Is Anybody There?

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says Yahweh Sabaoth" Zach 4:6 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Dio di Signore, nella Sua volontà è nostra pace!" . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . They that can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin 1759

Friday, January 13, 2012

Who Are the Vendee? & Why They DO Matter

I  came across this over @ The Badger Catholic (For God and King!!!!!). While I have read some on the French Revolution & especially the horrors done in the name of the Revolution, this is the 1st time I have ever heard the story of the Vendee & their counterrevolution.  

This movie is made by Navis Pictures. It was filmed with a cast of  over 250 young people. The true story takes place in the Vendée region of France. "In 1793, after enduring three and a half years of mounting persecution of the Church by the architects of the French Revolution, a small band of faithful peasants and nobles began a Catholic "counter-revolution". This is the largely unknown story of the valiant, six year struggle of the people of a small section of western France, to restore their Holy Religion and their King. Steeped in the influence of St. Louis de Montfort, and wearing their rosaries and emblems of the Sacred Heart, their sacrifices resulted in countless martyrdoms, and ultimately won the restoration of religious freedom for all of France. This film is a love-letter to the Vendean people, and was produced to honor the memory of these brave men and women who willingly sacrificed their lives, "for God and King"." (From the movie website)
It is scheduled to be released on DVD if February. The trailer has raised my curiosity to not only see the movie but to learn more about this oft forgotten part of the French Revolution.
The French Revolution era persecution resulted in a large number of martyrs, many of them have been beatified, including Blessed Laurent Batard &  Martyrs of Compiègne. The latter have been immortalized in an opera, Dialogues of the Carmelites. They were fourteen French Discalced Carmelite nuns and lay sisters, along with two externs who composed the Carmel of Compiègne, France. The opera does make a few changes in the story. But it makes it clear that these women willingly sacrificed their lives for Christ.  At the foot of the scaffold, the community jointly renewed their vows. They began to chant the Veni Creator Spiritus, the hymn sung at the ceremony for the profession of vows. They continued their singing as, one by one, they mounted the scaffold to meet their death.
1 of the things that is often ignored in the French Revolution by those who want to hold it up as an ideal that unfotrunately went wrong is why it almost imediately devolved  into the Reign of Terror that it did. The reason was that it was a revolution against God as much as more than against the political order of the time in France.
This movie is a reminder of the huge difference between the French & American Revolutions. Here in the USA we made it clear that we were fighting to restore our rights that were endowed to us by our Creator*. & why, in the end, the American Revolution didn't end like the French Revolution or so many others that drove God out as well.
Recently, another movie came out that looked at the Cristeros. This group battled the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico DURING the Mexican Revolution. Like the French Revolution, the persecution of the Catholic Church in Mexico at that time produced several saints & beati, including Blessed Miguel Agustín Pro Juárez.
Then there was the  the Spanish Revolution. It produced many martyrs as well. It also produced Saint Josemaría Escrivá de Balaguer who founded Opus Dei.
Matt @ Badger Catholic asks "What next, Lepanto??!?" Good question. & hopefully there soon will be a movie made about lepanto that captures the whole story of the battle, including the role praying the Rosary played in bringing about that victory over Ottoman Empire by the Holy League.  That victory prevented the Mediterranean Sea from becoming an uncontested highway for Muslim forces. It also protected Italy from a major Ottoman invasion, & prevented the Ottomans from advancing further into the southern flank of Europe.
We need to hear these stories to remind us that being faithful to the Catholic faith may very well cost us a similar price in the near future. & even if it doesn't cost us our lives, the fact is, the Catholic Church is coming under persecution as Cardinal Burke recently reminded us.  We have seen that persecution in state laws like those in Illinois that have forced Catholic Charities to get out of providing adoptions etc because they have to provide those services to "gay couples" as well. We have seen that with the push by the Obama administration is forcing Catholic institutions to pay for birth control etc. We have seen that with how the Obama administration has defined those who are Pro-life as terrorists. The new terrorism law allows him to put us under arrest indefinitely.
& that is why this story does matter. & needs to be told.
*"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Follow the link to the Wikipedia article on "Life, Liberty. . . ." for a prime example of how this difference is ignored, downplayed, or buried. It talks about how this phrase is comparable to "liberté, égalité, fraternité" (liberty, equality, fraternity) in France. Credit for the French motto has traditionally been given to Antoine-François Momoro (1756–1794), a Parisian printer & Hébertist organizer.  But, as the Hébertists article points out, they were a leading force for the dechristianization of France & supported  extreme measures in service of the Terror, including the Law of Suspects enacted in 1793.



  • At 13/1/12 11:46 AM , Blogger Badger Catholic said...

    Warren Carroll writes a very good book called "The Guillotine and the Cross." I highly recommend it. He's got several other short books on Catholic history that are excellent.

  • At 17/1/12 12:34 AM , Blogger Carlos Carrasco said...

    Looking forward to it.

  • At 17/1/12 12:38 AM , Blogger Carlos Carrasco said...

    If you are looking for good Catholic fiction check out my site

    read the posts from old to new to follow the story from the beginning. I add a new scene every Monday.

  • At 22/2/12 12:04 PM , Blogger Jim Morlino said...

    Thanks for the post about our little film.
    You sound like the kind of guy I'd like to have a beer with...or since I'm a fellow paisan...a glass of Chianti maybe?
    A blessed Lent to you and yours.
    - Jim Morlino
    director, The War of the Vendee

  • At 24/2/12 9:43 AM , Blogger Al said...

    glad to post on this. Chianti or some other Italiano vino.


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