Saturday, July 10, 2010

Carmelite Week - The Carmelite Martyrs of the French Revolution

Unfortunately, the true blood thirst and slaughter of the innocents that were hallmarks of the French Revolution seem to get hidden in a modern rewriting of history.  Today we hear of the so-called bravery of the revolutionaries.  However, the real story more accurately describes a mob bent on destroying the faith, elevating the "great thinkers" and murdering legions of priests, nuns and ordinary Catholics in the name of the revolution.

One of the most compelling stories is that of the death by guillotine of 16 Carmelite sisters of the monastery in Compiegne.   Almost 200 years after Saint Teresa of Avila established her reformed order, sixteen of her sisters in France were arrested by the leaders of the revolution and brought to the guillotine.  The bravely lined up to die, one by one.

The story has it that as they approached the guillotine they began to sing the Laudate Dominum Omnes Gentes (Praise God all you His People).  This was the same psalm sung by St. Teresa at the foundation two centuries earlier.

The sisters were condemned to death as "enemies of the people" for their faith.  In a final act of obedience, each asked the reverend mother, "permission to die?" before taking their place at the guillotine.   The prioress then offered them a small clay figure of the Virgin and child to kiss, and they went on to their death, with the mother superior taking her place as the last to go.

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Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!

Men of The Catholic Jedi Academy are also Men Of Saint Joseph!
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