“This is the child that God wants to give to France.”

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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  1. FrAnt says:

    It is a sad thought that many countries, including our own, have turned from their Mother.

  2. Mitchell G says:

    Interesting, so it was during his reign that Our Lord requested the consecration of France to His Sacred Heart.

  3. Supertradmum says:

    Never too late for France to return to the Church and to Mary–prayers needed.

  4. excalibur says:

    Then we have this, as reported by Rorate:

    However, it’s now been reported that Francis has called former Italian Foreign Minister Emma Bonino one of the “forgotten greats,” much to the horror of true Italian Catholics and pro-life leaders everywhere. It’s horrifying because Bonino has been on the front lines of pushing abortion for decades — and personally performed illegal abortions herself (Rorate reported extensively on this in this 2013 post.)

  5. Venerator Sti Lot says:

    Very interesting – thank you!

    Louis XIII’s older contemporary, Shakespeare, has his Hamlet say, “There’s a divinity that shapes our ends, / Rough-hew them how we will – ” I have the impression that Louis XIV made a pretty concerted effort willfully to rough-hew his in all sorts of ways (and that perhaps ‘Gallicanism’ might be considered not least among them – but do set me straight on this, if I’m muddled).

    I do revel in the sacred music of his reign…

  6. John Nolan says:

    On the Feast of the Assumption 2012 I attended (EF) Mass at St-Eugène & Ste-Cécile in Paris which was preceded by the Procession of the Vow of Louis XIII according to the Propre de Paris 1962. The Vow is recited at the Lady Altar; the Litany of the BVM and the Sub Tuum Praesidium are sung, as well as Psalm 19 in the ‘ton royal’. Domine salvum fac regem!

    The Mass included the Sequence ‘Induant justitiam’ with the organ taking over the odd verses, in the French tradition. The celebrant’s chasuble was emblazoned on the front with the Royal Arms. For a moment one could dream that the dreadful Revolution had never happened …

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