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For the Preservation of the Deposit of the Faith
For the Kingdom of God to come!
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!