Princess Louise de France, Daughter of Louis XV, Carmelite, Part II

August 10, 2017

Part I

Louis XV, King of France

The first thing that should be said is that this narration, while very interesting from the strictly biographical point of view gives only one aspect of the life and work of Princess Louise of France. In fact, she played in the court a much broader role than is reported here. This is because, as you know, her father, Louis XV was leading a debauched life, having had as mistress first Madame de Pompadour and then Madame du Barry.

At court, this royal adultery gave rise to two attitudes. Almost everyone tacitly went along with that immoral situation and did not oppose the king. When Louis XV began to lead a debauched life, at the court of France there was at the same time an increase in both the influence of wickedness and that of religion. So two defined currents were formed, with some people that were more impious than at the time of Louis XIV while others were more Catholic than at the time of Louis XIV.

One camp supported Queen Maria Leczinska, a person of respectable virtue who, for this reason, made all kinds of plots and sabotage against the mistresses, pretending not to see them, trying not to reciprocate greetings, not to visit and not to be aware of their presence at court. The other camp, supported by Voltaire, by the Encyclopédistes and all sorts of vile people sought to please the king but especially to foster depravity at the French court, which was the summit of the French people.

Louise-Marie de France (1763) by François-Hubert Drouais

And those wicked people were upset that the whole royal family, except for the king, stood against the mistresses. The son of Louis XV, Dauphin Louis and his wife (Maria Josepha of Saxe) and his sisters, the king’s daughters, were at the forefront of this anti-mistress “conspiracy” of a counterrevolutionary nature.

But it turns out that, for reasons to which the suspicion of murder is not to be discarded, the Dauphin Louis died, his wife died, and the king’s daughters were left alone at the head of the royal family, facing the king with far less strength than the Crown Prince, who, besides being a man, had all the prestige of a king-in-waiting. The Dauphin Louis was also very pious and of good customs.

Louis XV – the libertine, the unclean – had two daughters who were raised to the honor of the altar. One is the illustrious Carmelite about whom you have just heard, and the other was Madame Clotilde, Duchess of Savoy and Queen of Sardinia  [Editor: Regarding Madame Clotilde, Prof. Correa de Oliveira says she was Louis XV’s daughter, but she was his granddaughter].

Marie Adélaïde Clotilde Xavière of France (now Venerable, with her process of beatification in progress), Queen of Sardinia. Married to Charles Emmanuel IV of Savoy. Daughter of Louis, Dauphin of France.

So, in Versailles you see at the same time an apex of vice and a pinnacle of virtue. For many years those two princesses led the fight against impurity, until the moment that Madam Louise entered the Carmel and Madam Clotilde stayed alone. Then Madam Clotilde married, but Louis XV died and the problem ceased to exist because Louis XVI had a very honorable private life.

Therefore, Madam Louise was one of the princesses who served as the mainstay of the counterrevolutionary reaction within the court. A reaction which carried with it the stimuli of court morality and with them the destinies of the kingdom’s morality.

To Be Continued


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