These priests were soon so numerous that in April, 1795, the Convention ordered them to depart within the month under pain of death. This was a fresh outbreak of anti-Catholicism. With the fluctuation which thenceforth characterized it the Convention soon made a counter-movement. On 20 May, 1795, the assembly hall was invaded by the mob and the deputy Féraud assassinated. These violences of the Extremists gave some influence to the Moderates, and 30 May, at the suggestion of the Catholic, Lanjuinais, the Convention decreed that (Law of 11 Prairial) the churches not confiscated should be place at the disposal of citizens for the exercise of their religion, but that every priest who wished to officiate in these churches should previously take an oath of submission to the laws; those who refused might legally hold services in private houses. This oath of submission to the laws was much less serious than the oaths formerly prescribed by the Revolutionary authorities, and the Abbé Sicard has shown how Emery, Superior General of St. Sulpice, Bausset, Bishop of Alais and other ecclesiastics were inclined to a policy of pacification and to think that such an oath might be taken.

Francois Antoine de Boissy d'Anglas, Convention leader, salutes Representative Freraud's affixed head

Francois Antoine de Boissy d’Anglas, Convention leader, salutes Representative Féraud’s affixed head.

While it seemed to be favouring a more tolerant policy the Convention met with diplomatic successes, the reward of the military victories: the treaties of Paris with Tuscany, of the Hague with the Batavian Republic, of Basle with Spain, gave to France as boundaries the Alps, the Rhine, and the Meuse. But the policy of religious pacification was not lasting. Certain periods of the history of the Convention justify M. Champion’s theory that certain religious measures taken by the Revolutionists were forced upon them by circumstances. The descent of the émigrés on the Breton coasts, to be checked by Hoche at Quiberon, aroused fresh attacks on the priests. On 6 Sept., 1795 (Law of 20 Fructidor), the Convention exacted the oath of submission to the laws even of priests who officiated in private houses. The Royalist insurrection of 13 Vendémiaire, put down by Bonaparte, provoked a very severe decree against deported priests who should be found on French territory; they were to be sentenced to perpetual banishment. Thus at the time when the Convention was disbanding, churches were separated from the State. In theory worship was free; the Law of 29 Sept., 1795 (7 Vendémiaire), on the religious policy, though still far from satisfactory to the clergy, was nevertheless an improvement on the laws of the Terror, but anarchy and the spirit of persecution still disturbed the whole country. Nevertheless France owes to the Convention a number of lasting creations: the Ledger of the Public Debt, the Ecole Polytechnique, the Conservatory of Arts and Crafts, the Bureau of Longitudes, the Institute of France, and the adoption of the decimal system of weights and measures. The vast projects drawn up with regard to primary, secondary and higher education had almost no results.

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente. Painting by François Gérard.

Charles Maurice de Talleyrand-Périgord, Prince de Benevente. Painting by François Gérard.

 

THE DIRECTORY

In virtue of the so-called “Constitution of the year III”, promulgated by the Convention 23 Sept., 1795, a Directory of five members (27 Oct., 1795) became the executive, and the Councils of Five Hundred and of the Ancients, the legislative power. At this time the public treasuries were empty, which was one reason why the people came by degrees to feel the necessity of a strong restorative power. The Directors Carnot, Barras, Letourneur, Rewbell, La Reveillière-Lépeaux were averse to Christianity, and in the separation of Church and State saw only a means of annihilating the Church. They wished that even the Constitutional episcopate, though they could not deny its attachment to the new regime, should become extinct by degrees, and when the constitutional bishops died they sought to prevent the election of successors, and multiplied measures against the non-juring priests. The Decree of 16 April, 1796, which made death the penalty for provoking any attempt to overthrow the Republican government was a threat held perpetually over the heads of the non-juring priests. That the Directors really wished to throw difficulties in the way of all kinds of religion, despite theoretical declarations affirming liberty of worship is proved by the Law of 11 April, 1796, which forbade the use of bells and all sorts of public convocation for the exercise of religion, under penalty of a year in prison, and, in case of a second offense, of deportation. The Directory having ascertained that despite police interference some non-juring bishops were officiating publicly in Paris, and that before the end of 1796 more than thirty churches or oratories had been opened to non-juring priests in Paris, laid before the Five Hundred a plan which, after twenty days, allowed the expulsion from French soil, without admission to the oath prescribed by the Law of Vendémiaire, all priests who had not taken the Constitutional Oath prescribed in 1790, or the Oath of Liberty and Equality prescribed in 1792; those who after such time should be found in France would be put to death. But amid the discussions to which this project gave rise, the revolutionary Socialist conspiracy of Babeuf was discovered, which showed that danger lay on the Left; and on 5 Aug., 1796, the dreadful project which had only been passed with much difficulty by the Five Hundred was rejected by the Ancients.

François Barthélemy

François Barthélemy

The Directory began to feel that its policy of religious persecution was no longer followed by the Councils. It learned also that Bonaparte, who in Italy led the armies of the Directory from victory to victory, displayed consideration for the pope. Furthermore, the electors themselves showed that they desired a change of policy. The elections of 20 may, 1797, caused the majority of Councils to pass from the Left to the Right. Pichegru became president of the Five Hundred, a Royalist, Barthélemy, became one of the Five Directors. Violent discussions which took place from 26 June to 18 July, in which Royer-Collard distinguished himself, brought to the vote the proposal of the deputy Dubruel for the abolition of all laws against non-juring priests passed since 1791. The Directors, alarmed by what they considered a reactionary movement, commissioned General Augereau to effect the coup d’état of 18 Fructidor (4 Sept., 1797); the elections of 49 departments were quashed, two Directors, Carnot and Barthélemy, proscribed, 53 deputies deported, and laws against the émigré and non-juring priests restored to their vigour. Organized hunting for these priests took place throughout France; the Directory cast hundreds of them on the unhealthy shore of Sinnamary, Guiana, where they died. At the same time the Directory commissioned Berthier to make the attack on the Papal States and the pope, from which Bonaparte had refrained. The Roman Republic was proclaimed in 1798 and Pius VI was taken prisoner to Valence. An especially odious persecution was renewed in France against the ancient Christian customs; it was known as the décadaire persecution. Officials and municipalities were called upon to overwhelm with vexations the partisans of Sunday and to restore the observance of décadi. The rest of that day became compulsory not only for administrations and schools, but also for business and industry. Marriages could only be celebrated on décadi at the chief town of each canton.

  Theophilanthropes, during the French Revolution.


Theophilanthropes, during the French Revolution.

Another religious venture of this period was that of Theophilanthropists, who wished to create a spiritualist church without dogmas, miracles, priesthood or sacraments, a sort of vague religiosity, similar to the “ethical societies of the United States.” Contrary to what has been asserted for one hundred years, M. Mathiez has proved that Theophilanthropism was not founded by the director La Réveillière-Lépeaux. It was the private initiative of a former Girondin, the librarian Chemin Dupontés, which gave rise to this cult; Valentine Hauy, instructor of the blind and former Terrorist, and the physiocrat, Dupont de Nemours, collaborated with him. During its early existence, the new Church was persecuted by agents of Cochon, Minister of Police, who was the tool of Camot, and it was only for a short time, after the coup d’état of 18 Fructidor, that the Theophanthropists benefited by the protection of La Réveillière. In proportion to the efforts of the Directory for the culte décadaire, the Theophilanthropists suffered and were persecuted; in Paris, they were sometimes treated even worse than the Catholics, Catholic priests being at times permitted to occupy the buildings connected with certain churches while the Theophilanthropists were driven out. On a curious memoir written after 18 Fructidor entitled “Des circonstances actuelles qui peuvent terminer la Revolution et des principes qui doivent fonder la Républic en France”, the famous Madame de Stael, who was a Protestant, declared herself against Theophilanthropy; like many Protestants, she hoped that Protestantism would become the State religion of the Republic. Through its clumsy and odious religious policy the Directory exposed itself to serious difficulties. Disturbed by the anti-religious innovations, the Belgian provinces revolted; 6000 Belgian priests were proscribed. Brttany, Anjou. and Maine again revolted, winning over Normandy. Abroad the prestige of the French armies was upheld by were upheld by Bonaparte in Egypt, but they were hated on the Continent, and in 1799 were compelled to evacuate most of Italy. Bonaparte’s return and the coup d’état of 18 Brumaire (10 November 1799) were necessary to strengthen the glory of the French armies and to restore peace to the country and to consciences.

Subscription9.2

TOURNEUX, Bibl. de l’hist. de Paris pendant la Révolution (Paris, 1896-1906); TUETEY, Répertoire des sources manuscrites de l’hist de Paris sous la Révolution, 7 vols. already published (Paris, 1896-1906); FORTESCUE, List of the three collections of books, pamphlets, and journals in the British Museum relating to the French Revolution (London, 1899).

Reprint of the Moniteur Universel (1789-99); the two collections in course of publication of Documents inédits sur l’hist. économique de la Révolution française; and Documents sur l’hist. de Paris pendant la Révolution française; the works of BARRUEL (q.v.); BOURGIN, La france et Rome de 1788 à 1797, regeste des dépêches du cardinal secrétaire d’état, tirée du fond des “Vescovi” des archives secrètes du Vatican (Paris, 1909), fasc. 102 of the Library of French Schools of Athens and Rome; among numerous memoirs on france on the eve of the Revolution may be mentioned: YOUNG, Travels in France, ed. BETHAM-EDWARDS (London, 1889); and on the Revolution itself: Mémoires de l’internounce Salamon, ed. BRIDIER (Paris, 1890); GOUVERNEUR MORRIS, Diary and Letters (New York, 1882); Un séjour en France 1792 à 1795, lettres d’un témoin de la Révolution française, tr. TAINE (Paris, 1883); the work of the famous BURKE, Reflections on the Revolution in France, ed, SELBY (London, 1890), remains an important criticism of Revolutionary ideas.

General Works – THIERS, Hist. de la Révolution française (tr. Paris, 1823-27); MIGNET, Hist. de la Révolution française (Paris, 1824); MICHELET, Hist. de la Révolution française (Paris, 1847-1853); LOUIS BLANK, Hist. de la Révolution française (Paris, 1847-1863; TOCQUEVILLE, L’ancien régime et la Révolution (Paris, 1856); TAINE, Les Origines de la France contemporaine: la Révolution (tr. Paris, 1878-84); SOREL, L’Europe et la Révolution française (Paris, 1885-1904); SYBEL, Gesch. der Revolutionszeit (Dusseldorf, 1853-57); CHUQUET, Les guerres de la Révolution (Paris, 1889-1902); AULARD, Hist. Politique de la Révolution française (Paris, 1901); IDEM, Etudes et leçons sur la Révolution française (Paris, 1893-1910); GAUTHEROT, Cours professés à l’Institut Catholique de Paris sur la Révolution française, a periodical begun at the end of 1910 and promising to be very important; MADELIN, La Révolution (Paris, 1911), a summary commendable for the exactness of its information and its effort at justice in the most delicate questions; The Cambridge Modern History, planned by the late LORD ACTON, II the French Revolution (Cambridge, 1904); MacCARTHY, The French Revolution (London, 1890-97); Ross, The Revolutionary and Napoleonic Era (Cambridge, 1907); LEGG, Select Documents Illustrative of the History of the French Revolution (Oxford, 1905); GIBBS, Men and Women of the French Revolution (London, 1905).

Monographs and Special Works – AULARD, Taine, historien de la Révolution française (Paris, 1907); COCHIN, La crise de l’hist révolutionaire: Taine et M. Aulard (Paris, 1909); BORD, La francmaçonnerie en France des origiines à 1815, bk. I, Les ouvriers de l’idée révolutionaire (Paris, 1909); IDEM, La conspiration révolutionnaire de 1789, les complices, les victimes (Paris, 1909); FUNCK-BRENTANO, Légendes et archives de la Bastille (Paris, 1898); MALLET, Mallet du Pan and the French Revolution (London, 1902); FLING, Mirabeau and the French Revolution (London, 1906); LENOTRE, Mémoires et souvenirs sur la Révolution et l’Empire (Paris, 1907-9); IDEM, Paris révolutionaire, vieilles maisons, vieux papiers (Paris, 1900-10); WARWICK, Robespierre and the French Revolution (Philadelphia, 1909); FUNCK-BRENTANO, Légendes et archives de la Bastille (Paris, 1898); BLIARD, Fraternité révolutionnaire, études et récits d’après des documents inédits (Paris, 1909); MORTIMER TERNAUX, Hist. de la Terreur (Paris, 1862-1881); WALLON, Hist. du tribunal révolutionnaire (Paris, 1880-2); IDEM, La journéedu 31 Mai et le fédéralisme en 1793 (Paris, 1886); IDEM, Les représentants en mission (Paris, 1888-90); DAUDET, Hist. de l’émigration pendant la Révolution (Paris, 1904-7); LALLEMAND, La Révolution et les pauvres (Paris, 1898); ALGER, Englishment in the French Revolution (London, 1889); DOWDEN, The French Revolution and English Literture (London, 1897); CESTRE, La Révolution française et les poètes anglais (Paris, 1906).

Religious History. – SICARD, L’ancien clergé de France II,III (Paris, 1902-3) IDEM, L’éducation morale et civique avant et pendant la Révolution (Paris, 1884); PIERRE DE LA GORCE, Hist. religieuse de la Révolution française I (Paris, 1909); MATHIEZ, rome et le clergé française sous la Constituante (Paris, 1911); IDEM, La théophilanthropie et le culte décadaire (Paris, 1904); IDEM, Contribution à l’histoire religieuse de la Révolution Française (Paris, 1907); IDEM, La Révolution et l’Eglise (Paris, 1910); AULARD, La Révolution française et les congrégations (Paris, 1911); IDEM, Le culte de la raison et le culte de l’Etre suprème (Paris, 1907); IDEM, Le culte de la séparation de ‘Eglise et de l’Etat en 1794 (Paris, 1903); PIERRE, La Déportation ecclésiastique sous le Directoire (Paris, 1906).

GEORGES GOYAU (Catholic Encyclopedia)

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October 12 – Difficulties in his youth prepared him for later trials

October 9, 2014

St. Wilfrid Bishop of York, son of a Northumbrian thegn, born in 634; died at Oundle in Northamptonshire, 709. He was unhappy at home, through the unkindness of a stepmother, and in his fourteenth year he was sent away to the Court of King Oswy, King of Northumbria. Here he attracted the attention of Queen […]

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October 12 – Martyr King

October 9, 2014

St. Edwin The first Christian King of Northumbria, born about 585, son of Aella, King of Deira, the southern division of Northumbria; died October 12, 633. Upon Aella’s death in 588, the sovereignty over both divisions of Northumbria was usurped by Ethebric of Bernicia, and retained at his death by his son Ethelfrid; Edwin, Aella’s […]

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October 13 – King Confessor

October 9, 2014

St. Edward the Confessor Saint, King of England, born in 1003; died January 5, 1066. He was the son of Ethelred II and Emma, daughter of Duke Richard of Normandy, being thus half-brother to King Edmund Ironside, Ethelred’s son by his first wife, and to King Hardicanute, Emma’s son by her second marriage with Canute. […]

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Who Was Christopher Columbus, and Why Is He Important?

October 9, 2014

Christopher Columbus (Italian CRISTOFORO COLOMBO; Spanish CRISTOVAL COLON.) Born at Genoa, or on Genoese territory, probably 1451; died at Valladolid, Spain, 20 May 1506. His family was respectable, but of limited means, so that the early education of Columbus was defective. Up to his arrival in Spain (1485) only one date has been preserved. His […]

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Father Jean Le Vacher: Hero and Missionary, Blasted to Death by Muslims

October 6, 2014

In 1647, St. Vincent de Paul sent Father Jean Le Vacher to do missionary work among the Catholics enslaved by the Barbary Coast’s Muslim corsairs and he arrived in Tunis during an epidemic of the plague and did much to comfort the captives. Upon the death of the French consul, the Bey appointed Father Le […]

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Common Sense and the Balance We Seek

October 6, 2014

There is a second driving force that serves as a counterbalance to the first lest it degenerate into dangerous fantasy. It comes from realizing that this land of exile is not all marvelousness; we must adjust ourselves to the world that exists. Hence, there is born in balanced souls a veritable enthusiasm for common sense […]

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October 7 – How the Rosary saved Christendom

October 6, 2014

by Jeremias Wells The Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary Here is but a small fraction of the victories directly obtained from God through the Holy Rosary: The Battle of Lepanto which saved Rome and Vienna, and thus the Pope and the Emperor, from Moslem subjugation The deliverance of Vienna by Sobieski The victory […]

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October 9 – Superb and valiant knight

October 6, 2014

Baron Athanase-Charles-Marie Charette de la Contrie Born at Nantes, 3 Sept., 1832; died at Basse-Motte (Ille-et-Vilaine), 9 Oct., 1911. His father was a nephew of the famous General Charette who was shot at Nantes, 29 March, 1795, during the rising of the Vendee. His mother, Louise, Countess de Vierzon, was the daughter of the Duc […]

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October 9 – Royal penitent

October 6, 2014

Bl. Gunther A hermit in Bohemia in the eleventh century; born about 955; died at Hartmanitz, Bohemia, 9 Oct., 1045. The son of a noble family, he was a cousin of St. Stephen, the King of Hungary, and is numbered among the ancestors of the princely house of Schwarzburg. He passed the earlier of his […]

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October 9 – St. John Twenge

October 6, 2014

St. John Twenge Canon regular, Prior of St. Mary’s, Bridlington, born near the town, 1319; died at Bridlington, 1379. He was of the Yorkshire family Twenge, which family in Reformation days supplied two priest-martyrs and was also instrumental in establishing the Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Bar Convent, York. John completed his studies […]

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Belgian king visits former concentration camp

October 2, 2014

According to the Royal News Blog: On September 28, 2014 King Philippe attended a commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Belgium’s Fort Breendonk from the Nazis, who used it as a concentration camp. The fort is now a Belgian national memorial. Please click here to see a picture of his visit.

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One Noble Family’s Six Centuries of Stability in a Locale

October 2, 2014

Bishop Isoard…narrates a conversation he heard one month earlier between notre Monsieur and his farmer. The latter said to him: “Last December, it was three hundred forty-seven years that we have been with Monsieur.” And the former replied, “We, we were here before you. I don’t know for sure how many years… all I know […]

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Uniting the Idealist and the Pragmatist

October 2, 2014

Alas, there is a modern tendency to divide the world between the idealist and the pragmatist, the metaphysical and the physical, or the spiritual and material, as if we were dealing with two different realities. In a society that pursues its dreams, this separation need not be made. Both the ideal and the practical can […]

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October 3 – Military turned monk

October 2, 2014

St. Gérard, Abbot of Brogne Born at Staves in the county of Namur, towards the end of the ninth century; died at Brogne or St-Gérard, 3 Oct. 959. The son of Stance, of the family of dukes of Lower Austrasia, and of Plectrude, sister of Stephen, Bishop of Liège, the young Gérard, like most men […]

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October 3 – Mother Théodore Guérin

October 2, 2014

Many of the early pioneers faced the hardships of this country where wars, famine and disease were the norm. Leaving everything behind, heroic souls came not only to save the souls of Indian nations, but also to minister to these frontier families. One such person was St. Mother Théodore Guérin, who became the eighth American Saint […]

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October 3 – Enemy of King St. Louis, but still his friend in Christ

October 2, 2014

St. Thomas of Hereford (THOMAS DE CANTELUPE). Born at Hambledon, Buckinghamshire, England, about 1218; died at Orvieto, Italy, 25 August, 1282. He was the son of William de Cantelupe and Millicent de Gournay, and thus a member of an illustrious and influential family. He was educated under the care of his uncle, Walter de Cantelupe, […]

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October 4 – He chose a greater chivalry

October 2, 2014

St. Francis of Assisi Founder of the Franciscan Order, born at Assisi in Umbria, in 1181 or 1182 — the exact year is uncertain; died there, 3 October, 1226. His father, Pietro Bernardone, was a wealthy Assisian cloth merchant. Of his mother, Pica, little is known, but she is said to have belonged to a […]

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October 5 – St. Galla

October 2, 2014

A Roman widow of the sixth century; feast, 5 October. According to St. Gregory the Great (Dial. IV, ch. xiii) she was the daughter of the younger Symmachus, a learned and virtuous patrician of Rome, whom Theodoric had unjustly condemned to death (525). Becoming a widow before the end of the first year of her […]

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October 6 – Princes and popes coveted the advice of this silent man

October 2, 2014

St. Bruno Confessor, ecclesiastical writer, and founder of the Carthusian Order. He was born at Cologne about the year 1030; died 6 October, 1101. He is usually represented with a death’s head in his hands, a book and a cross, or crowned with seven stars; or with a roll bearing the device O Bonitas. His […]

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Army straightens out Prince Harry

September 29, 2014

According to The Telegraph: Prince Harry’s biographer Penny Junor [said]: “It’s only been in the last four years that Harry’s found his path. The Army was the making of him. He tried to go to Iraq but couldn’t as the press outed him. That moment could have sent him off the rails, but didn’t. Instead, […]

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Dignity and courtesy in a military retreat

September 29, 2014

Count Jean de Gassion was wounded on the bridge of Cameretz while fighting next to the duke of Rohan. As he did not want to be separated from his commanding officer, the latter asked him: —    “But will you be able to accompany us?” —    “I don’t see what would prevent me. After all, your […]

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True Sanctity Lies in Strength of Soul and Not in Sentimental Softness

September 29, 2014

Written by Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira The Church teaches that true and complete sanctity is the heroism of virtue. The honor of the altars is not granted to weak, hypersensitive souls that flee from profound thoughts, from acute suffering, from the fight, in short, from the Cross of Our Lord Jesus Christ. Mindful of the […]

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The Crusading Bagel

September 29, 2014

Several nations claim the bagel as their own, but none of the accounts on the origins of this tasty roll are as epic as the Polish. The Poles tell us that the bagel was invented by a grateful Jewish baker in a rescued and half-destroyed Vienna. He wanted to honor King John Sobieski of Poland […]

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September 30 – The cantankerous noble who became a saint

September 29, 2014

St. Jerome, Father and Doctor of the Church Born at Stridon, a town on the confines of Dalmatia and Pannonia, about the year 340-2; died at Bethlehem, 30 September, 420. He had a brother much younger than himself, whose name was Paulinian. His father, called Eusebius, was descended from a good family, and had a […]

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