Skip to comments.massacre de la Saint-Barthelemy
Posted on 08/15/2013 5:39:58 AM PDT by Gamecock
The whole of France is bathed in the blood of innocent people and covered with dead bodies. The air is filled with the cries and groans of nobles and commoners, women and children, slaughtered by the hundreds without mercy." So read a Genevan diplomatic dispatch from the autumn of October of 1572 in a description of what would come to be known as the Saint Bartholomew's Day Massacre, one of the most bloody and horrifying episodes in the history of the church.
This awful event is captured in a painting from the era, Le massacre de la Saint-Barthelemy, the lone surviving work from artist Francois Dubois, an eyewitness to the massacres. It hangs today in Musee cantonal des Beaux-Arts, in Lausanne, Switzerland and captures the ugly violence that for a time almost seemed to stamp out the spread of Protestantism in one of Europe's greatest kingdoms. This, Dubois' painting, is the next of the twenty-five objects through which we can trace the history of Christianity.
From the first spark of Reformation in the opening years of the sixteenth century, Protestantism spread quickly and within just a few decades, it was a powerful presence through most of Europe. Protestantism gained a significant foothold in France where, by the 1560's, there may have been upwards of two million Protestants, known as Huguenots. The rise of Protestantism in kingdom dominated by Catholicism brought inevitable political instability and France endured several bloody civil wars. The Catholic factions were led by a succession of weak kings under the influence of the powerful Guise family and dominated by the queen mother, Catherine de Medicis. Meanwhile, the Protestants were led by Gaspard de Coligny along with the Bourbon princes Henri of Navarre and Henri of Conde. These leaders wanted the Protestant churches to receive legal recognition and Huguenots to have freedom of worship. This was, of course, unthinkable to the Guise family and the Roman Catholic hierarchy.
On August 18, 1572, prince Henri of Navarre married Margaret of Valois, the sister of King Charles IX. This was a political marriage between a Protestant prince and the sister of the Catholic king and it seemed to portend a new era of peace and stability. Many Protestants were invited to Paris for the ceremony and they both arrived and participated unmolested.
But then, on August 22, an attempt was made on Coligny's life. The king denied all knowledge of the attempt, but Protestants were suspicious, wondering who was responsible and what it meant. Meanwhile, rumors spread among Catholics that the Huguenots were infuriated by this attempt and that they might soon take their revenge. The next day the royal council held an emergency session and determined to kill the Huguenot leaders. The gates to the city were locked to prevent anyone from leaving and soldiers were dispatched under the command of Henri of Guise.
Early on Sunday morning, soldiers burst into Coligny's quarters and slaughtered him. They threw his body from a window where crowds later mutilated it and paraded it through the streets. The soldiers then turned on other Protestant leaders, dragging them from their beds, and killing them. Soon the city militia and Roman Catholic mobs began to kill Protestants wherever they found them, ruthlessly putting to death men, women and children. The violence soon spread beyond Paris to at least a dozen other cities where both soldiers and mobs continued the violence. It was said that in Lyon the river flowed red with the blood of the hundreds or thousands of bodies thrown into it. This orgy of violence continued for weeks. We have no accurate record of the number of Protestants killed, but certainly it was in excess of ten thousand and may reach much higher than that.
Francois Dubois was an eyewitness to the Paris massacres and captured the ugly drama in his painting "Le massacre de la Saint-Barthelemy, a painting that is history as much as it is art. There we see Coligny's body being thrown from a window, and then decapitated, there we see Catherine coming to inspect the violence and its results, there we see hundreds of bodies being thrown into the river. This painting reminds us that as the gospel transforms people, it also creates enemies. It reminds us that the Christian faith has been established only by blood--the blood of the Savior and the blood of his followers. It warns us that we do not place our hope or trust in princes or rulers. It assures us that to be a friend of Jesus is to be an enemy of Satan and those who rule this world on his behalf.
Not surprisingly, Protestant and Catholic historians have long differed on the causes of the massacre. Protestants have usually held that Catherine de Medicis was behind the plot as a means to rid the kingdom of Protestants; Catholics have held that the massacre began as a preemptive defense against a Protestant plot to overthrow the government. Regardless, it indelibly revealed the depth of hatred toward Protestantism and toward the true gospel. Pope Gregory XIII celebrated this massacre as a holy event and even issued a medal to commemorate it. Like many other Catholics at the time, he regarded it as an act of divine retribution to stamp out heretics.
One sad effect of the French massacres is that many Protestants recanted their faith, sometimes out of fear of death and sometimes out of discouragement, believing the massacres to be proof of God's disfavor. For a time it seemed that the Protestant cause in France had been completed crushed. Yet much like the violence against the early church in Christianity's infancy, this violence would strengthen the church around the world, for many Huguenots fled for safer lands, and as they went, they took the gospel with them. France's loss was the world's gain.
Is this what Christ asked his followers to do?
Self-defence is one thing, but treachery and genocide are not congruent with self-defence.
Why do so many Protestants lie?: “Pope Gregory XIII celebrated this massacre as a holy event and even issued a medal to commemorate it.”
The reality is best spelled out by Warren Carroll:
Pope Gregory XIII ordered a Te Deum said in thanksgiving for the deliverance of the French royal family and Christendom from Coligny’s alleged plot to murder the king, seize the crown, support the rebels in the Low Countries, and march on Rome.
However, the Pope was horrified by the cruelties of the massacre, sheeding tears and saying, “I am weeping for the conduct of the king [Charles IX], which is unlawful and forbidden by God.” Spanish ambassador Zuniga described him as “struck with horror” at the details of the massacre. Later the Pope said he wept for the many innocent dead, and refused to receive the assassin Maurevert in audience.
(The Cleaving of Christendom, Front Royal, VA: Christendom Press, 2000, 370).
BUT WHY LET FACTS AND HISTORICAL RECORDS INTERFERE WITH ANTI-CATHOLIC STUPIDITY????
Catholics would do it again.Thier history no better than the muslims in killing other christians and jews.
August 24, 1572
The Huguenots were murdered because of their Christian beliefs..
My ancestors were Huguenots from La Rochelle..
Im going to a St Bartholemew’s Day dinner in Atlanta next weekend..
As were mine. They fled Frace and wound up in England. In the early 1700s they wound up in what is now NC.
There are those on FR who enjoy celebrating heretics and bash Catholics. Funny how for the most part they are fading into the mists of history since they have no real foundation or truth to support their wretched decadent cause.
However, the Pope was horrified by the cruelties of the massacre, sheeding tears and saying, I am weeping for the conduct of the king [Charles IX], which is unlawful and forbidden by God.
and of course you will have well sourced info about the pope excommunicating that evil king for his dastardly unChristian deeds ...
Whilst Christians squabble.................
The muzzie headchoppers build their well-financed strength.
My La Rochelle lot d’Sicar/Secord also fled to London, England 1680 after the revoking of the Edict of Nantes (1598)
from there they came to NYC 1680-85 and helped found New Rochelle..
There are 151 Huguenot family names on the monument in New Rochelle..
Im a member of a Huguenot Society..
I also have other Huguenot ancestors who fled to Amsterdam after the massacre in 1572 and from there to the New World..
My first French-Dutch Walloons-Huguenots arrived from there in 1623 on the New Netherland..
My maternal side were Huguenots as well.
do you know your Huguenot family names ???
Thank you for posting what everyone reading this thread was thinking.
I know. It’s silly. I can’t see this pope ordering something as ghastly. And even if he did, I cannot conceive of a single catholic I know acting on it.
Perhaps in Europe, such craziness exists. But this is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our Constitution. We accept different faiths. We live in a country where Jew, Protestant, and catholic can walk the same streets without fear of being butchered and tossed into the river.
Now, some folks around here are pretty fervent in their desire to “save” one another. But I never got the sense they would hack someone to death over it.
Thank you. Excellent read; as are a few other articles on that site.
Exactly who are referring to when you say ‘heretics’? If you mean Protestants I think you should take a hard look at whether your prejudices fit the Christian standard. The last time I looked God is the God of all mankind. He is the judge and jury; we are pitiful sinners in an evil world.
Don’t look under your bed, Boogieman Boy
Got any names ???
I have a copy of the new directory..
My Huguenot names are Sicard/Secord, Mabille/Mabie, De Forest, Du Trieux, Badeau, Parcot, Jandron/Gendron, De Kype/Kipp, etc
Flohr, (Fleur, DeFleury)
My sister has all the ancestry info as she has been digging deep for the last few years. In fact, last night she received a packet of letters written by one of our Civil War ancestors. My aunt recently died and had all this history stuffed in folders. Cousin and sister are going through everything, piece by piece.
Catholics would do it again. Their history no better than the muslims in killing other christians and jews.
The bishop of Rome doesn't have the teeth he once did.
But this is perhaps the greatest accomplishment of our Constitution
So glad you mentioned the Constitution...
Huguenots were instrumental in influencing the writing ..
and also for the Bill of Rights..
The Amendments directly refer to the way they had been mistreated in France by the Catholic pope and king..
For 200 years in France until the time of the French Revolution, Huguenots were hunted down and killed and were the victims of bigotry and the denial of the “rights of man’ those ‘inalienable rights from God’
They wrote the Constitution...
Yup. It shifted to the English varient when the came to NC.
Maybe thats why hes so friendly to the muslims?
I do not know who or what started it but i have no doubt that Religion is the culprit and it had nothing to do with Jesus Christ.
The religious leaders had Jesus killed because he was about to and did bring them down off of their pedestals, he did this by freely telling the truth which is the gospel.
The religious leaders did not give a dam about the truth, they just wanted to stay in power.
France’s loss was the world’s gain.
Up to 200,000 Huguenots fled from France...nobles, middleclass, educated, craftsmen
The Huguenot clockmakers went to Switaerland...
the weavers to England, Ireland and the US..
The goldsmiths and silversmiths like the Reveres went to the US ..
Frances loss was the New Worlds gain..
By the time of the Revolution, there was nobody left to care about the king and the Catholic Church..
Just the king, the Cardinal and the rabble...
These wars were as much political as they were religious; there was little difference in those days. The Hundred Year War, the Thirty Years’ War... it was almost constant war in one place or another. Every family, faction, religion, culture had wounds that were long to heal.
What we could do now is not nurture the wounds of these wars, which only leads to more wars of one sort or another.
**BUT WHY LET FACTS AND HISTORICAL RECORDS INTERFERE WITH ANTI-CATHOLIC STUPIDITY????**
Did you see the facts just posted above your post?
Interesting. Do you agree or disagree with “Craftmore’s” assertion?
Lies, what makes you think that any Catholic or Pope would do such a thing?
Did you read the facts in the link from VLAD?
I’m sure glad that the Comte du Grasse and his french fleet with the blessing of the french king didn’t hold your bigoted beliefs or we would still be a member of the commonwealth. Hail Britannia.
"This would explain why in many cases, Catholics in the provinces went out of their way to shield Huguenots from the impending violence"Black is white, up is down, bad is good.
Voila! This fact unexpectedly added a French strain to our ancestoral genetic and cultural inheritance.
Flohr, (Fleur, DeFleury)
How about Fleury ???
There was a Abraham Fleury, Sieur de la Plaine
born in Tours, went to England and Babados, arrived in South Carolina 1680 had land in Goose Creek..daughter Marianne married Pierre Bacot no sons listed
Abraham Fleury had 2 brothers Charles and Isaac
a possible connection...
about 1640 Charlotte Du Bourdieu daughter of a Huguenot married Rev. Pierre Fleury
had son Rev. Louis Fleury who married his cousin Ester Du Bourdieu
Charlottes cousins fled to England, no mention of her or her Fleury husband and/or son going
This family had several pastors etc...
born maybe in Magneux pres Vassey, Champagne, France about 1523 went to Geneva married Gabrielle Mellin
had son Jean who married Francoise Mussard
had son Jacques who married Elizabeth Boussens
had son also Jacques who married Julie Eyraud
had son Jean Jacques/John James born Geneva 1686 who went to Goochland County, Virginia about 1717 and married Elizabeth Williams Jones
had children but no names listed
The rest of the family stayed in Geneva were goldsmiths
I have a lot of places dates etc on a couple of these...
Hope this helps..
Our latest book was purged of any name without solid sources etc..
and which “french king’ would he be ???
Since they weren’t Calvinists they weren’t among the elect anyway so whether they go to Hell sooner or later makes no difference.
OK, while i firmly believe that school children in the US should know well the name Lieutenant General Jean-Baptiste Ponton de Rochambeau, I also believe that the main reason for the cooperation was political rather than religious. The French wanted to kick some English butt and this was an easy butt to kick.
> Look at it like Calvin would.
I prefer not to.
> Since they werent Calvinists
You can substitute “Calvinist” with virtually any other sect, except maybe Mennonite, and have the same results.
People don’t understand Jesus. See Matthew 5-7, John 14-16.
Doesn’t matter what sect they are.
Just keep reading your Bible.
God’s Word does not return void.
Will send this info to my sister. I think she only could go back so far and came to a dead end. TY!
How do you know they were Huguenot ???
Common knowledge from our Grandmother and her family.
If you have any other names and first names they may be listed in the directory
Register of Qualified Huguenot Ancestors of the National Huguenot Society, Dec 2012
BTW our Huguenot name Secord (Sicard) came down to my great grandmother..
We had her father’s Bible with some of his family history...
I found the Huguenot connection using the Secord name..
My 8th ggf was Ambroise Sicard from La Rochelle...
I used him to join a Huguenot society..
His grandchildren in New Rochelle, New York changed the name to about 8 different variations..
or had them changed by a registar somewhere..
Sicar, Sicart, Secor, Secord, Secort, Secoy, Seacord etc
We can tell which grandson line someone belongs to by the name
It might be your name was tweeked a bit too..
The English took over New York in 1664
They wrote Dutch and French names the way they sounded etc so there were changes to spellings etc over time..