“Terror is nothing more than speedy, severe and inflexible justice; it is thus an emanation of virtue.”

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.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

    I guess that the Roman Pontiff has established as a “principle” that any and all previous norms can be summarily trashed by personal fiat.

    Is this part of that “permanent revolution” thing that some seem to be so keen on ?

  2. JakeMC says:

    I read something years ago that said that those nuns sang the “Te Deum” on the way to the guillotine. And the part about asking permission to die is quite moving; a public demonstration of the virtue of obedience, as well as resignation to the will of God. The death of a martyr, despite the horrors, is paradoxically a thing of beauty.

  3. Spinmamma says:

    This scene always makes me weep. In admiration for their serenity and faith in the very jaws of death. And in sadness for the depravity and cruelty of the human soul and mind that has abandoned God.

  4. Aliquis says:

    But whom are we to emulate? The Carmelite martyrs, or the Vendee resistance? Is it Viva Christo Rey, or drink this cup? Or both?
    For priests, I hope a good moral theologian comes forward with wisdom on the duty of obedience and its limits. For laity, who to advise us? Abandonment to divine providence, or acting, and when and how?

  5. Maximillian says:

    I understand as much as anyone the need for many to go into denial over this. But denial ends in the cold light of dawn. Let us face the truth. The TLM is gone. It de facto ended on 16th July 2021.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    JabbaPapa: Yes, like Dear Leader Biden and his so-called Executive Orders, Bergoglio SJ has his diktats and permanent revolution- which will not stop with the anti-TLM attack. This is, of course, a characteristic of terror.

    Maximillian: Do not lose heart, this is not over. Do not be defeatist, the Vatican regime cannot extinguish the TLM. Faith and Fortitude. July 16, 2021 in Church history will live in infamy, but the TLM will survive. Cheers.

  7. SpesNostra says:

    In the libretto of Poulenc’s opera “The Dialogues of the Carmelites”, there is a line something like “where priests are few, martyrs abound”. May these Blessed Martyrs of Compiegne and Our Lady of Mt. Carmel pray for our priests and for us.

  8. KateD says:


    That’s exactly what the enemies of Holy Mother Church would like you to believe”Give up, it’s over. We won. No sense in fighting it.”
    Quit letting them live rent free in your head.

    Truth is the modernists have seen the writing on the wall and it condemns their innovation. Their tree bears no fruit, it is sterile. And they are feeling their mortality as they watch the complete and utter failure of a life’s worth of efforts fade into the abyss of obscurity while those they sought to destroy are flourishing, growing beyond the capacity to accommodate the bountiful numbers of seminarians brought forth from the exploding populations of big beautiful joyful faith filled traditional Catholic families and communities. lol

    Satan was given a set amount of time to try to destroy the Church and he failed. This is the grasping desperate flailings of a dying beast. Their time is over and they are very aware of it.

    Only Hell benefits from the suppression of Latin, and that won’t stand in Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Church.

    So pray. Dive into holiness and do the part God calls you to in the physical world swiftly, well and without hesitation. Take their rebuke and like a jiujitzu master use it to compel you into even greater heights of Catholic devotion to our good and glorious God.

    When the English Catholics were suppressed in the early 1600’s I believe they started a whole new country, these US of A. Talk about taking the enemies momentum and using it to your greatest advantage…lol.

    There was an old radio show in LA when I was a kid, Rick Dees in the morning and he had a tagline: “EGBOK”.

    Everything’s Gonna Be O.K.

    Everything is going to be ok, Maximillian.

    Hang in there and maintain the course.

    It may be a rough ride for a while. But it will be over and behind us soon and in 50 years we will mention the NO to some kid who will have no clue what you’re talking about.

    The point here is that even if every one of today’s cardinals voting in the next conclave were pure modernists, it doesn’t matter. The novus ordo has no longevity. It has a zero chance of survival. It peaked in the 70s and has been dying of its own cancerous accord ever since. Let it go.

    Did you ever hear of anything so absurd? “ This is the Latin Rite where you can pray in any language, except Latin”…lol. Whatever.

  9. KateD says:

    I just watched that clip. When you have come to the point where you are executing nuns, you’ve definitely lost.

  10. Baritone says:

    Certain words of Christ have returned frequently to my mind these last several days: But when these things begin to come to pass, look up, and lift up your heads, because you redemption is at hand. (St. Luke 21:28)

  11. OssaSola says:

    My Confirmation name is St. Charlotte of the Resurrection, the eldest of those martyrs.

    On another note, our diocesan parish will be allowed to continue offering the TLM here in Corpus Christi, Texas. Our parish priest gave the most inspiring homily asking all of us to pray a second daily rosary, fast (as opposed to abstaining) each Friday, and give to a specific charity (TBD) in order to make ourselves less “ divisive , judgemental, and uncharitable”, the charges often leveled at Latin Mass goers. So grateful!

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