Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A French Genocide: The Vendee by Reynald Secher

Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer. Behold, the devil will cast some of you into prison that you may be tried: and you shall have tribulation ten days. Be thou faithful until death: and I will give thee the crown of life.

(The Apocalypse of Saint John ii. 10)

The history of Holy Mother Church is filled with the bones of her martyrs. She is a holy society built on the blood and sacrifice of her redeemer and also on those faithful who came later and offered their lives rather than soil their heavenly garments with earthly apostasy. Some are well known to us: great saints, like St. Stephen or St. Polycarp, whom we annually recall on their respective feast days. The vast majority, however, are now anonymous to all save God. There is a poignancy in their anonymity: we may not know them by name or story, but we know thousands upon thousands in history believed what we believe, loved as we love, and, ultimately, were provided the graces necessary to pass through the gauntlet of martyrdom and take their places in the Heavenly Jerusalem. Might I suggest the next time you find yourself transfixed by a clear and dark night sky (which happens to me all too often), imagine that each one of those dots of light so far off represents one such anonymous martyr. I have been told that on a clear night, the naked eye can see perhaps five thousand such stars; well then remember, that these anonymous martyrs number many times over such an amount.

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1 comment:

Unknown said...

It's hard to say when the first genocide took place. It might have been done by Moses and Jacob. But probably it was somebody earlier.

But certainly the first "modern" genocide was that of the Vendee, followed by the Turks on the Armenians, then the Russians on the Kulak Ukrainians.

There is something about being a human that brings out the worst in us.