Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Saturday 17 April |
Saint of the Day: Bl. Mariana of Jesus
Daily Prayer
And today we celebrate...Saint of the Day

The Martyrs of Compiegne

Victims of the French Revolution

16 carmelitas martires de compiegne

Creative Commons

Carmelite and Lay Martyrs (d. 1794)

Their story

+ On July 17, 1794, a group of sixteen women from Compiegne were executed by guillotine at Paris’ Place du Trône Renversé (the modern-day Place de la Nation).

+ Included in the group were eleven Discalced Carmelite choir nuns, three lay sisters, and two “tourieres” or women who acted as servants for the community. Their “crime” was their fidelity to the Church and their Carmelite vocation.

+ Before they were martyred, the women knelt and chanted the Veni Creator, after which the women renewed their baptismal and—for the religious—their Carmelite vows.

+ As she was ascending the scaffold, one of the nuns began to sing a hymn (although there is some debate as to which hymn was sung, with both the Salve Regina and Psalm 117 being considered possibilities). The hymn was taken up by the other martyrs as, one by one, they ascended the steps to the guillotine. The last of the nuns to die was the prioress, Blessed Teresa of St. Augustine.

+ The martyrs were buried in a common grave in the Picpus Cemetery.

+ The Martyrs of Compiegne were beatified in 1906, becoming the first martyrs to receive this recognition from the Church.

+ The story of the Martyrs of Compiegne has captured the imagination of poets, artists, and musicians, including Francis Poulenc’s celebrated opera TheDialogues of the Carmelites, based on an earlier play by Georges Bernanos.

Spiritual bonus

On this day, certain local churches and religious communities celebrate a special commemoration in honor of the “Humility of Mary,” honoring Mary’s humility before the Divine Mystery, especially as she encountered it in the Annunciation, Visitation, and Nativity of her Son. The feast invites us reflection on her words in the Magnificat: “He has looked with favor on his lowly servant.” The Sisters of the Humility of Mary (established in France in 1855) are named in honor of this virtue of the Blessed Mother.

For reflection

Blessed spirits and souls of the just, pour out your songs of praise to the Lord, alleluia.”—from The Liturgy of the Hours, antiphon II for Lauds of the Common of Several Martyrs

Prayer

God our Father,

you give us joy each year

in honoring the memory of Blessed Teresa of St. Augustine and the Martyrs of Compiegne.

They their prayers be a source of help for us,

and may their example of courage and chastity be our inspiration.

Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(from The Liturgy of the Hours: Common of Several Martyrs—For virgin martyrs)

Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.

Access our archives of daily saint biographies here
Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
SPANISH FLU
Bret Thoman, OFS
What Padre Pio saw in the Spanish Flu of 1918
2
LOREN SCHAUERS
Annalisa Teggi
Amputee from the waist down is thankful every day to be alive
3
HOLY SEPULCHRE CROSSES
Zelda Caldwell
Mystery of crosses on walls of Church of the Holy Sepulchre may h...
4
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
Padre Pio’s favorite prayer of petition
5
PADRE PIO
Philip Kosloski
St. Padre Pio: His life, his miracles and his legacy
6
PRAY
Philip Kosloski
Catholic prayers for strength
7
COUPLE
Cerith Gardiner
7 Joys to be had from a lengthy marriage
See More