July 17th – ONE LAST SMALL SONG. . .

Do you know the history which formed you and your culture and its thinking?   Do you know the rights and wrongs of history well enough to form reasonable, logical, and true judgments today?

 Here is another “serious” posting, aimed at your mind, but one which may enter your heart.

Secular Republics have been proved by their historical actions to fear or eventually come to fear the Christian God Who alone can thwart their Will to Power, to Absolute Power over the citizens (and, by the way, yes,   He opposes those “Christians”  who become tyrants).

And so it was on this day, July 17th, just about 220 years ago, that the mentality of secular republicanism turned against a quiet group of Carmelite nuns.   Nuns such as we have  among us today.

1.  Fr Carmelite at prayer

These are the kind of vulnerable citizens which any moral governing body should seek to protect from the variances and  riots of politics.   (I appeal to the protective nature of  men here.)

But on July 17, 1794, the Ruling Forces of the new secular republic turned its fury on these gentle ladies.   They were arrested  –  for not supporting the thinking  of the Revolution.   I suppose today we would call them guilty of Thought Crimes.   The penalty was execution.

3. Fr Carmelites around priest

The trusted leader of this group,  Mother Henriette of Jesus, seen here at their center,  tried to keep her daughters safe by explaining to the Rulers that the Carmelite sisters were innocent and remained outside the political partisanship and activism of the French Revolution.   They were no threat to the Secular Republic.

She was denied her right to continue to speak her defense with these words:   “The Republic has a machine at its disposal that will leave (you) somewhat short of breath!”

(A recently built “machine.”)

3. fr guillotine

This man continued to interrogate the very youngest of the nuns, a teenager, really, full of faith and joy and innocence and vulnerable femininity.   The Ruler’s man told her:  “Young citizen, you have nothing to fear from us, who are your liberators! “

She was given a choice.   She chose God over the secular republic.  She was told to march up to the guillotine awaiting her.   The streets were crowded with spectators who then became silent.   Thousands and thousands of people, silent, watching.

And there arose from this young lady a thin, sweet, song of faith  and praise….up the steps, one by one, singing,  up to the platform, singing, laying herself face down….sing-  ….

One by one.Fr Carmelite martyrs

….Here is an eyewitness report:  “. .  . I watched as the youngest of these good  Carmelites was called first and that she went to kneel before her venerable Superior, asked her blessing and permission to die. She then mounted the scaffold singing Laudate Dominum omnes gentes. She then went to place herself beneath the blade allowing the executioner to touch her. All the others did the same. The Venerable Mother was the last sacrificed. During the whole time, there was not a single drum-roll; but there reigned a profound silence.”    . . .

Just when the horror had ended and the crowd began to recover its breath, another small,  young, feminine voice was heard approaching the guillotine in song.   Stories say she was singing the Salve Regina….which Christians used to know by heart.  It’s a song that testifies to the Order of things that God has willed for his servants who are humble and open to Him. The singing continued and the crowd now watched one more young Carmelite nun, full of fear and faith and determination, take her last ride and mount the steps.

She had been “out on an errand”  when her sisters were arrested.  She had been hidden away  safely by friends, and the Rulers didn’t know about her.

But she came forth.

If she had not,  the rest of her life would have been a life of deception and disloyalty.    I do not criticise her free choice.  It is as she saw it.   “Save your head or save your soul.”

Can you get on board?

A small handful of nuns had also been away at the time of the initial arrest.   They did not or were not able to come forth on that day.   They were preserved so they could write the story of their sisters and to give us testimony to the events of that day.

Perhaps we can draw our own conclusions.   But in this century we have learned:   Godlessness leads to the Gulag  (and/or the Guillotine) .

The library and the  Internet have many sources of information for this story.   I suppose that information is there for those who do not want to repeat this history:  The Republic versus Christianity.

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Explore posts in the same categories: 2013 Conflicts, Christian Analysis, Holy Days, Lessons from History

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One Comment on “July 17th – ONE LAST SMALL SONG. . .”


  1. […] I told their story before in The Spruce Tunnel.  You can see some pictures here in “One Last Small Song.” […]


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