Happy Feast of Blessed Teresa of St. Augustine and Companions, the Martyrs of Compiègne. Carmelites.
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.
Plus ça change.
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 Carmelite 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.
Again, in close proximity, Carmelites and oppression.