French prayer to oppose gay unions

From The Irish Times:

French prayer to oppose gay unions

The French Catholic Church will revive a centuries-old custom next week with an updated national “prayer for France” opposing the same-sex marriage and euthanasia reforms planned by the new Socialist government.  [Did you vote for Obama in 2008?  Think about it.]

The prayer, to be read in all churches on August 15th, echoes the defence of traditional marriage by Pope Benedict and Catholic leaders around the world as gay nuptials gain acceptance, especially in Europe and North America.

King Louis XIII decreed in 1638 that all churches would pray on Aug 15, the day Catholics believe the Virgin Mary was assumed bodily into Heaven, for the good of the country. [Ehem… she wasn’t assumed for the good of France, btw.]

The annual practice fell into disuse after World War Two. [When they really needed it!]

In the text, Catholics will pray for newly elected officials “so that their sense of the common good will overcome special demands.

This would include support for traditional families “throughout their lives, especially in painful moments.”

Opposing gay adoption, it says children should “cease to be objects of the desires and conflicts of adults and fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother.” [WOW! The French get it right!]

The prayer is unusual for French bishops, [Five years ago this would have been unthinkable. But then, five years ago it would have been unthinkable that US bishops would protest Notre Shame and the HHS Mandate as they have.] who usually keep a low political profile. [Oops.  Fell into the trap.  It is only secondarily political.  Firstly, it is moral.] Church spokesman Monsignor Bernard Podvin said they wanted to “raise the consciousness of public opinion about grave social choices.”

Pope Benedict said in January that same-sex marriage threatened “the future of humanity itself.” [TRUE.]

Socialist President Francois Hollande pledged during the election campaign earlier this year to reform marriage laws and his government has said it would do so early next year.

Opinion polls say about two-thirds of the French support gay marriage. [They are going to get what they deserve.]

Defending the Church’s opposition, Lyon Cardinal Philippe Barbarin said marriage was defined at the very start of the Bible as created by God to join man and woman.

“Nobody should be surprised that we Catholics think the first page of the Bible is right, even more so than a parliament,” he told Europe 1 radio.

Hollande has also expressed sympathy for euthanasia, which is not allowed in France, and named a commission to review whether the current law stressing palliative care for the dying needed to be expanded.

Paris Cardinal Andre Vingt-Trois discussed the issue with Hollande during their first official meeting in July. He did not oppose the review but said: “Just because one asks a question doesn’t mean one answers it positively.”

Can someone dig up the prayer for us?

And with this prayer also be read in chapels of the SSPX?  After all, consider what Mass attendance is in France.

St. Louis!  Pray for France!
St. Bernadette!  Pray for France!
St. Therese! Pray for France!
St. Vincent de Paul! Pray for France!
St. Jean de Brébeuf! Pray for France!
St. Peter Julian Eymard!  Pray for France!
St. John Vianney! Pray for France!
St. Joan of Arc! Pray for France!

Holy Mary, conceived without sin, pray for France!  Intercede with your Divine Son to save Holy Church’s Eldest Daughter.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Darren says:

    “The annual practice fell into disuse after World War Two. [When they really needed it!]

    A lot seemed to fall after WWII. Hmmm…

    I’ll add a couple French saints dear to my heart:

    St. Margaret Mary Alacoque! Pray for France!
    St. Claude de la Colombiere! Pray for France!

  2. Supertradmum says:

    I am looking for it, without success. However, this news is all over the media in Europe. Reuters picked it up and so have blogs. Lots of attention.

    Interestingly, that 93% of the Muslims voted for Hollande, because of his radical immigration policies but also because he was so openly against Catholics before the election. He also wants to shut down all religous and other private schools. The man has a huge communist agenda.

    I shall try and look again for this prayer. I suggest those with access to French Catholic histories of Louis XIII that it might be found in one of those. Or, an old French prayer book before WWII.

  3. Gail F says:

    I’ve been poking around for the last hour looking for it with no success. All the stories I’ve found are simply the one from Reuters, and it doesn’t link to a text of the prayer so neither do any of the other ones. The Diocese of Paris website looks as if it might have the prayer somewhere but my French is too rusty and Google won’t translate it. But they seem to be planning a boat parade, or floating procession, or something similar for the occasion.

  4. Supertradmum says:

    This is on the site noted here. I do not know if this is the original prayer but the site puts it in juxtaposition with the August 15 procession and King Louis XIII’s vow.

    We have declared and declare that,
    in taking the very holy and glorious Virgin as the special protector of our
    we dedicated to her
    ourselves, our state,
    our Crown and our subjects,
    pleading her to inspire in us very holy behaviour and to defend
    this kingdom against the efforts of all its enemies, with great care,
    whether it may suffer under the scourge of war,
    or enjoy the sweetness of peace that we are asking God to deliver us
    with all our hears, there are no paths of grace that do not lead to
    paths of glory.

  5. Supertradmum says:

    should be hearts, as I just took it off the site as is

  6. Bea says:

    The one supertradmum (above) found, must be it, since Louis the XIV was born in 1638 and that was the year that the one supertradmum found (though it does not give the year).

    Virgin of Charles X during the procession on 15 August
    © Godong
    Louis XIII was King of France from 1610 to 1642. He was married to Anne of Austria, and long awaited a son from her. When Louis XIV was born, consolidating peace in the kingdom devastated by the wars of religion, the King wanted to dedicate himself and his kingdom to the holy and glorious Virgin, whom he declared France’s special protector.

    We have declared and declare that,
    in taking the very holy and glorious Virgin as the special protector of our
    we dedicated to her
    ourselves, our state,
    our Crown and our subjects,
    pleading her to inspire in us very holy behaviour and to defend
    this kingdom against the efforts of all its enemies, with great care,
    whether it may suffer under the scourge of war,
    or enjoy the sweetness of peace that we are asking God to deliver us
    with all our hears, there are no paths of grace that do not lead to
    paths of glory.

  7. Midwest St. Michael says:


    The French bishops support traditional marriage?!

    Good thing they weren’t in the U.S. last Sunday standing in line with the Chic-Fil-A crowd doing the same thing.

    Wonder if they too would have been called “homophobes” by one of the regular posters here.


  8. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Sorry, should have said last “Wednesday” not “Sunday.”


  9. Gail F says:

    Thanks, Supertradmom! But I mostly want to see the “revised” prayer. And who wrote the new prayer and said it should be said? The French version of the USCCB, whatever that is? The article is fuzzy on exactly who said what.

  10. pelerin says:

    I have located the prayer on the site ‘Le Peuple de la Paix’ (a site unknown to me) but was unable to find it on the French Bishops’ site. The fluvial procession mentioned for the Feast of the Assumption above is now an annual event on the Seine and usually gets a mention on the French TV news. I shall be down in Lourdes for the Feast day – I do hope there will not be any demonstrations following the publicity of the prayer.

  11. pelerin says:

    The new prayer is now on the French ZENIT page which might be easier to find.

  12. Gail F says:

    Pelerin: I can’t find it on that site, will you please post it?

  13. asperges says:

    I think it is less exciting than one might suppose. The Bishops appear to be recommending a universal “Priere Universelle” (set of bidding prayers) for the Assumption.” Its content is feeble and generalised. This is what they propose. Louis XIII would have turned in his grave and such waffle.

    Other relevant documents including the vow of Louis XIII (1638) are here. All in French of course. Google should make something of it if you need a translation. Hope this helps.

  14. Supertradmum says:

    En ce jour où nous célébrons l’Assomption de la Vierge Marie, sous le patronage de qui a été placée la France, présentons à Dieu, par l’intercession de Notre-Dame, nos prières confiantes pour notre pays :

    1. En ces temps de crise économique, beaucoup de nos concitoyens sont victimes de restrictions diverses et voient l’avenir avec inquiétude ; prions pour celles et ceux qui ont des pouvoirs de décision dans ce domaine et demandons à Dieu qu’il nous rende plus généreux encore dans la solidarité avec nos semblables.

    2. Pour celles et ceux qui on été récemment élus pour légiférer et gouverner ; que leur sens du bien commun de la société l’emporte sur les requêtes particulières et qu’ils aient la force de suivre les indications de leur conscience

    3. Pour les familles ; que leur attente légitime d’un soutien de la société ne soit pas déçue ; que leurs membres se soutiennent avec fidélité et tendresse tout au long de leur existence, particulièrement dans les moments douloureux. Que l’engagement des époux l’un envers l’autre et envers leurs enfants soient un signe de la fidélité de l’amour.

    4. Pour les enfants et les jeunes ; que tous nous aidions chacun à découvrir son propre chemin pour progresser vers le bonheur ; qu’ils cessent d’être les objets des désirs et des conflits des adultes pour bénéficier pleinement de l’amour d’un père et d’une mère.

    Seigneur notre Dieu, nous te confions l’avenir de notre pays. Par l’intercession de Notre-Dame, accorde-nous le courage de faire les choix nécessaires à une meilleure qualité de vie pour tous et à l’épanouissement de notre jeunesse grâce à des familles fortes et fidèles. Par Jésus, le Christ, Notre Seigneur.

    Cette prière est une proposition de la Conférence des Évêques de France. From the Diocese of Paris.

    On this day when we celebrate the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, under the patronage of which was placed France, present to God through the intercession of Our Lady, our believing prayers for our country:

    1. In these times of economic crisis, many of our citizens are victims of various restrictions and see the future with concern, pray for those who have decision making powers in this area and ask God to make us even more generous in solidarity with our fellow men.

    2. For those who have been elected recently to legislate and govern, their sense of common good of society outweighs the special requests and they have the strength to follow the instructions of their consciousness

    3. For families, that their legitimate expectation of support from society is not disappointed, that their members support with fidelity and tenderness throughout their existence, especially in the painful moments. That the commitment of the spouses towards each other and their children are a sign of loyalty to love.

    4. For children and youth as we help all people to discover their own path to progress towards happiness; they cease to be objects of desires and conflicts of adults to fully benefit from the love of a father and a mother.

    Lord our God, we entrust the future of our country. Through the intercession of Our Lady, grant us the courage to make hard choices and a better quality of life for all and vitality of our youth through strong families and loyal. Through Jesus Christ our Lord.

    This prayer is a proposal from the Conference of Bishops of France.

  15. Gus Barbarigo says:

    The last phrase of the prayer, “paths of glory”, is the title of Kubrick’s classic film of WWI France, where the French army sought to shoot its own soldiers to scare the troops into displaying more courage. Perhaps the phrase is a French idiom of significance. Anyway, the French have shot themselves in the foot by putting Hollande in power!

  16. Johnno says:

    I hate to rain on the parade, but I don’t see any specific references to homosexuality anywhere here… just that vague inclusive non specific language that attempts to address the object of the prayer without referring to it explicitly. Are the bishops of France afraid of being accussed of ‘homophobia’? Does the Church fear men so much more than God that we will even censor our prayers to avoid any clear precise mention of the problem we are desperately appealing to God for? Or is this simply more of that new ‘ecumenical’ language that our Church and our leaders have perfected out of habit? The sort that waters down defined dogmas, avoids correcting errors, favors political correctness in its speech with concern for the feelings for others? The same kind of thing that led to the hilarious multiple attempts at consecrating Russia without ever specifically mentioning Russia and hoping God will just focus on our hearts and feelings rather than the vagueness of our words? Now the errors of Communism are knocking on all our doors… and the Holy Father and Bishops are yet to heed God’s warnings to act upon His command least they follow the example of the Kings of France…

    If the bishops want to craft prayers to protect us from the consequences of homosexual marriage, the prayers should then explicitly mention what it is they are praying for. I’ll stick to my own prayers knowing I’ve specifically put forth my actual requests to God. At the rate we’re going, I’m surprised confession hasn’t been altered to simply be me showing up and declaring,’Forgive me Father, I’ve been bad.’ And Father says,’Oh, it’s all right, you are forgiven before you even said that. Go and reflect on how you feel for your penance.’

  17. Gail F says:

    So the French bishops sent out a bunch of vague suggestions for intercessory prayers — sounds like they are for the “Prayers for the faithful” to me, or at least they would fit there — and THAT’S what the fuss is about? Although maybe from the French bishops that really is huge…

    Where does it say that the want to revive the Louis XIII prayer?

  18. Imrahil says:

    This prayer is fine as far as it goes.


    if (even if amongst other things) praying against an evil… couldn’t we just name it?

    Couldn’t we just, once for a change, hear:

    that Thou hinderest the efforts to establish the so-called homosexual marriage, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that children who are to be adopted are given to loving married couples, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that abortion reappear forcefully on our nation’s Penal Code, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that Thou scatterest the plans of so-called “gender mainstreaming” to destroy the nature Thou gavest to us, whom Thou hast created as man and woman, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that the Catholic Church enjoy full freedom of religion in our country and all over the world, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that the Law of 1905 be repealed, we beseech The to hear us Lord!
    that Thou convertest our Muslim fellowcitizens to Catholic Christianity, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that Thou makest our fellowcitizens who, misled by anti-faith forces, or for whatever else reason, have the misfortune of being not joined to Thy Body, come home into the fold, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that France may yet again be known as the elder sister of the Church and bulwark of Christianity, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!
    that we ourselves may so hold to Thy commandments as to be least unworthy of begging for so great things, we beseech Thee to hear us Lord!

  19. PostCatholic says:

    Interesting. In France, very few people get married in a church, since the law requires one to go to the mairie or the hôtel de ville due to the requirement that the civil marriage be performed by civil authority. And of course the PACS pretty much confers equal rights to same-sex couples.

  20. Ambrose Jnr says:

    Regarding this prayer, expect non-specific PC-influenced language from the French conference of Bishops as long as Monseigneur Vingt-Trois is in charge over there. Renewal is coming to France, but extremely slowly, and Monseigneur Vingt-Trois is gonna be around in Paris way too long still…the great French bishops are mainly in the South of the country, such as Monseigneur Aillet (Bayonne), Monseigneur Rey (Frejus-Toulon), Monseigneur Brouwet (Lourdes)…

    Under Msgr Vingt-Trois, I have no doubt opposition to same-sex marriage will be ineffective, unless a miracle occurred…

  21. jhayes says:

    Gus Barbarigo, the French prayer is:

    Nous avons déclaré et déclarons que,
     prenant la très sainte et glorieuse Vierge pour protectrice spéciale de notre Royaume,
     nous lui consacrons particulièrement
     notre Personne, notre Etat,
     notre Couronne et nos sujets,
     la suppliant de nous vouloir inspirer une si sainte conduite, et défendre
     avec tant de soin ce royaume contre l’effort de tous ses ennemis,
     que soit qu’il souffre le fléau de la guerre,
     ou jouisse de la douceur de la paix que nous demandons à Dieu
     de tout notre cœur, il ne sorte point des voies de la grâce qui conduisent à celles de la gloire.

    It doesn’t actually join the words “Paths” and “Glory.”

    A better English version of the last few lines would be.

    That whether it suffers the scourge of war
    Or enjoys the sweetness of the peace that we ask of God with all our hearts,
    It [our kingdom] will never leave the paths of grace that lead to those of glory.

    It’s my understanding that the title of the American novel (from which the film was made) is a quotation from Thomas Gray’s ‘Elegy Written in a Country Churchyard’: “The paths of glory lead but to the grave”.

  22. Di says:

    How about the St. Michael prayer ?
    This prayer was prayed after every Low Mass until Vatican II. Pope Leo XIII put this in place because he knew what was headed for the Church. This prayer needs to be prayed again after all Masses for the good of the Church.
    Viva Cristo Rey!
    Si vis pacem, para bellum!
    Sorry I am just learning all of this so please “have mercy.”

  23. JPH says:

    One more French saint:

    St. Louis Marie de Montfort, pray for us.

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  25. Johnno says:

    I vote for Imrahil’s prayer instead. The Church has for years just been tossing out vague prayers to God, then it sits back and wonders why everything is falling apart… It’s time to stop treating God like some far off msytical mind reader (although He can do this) and start having a face to face relationship with Him like a real person (which He is) when we talk to Him (because that’s what He wants)!

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