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Thousands of priests and nuns died on the scaffold during the terrible French Revolution. Among them the most famous are the 16 Carmelites of Compiègne under the leadership of their superior Therese of Saint Augustine. They had been ridiculously accused of fanaticism for prayers to the Sacred Heart that had been found in their convent. They were thrown into prison and left there on bread and water for several weeks; then they were transferred to Paris, and finally condemned and guillotined on July 17, 1794, ten days before the end of the Terror. When their sentence was read to them, they sang the Te Deum, the Magnificat and other hymns; as they climbed the steps of the scaffold, all sixteen sang the Psalm: Laudate Dominum omnes gentes, which did not cease until the last one had passed through the hands of the executioner. Some of the faithful, having obtained miracles through their intercession, Pius X named them Venerable on May 17, 1906.
– What clear proof of the heroism that religion inspires in the face of death!
Sign of the Cross
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and of the Mother of God. Amen.
O Jesus! We are going to walk with You on the road to Calvary which was so painful for You. Make us understand the greatness of Your sufferings, touch our hearts with tender compassion at the sight of Your torments, in order to increase in us the regret of our faults and the love we wish to have for You.
Deign to apply to all of us the infinite merits of Your Passion, and in memory of Your sorrows, show mercy to the souls in Purgatory, especially to those who are most abandoned.
O Divine Mary, who first taught us to make the Way of the Cross, obtain for us the grace to follow Jesus with the sentiments Your Heart was filled with as You accompanied Him on the road to Calvary. Grant that we may weep with You, and that we may love Your divine Son as You do. We ask this in the name of His adorable Heart. Amen.