Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Albert Camus on the Death of King Louis XVI

Edit: the following is a translation of Camus' account of the execution of King Louis XVI, which wasn't only the murder of the King, but an attempt to destroy God forever and replace it with the general will of the people and Rouseau's Social Conctract. H/t: at vexilla-galliae:

On January 21, with the murder of the King-priest, was consummated what has significantly been called the passionof Louis XVI. It is certainly a crying scandal that the public assassination of a weak but goodhearted man has been presented as a great moment in French history. That scaffold marked no climax—far from it. But the fact remainsthat, by its consequences, the condemnation of the King is at the crux of our contemporary history. It symbolizes thesecularization of our history and the disincarna-tion of the Christian God. Up to now God played a part in historythrough the medium of the kings. But His representative in history has been killed, for there is no longer a king.Therefore there is nothing but a semblance of God, relegated to the heaven of principles.

The revolutionaries may well refer to the Gospel, but in fact they dealt a terrible blow to Christianity, from which ithas not yet recovered. It really seems as if the execution of the King, followed, as we know, by hysterical scenes of suicide and madness, took place in complete awareness of what was being done. Louis XVI seems, sometimes, tohave doubted his divine right, though he systematically rejected any projected legislation which threatened his faith.

But from the moment that he suspected or knew his fate, he seemed to identify himself, as his language betrayed,with his divine mission, so that there would be no possible doubt that the attempt on his person was aimed at the King-Christ, the incarnation of the divinity, and not at the craven flesh of a mere man. His bedside book in the Temple was the Imitation. The calmness and perfection that this man of rather average sensibility displayed during hislast moments, his indifference to everything of this world, and, finally, his brief display of weakness onthe solitary scaffold, so far removed from the people whose ears he had wanted to reach, while the terriblerolling of the drum drowned his voice, give us the right to imagine that it was not Capet who died, butLouis appointed by divine right, and that with him, in a certain manner, died temporal Christianity. To emphasize this sacred bond, his confessor sustained him, in his moment of weakness, by reminding himof his "resemblance" to the God of Sorrows. And Louis XVI recovers himself and speaks in the language of this God: "I shall drink," he says, "the cup to the last dregs." Then he commits himself, trembling, into the hands of an ignoble executioner.

Link to Albert Camus' "The Rebel"....


  1. He didn't tremble: http://ledejeunersurlherbe.blogspot.hu/2006/05/louis-xvis-last-words-before.html

  2. Anybody know of the reason why he did not consecrate France to the Sacred Heart?

  3. After reading more this afternoon on the Sacred Heart devotion, Enthronement, and Fatima comments I think maybe it was not this king but his ancestor who declined to obey Our Lord's request. Still though I am wondering why it was not done.

    1. Considering the way France had been heading in recent years, it's hardly surprising , of course it doesn't begin to justify the crimes committed.

  4. I was under the impression that Louis XVI did consecrate France to the Sacred Heart from the Bastille.

    1. I wouldn't think so looking at the condition of France. I did a quick search and found this:

      Who is the King of France that Our Lord is referring to? That requires a little explanation. The King of France referred to is Louis XIV, XV, XVI, and the Kings subsequent to them, even King Louis XVII, the poor young king.

      In 1689, the Sacred Heart of Jesus gave a command to the King of France to consecrate France, not the world, not Russia, but France, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. On the 17th of June, this command was given, and the Kings of France and their confessors thought they knew better than God and they chose to ignore the Sacred Heart.

      The confessors in question were Jesuit confessors, and as Frére Michel and Frére François point out in The Whole Truth About Fatima, the Jesuit order was particularly punished by its suppression 60 to 70 years after that because they did not obey the command of the Sacred Heart.

      And what happened to the Kings of France? One hundred years later to the day, on the 17th of June, 1789, the king was stripped of his power by the Third Estate and four years later his head was chopped off on the guillotine. "Make it known to My ministers, that given they follow the example of the King of France, in delaying the execution of My command ..."