Friday, July 17, 2009

Feast of the Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne

"In September, 1792, Mother Teresa of St Augustine, prioress of the Carmelites of Compiègne, proposed to her religious that they make an act of consecration by which the community would offer itself as a holocaust to God, 'so that peace may be restored to the church and the state.' Each day, until their deaths, they renewed this offering of their lives.

The sisters had to leave their monastery on September 14, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross. They found refuge with some friendly families near their parish church of Saint-Antoine. For a period of time they assembled there for Mass celebrated by Abbé Courouble, the chaplain of the community. In 1794, denounced by the postmaster, all the sisters were arrested and locked up in the convent of the Visitation, which had been transformed into a prison. Transferred to Paris on July 12, they were summarily judged on the morning of July 17, and condemned for their 'fanaticism and their foolish religious practices.' The same night they were taken by cart to the gate of Vincennes (Place de la Nation) to be executed."

-- The Mantle of Elijah: The Martyrs of Compiègne as Prophets of the Modern Age by Terrye Newkirk, ocds

Their names are:

  1. Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St Augustine), prioress, b. 22 September 1752, professed 16 or 17 May, 1775;
  2. Marie-Anne Brideau (Mother St Louis), sub-prioress, b. 7 December 1752, professed 3 September 1771;
  3. Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said "I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me";
  4. Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. 16 September 1715, professed 19 August 1740;
  5. Marie-Antoniette (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;
  6. Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. 18 June 1745, professed 22 February 1764;
  7. Marie-Gabrielle Trézel (Sister Teresa of St Ignatius), choir-nun, b. 4 April, 1743 professed 12 December 1771;
  8. Rose-Chrétien de la Neuville, widow, choir-nun (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), b. in 1741, professed probably in 1777;
  9. Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. 17 June 1760, professed 22 October 1786.
  10. Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception b. in 1736 professed in 1757;
  11. Marie-Geneviève Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. 28 May 1765 (or 1766), received the habit 16 December 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing "Laudate Dominum".
  12. Angélique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. 4 August 1742, professed 14 May 1769;
  13. Marie Dufour (Sister St Martha), lay sister, b. 1 or 2 October, 1742, entered the community in 1772;
  14. Julie or Juliette Vérolot (Sister St Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. 11 January 1764, professed 12 January 1789.
Two Extern Sisters also gave their lives for the faith.
  1. Marie-Anne-Catherine Soiron, 52 yrs old at time of martyrdom
  2. Thérèse Soiron, 46 yrs old at time of martyrdom
Only 3 members of the community survived. They were absent when the others were arrested.

-- To Quell the Terror: The True Story of the Carmelite Martyrs of Compiègne by William Bush

Bl Martyrs of Compiègne, pray for us!

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