A Lesson From A French Revolution Martyrdom: Combating Evil Is an Obligation of Every True Catholic

October 17, 2019

September (aka September Massacres; On October 17, 1926, Pope Pius XI beatified 191 of them.)


By Plinio Corrêa de Oliveira

Prison de l’Abbaye Saint-Germain, where the massacre that took place at its gates in September of 1792.

… This is also the feast of the 191 priests martyred on this day in 1792 by the French revolutionaries for refusing to swear the so-called Civil Constitution of the Clergy.

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy, a law of the French Revolution, established many things fervently promoted by progressivists, such as organizing the Church as a republic.

Those 191 priests chose to die precisely not to compromise with the errors of the French Revolution in this matter. The Catholic Church canonized those 191 martyrs together. Today, for the sake of not losing a job, office or situation, many people accept what others rejected to the point of preferring to die rather than give in.

Let us now comment on the assassination of Thiérry de Ville d´Avray, chamberlain of Louis XVI – a story of revolutionary hatred. This is taken from Weiss’s História Universal, a highly renowned work often quoted here.

“Among the new prisoners was Minister Armand Montmorin de Saint-Hénin, who was taken to the Abbey [a terrible prison] after August 10. He proudly presented himself to the tribunal, which hated him as a confidant and agent of Louis XVI”.

Marc-Antoine Thierry, Baron of Ville-d’Avray who was murdered at the Abbey Prison.

He was a friend of Louis XVI.

“He denied the tribunal’s competence to judge him and asked to be taken before a legitimate court. ‘President – since this is how you like to be addressed – I hope you will soon send a carriage to take me away from the insults of these assassins.’

He was talking about the demagogues that surrounded and insulted him.

‘Since you do not recognize us, I am of the opinion that you should be taken to the La Force prison’, the president said. ‘All right, then send for a carriage.’

The massacre of the prisoners of the prison of Châtelet and the house of Bicêtre.

“Another person came and announced the carriage had arrived. Montmorin went quickly to the patio door, opened it, and found himself between two lances standing right and left. In his pocket, Montmorin had a receipt for 100,000 francs signed by Danton which Louis XVI had paid for his protection; and that is perhaps why they killed Montmorin. Appeals to Danton to set him free fell on deaf ears: the witness to his crime had to disappear. The dead do not talk.”

In a word, Montmorin was one of the confidants of Louis XVI. The king asked him to look for Danton, one of the worst enemies of royalty and a true communist. Would Danton be willing to protect the throne and the cause of royalty for 100,000 francs – a fabulous sum at the time? Danton said yes and Montmorin gave him the money. Danton gave him a receipt and then ordered Montmorin killed so they would take the receipt from his pocket and burn it, destroying the evidence of his crime. Hence Montmorin died not only because he was a confidant of the king and a noble, but because he was an inconvenient witness.

Armand Marc, Count of Montmorin de Saint Herem, who was also murdered during the September Massacres.

Here you see the supreme disloyalty of Danton. He received the money to betray the revolutionary cause he claimed to support. After receiving the money, he had the man to whom he paid it killed, a crime of embezzlement. In the final analysis, by killing that man he made sure to eliminate the victim of his own infamy. Here we see well the hideous mentality that animated those men of the French Revolution.

“After Montmorin, there came the turn of Thiérry, the chamberlain of Louis XVI. ‘Like master, like servant. Take him to the La Force prison! The door opens and Thiérry, the king’s knight, stumbles on the cadaver of Montmorin and falls, shouting: ‘Long live the King!’ Covered with wounds and with a lance piercing his body, Thiérry continued to shout: ‘Long live the King!’ Then one of the assassins shoved a burning torch into his mouth and he died.”

The Chapel of the Abbey Prison in Paris, France, 1793.

These are horrible things. You may say: “All right. What do we have to do with this?” We have a lot to do with it. Here you perceive the hatred the revolutionary has for the counter-revolutionary. In fact, in the final analysis, the latter were killed because they were not revolutionary; because they were identified with the king. And although the king was weak and an imbecile, he was the living symbol of an order of things that was counter-revolutionary when compared to the Revolution. So these men were murdered with barbaric refinement out of hatred for the counter-revolutionary doctrine and mentality.

Imagine this situation: A man with his body pierced by a spear, covered with blows, gives a sublime proof of his fidelity by shouting ‘long live the king!’ One of those demons approaches him with a burning torch – made of cloth, wood or something like that, imbibed with fuel, throwing off a powerful flame. He shoves that torch into the man’s mouth and it kills him – a supreme torment.

The massacres of September at the Abbey prison.

You see the kind of hatred the revolutionary have for the counter-revolutionary. This is the hatred of which we are the object. Many people would rejoice if they could only kill us just like that. Of course they would like to kill me, but they would also like to kill any of you as well. And this is exclusively because you are counter-revolutionaries. History is full of these examples; in fact, we give you one such example every evening.


Someone has prepared 200 or 300 summaries with like cases, in addition to the considerable collection of summaries we have received from other sources. They are all about brutal manifestations of hatred by revolutionaries against counter-revolutionaries.

This does not mean we should want the eternal perdition of revolutionaries. We should want the eternal damnation of no one. We should pray for the eternal salvation of everyone. As long as it does not hinder the Catholic Cause, we must do good to others, including revolutionaries. But we must be cautious; we cannot be fools.

We must know what kind of hatred we arouse and how to act accordingly; for, after all, a man who does not combat such crimes is morally spineless. And we cannot be spineless. Combating evil is an obligation of every true Catholic.


(Excerpt from a Saint of the Day, Tuesday, September 2, 1969 – Nobility.org translation)


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