In 1794, the Place de la Nation on the east side of Paris was called the Place du Trône-Renversé… Toppled Throne Square. In 1792 a guillotine was set up here and the killing began. Robespierre and Barère made terror an instrument of governance: “Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue”, quoth Robespierre.
On 17 July of this same year, 1794, 11 Discalced Carmelite nuns of the Carmel of Compiègne, together with three lay sisters and two tertiaries were guillotined and buried in a mass grave in the nearby Picpus Cemetery. They had for a while been living with English Benedictine nuns, who were forbidden their native England. The Carmelites dedicated themselves to prayer for the restoration of peace in France and for the Church. Hence, they were arrested, shifted to Paris, and publicly murdered for the encouragement of the mob. As the nuns, aged 30 to 78, went to the razor, they renewed their vows and sang the either the Salve Regina or the Veni Creator Spiritus, accounts vary.
One by one they knelt before the prioress and asked permission to die.
“Permission to die, Mother?”
“Go, my daughter!”
Here is the dramatized scene.
On 28 July, Robespierre experienced the guillotine. The Reign of Terror ended a few days after the martyrdom of the Carmelites.
For more, see To Quell the Terror: The Mystery of the Vocation of the Sixteen Carmelites of Compiegne Guillotined July 17, 1794 by William Bush. US HERE – UK HERE
I wonder if I will have the strength of mind and will in that moment to sing that hymn or antiphon? This is something to make a plan about. Fathers! You might start thinking now about the moment when you are put up against the wall like our brother Bl. Miguel Pro. Make a plan.
Do you suppose the Tricoteuse, the Knitting Women who sat near the guillotine erected at the Place de la Révolution (now the Place de la Concorde) made side trips? I can see Madame Wile E. Defarge hefting her knitting basket and with her bloodthirsty companions, a sort of Anti-Carmel of Emballage de Poisson (or maybe Poison), heading off to watch the nuns die, perhaps the Little Sisters of the Poor who fought the Obama Administration. I can picture the modern Tricoteuse doing that when the Left wins. After all, they pictures themselves doing that.