At the Getty Museum in Los Angeles there is now a splendid exhibit of tapestries of Louis XIV of France.
This exhibit prompted a friend to forward the following about the birth of King Louis XIV and about one of my favorite Marian titles.
“My child, this is not my Son, it is the child that God wants to give to France”
The King of France Louis XIII founded the church of Notre-Dame des Victoires (Our Lady of Victories) in Paris in 1629, in thanksgiving for the victory of the royal troops in La Rochelle against the Protestant Huguenots, whose surrender the king attributed to the intervention of the Virgin.
On December 8, 1629, the eve of the laying of the first stone of the church, and feast of the Immaculate Conception, Brother Fiacre, an Augustinian friar, saw the Virgin Mary in a vision. She presented to him the child that God wanted to give France, the future Louis XIV, saying: “My child, do not be afraid, I am the Mother of God… My child, this is not my son, it is the child that God wants to give to France.”
In this vision, reported to the King and the Queen, the Virgin asked for three novenas to be offered to Our Lady of Graces (a Marian shrine located in Cotignac, southern region of Provence), Our Lady of Paris and Our Lady of Victories. Brother Fiacre prayed these three novenas himself from November 8 to December 5, 1637.
Exactly nine months later, on September 5, 1638, the queen gave birth to a son, Louis, called “Dieudonné” (God Given). On account of the vision of Brother Fiacre, Louis XIII consecrated France to the Virgin Mary. On January 6, 1638, the text of the Royal Vow was adopted, and it was signed on February 10th. This document fixed the date of the official consecration of France to August 15th of the same year in the cathedral of Notre-Dame de Paris.
An interesting Marian post for Our Lady’s Saturday.