Saturday, July 17, 2010

Memorial of the Blessed Martyrs of Compiègne

"Among the victims of cruelty who shed their blood for the faith of Christ at Paris, towards the end of the eighteenth century, sixteen Carmelite nuns gave an admirable example of heroism. Their leader and Prioress was Teresa of St Augustine. At first they were driven from their monastery at Compiègne; then as the fury of hatred for the very name of Christian mounted around them, they were thrown into prison in June, 1794. Not long afterwards they were brought to Paris, their hands bound behind their backs, and exposed to the insults of soldiers and people, then imprisoned in a filthy jail. Without witnesses to testify for them, without legal counsel, in a disorderly court, they were sentenced to death for this one cause: that they remained faithful to their Religious Order. These brave women were filled with joy when they heard their sentence; because they were confident that this would bring them the crown of martyrdom. Walking with joyful faces, singing hymns alternately as though in choir, they went to the place of execution as though on a march of triumph. One after another, like fragrant roses, they were beheaded. Last of all, like the mother of the Macchabees, Teresa offered her head to the guillotine. The fame of this martyrdom spread far and wide within a short time and miracles soon enhanced its glory. These sixteen illustrious martyrs were added tot he list of the blessed by the Supreme Pontiff Pius X."

-- From the 1966 Discalced Carmelite Proper


Karinann said...

If my memory serves me correctly, I think there was a play based on the story of these nuns called The Dialogue of the Carmelites.
Thanks for posting this- I am always edified by the faith of these devout women.
God bless!

ocd sister said...

Karinann-- You are correct. Dialogues des Carmélites is a very famous French opera by Francis Poulenc based on the screenplay by Georges Bernanos who in turn was inspired by Gertrud von Le Fort's Die Letzte am Schafott, better known in English as The Last on the Scaffold. I haven't seen/heard it, but I hear it's excellent.

God bless you!