Friday, September 2, 2011
September 2 -- Feast of the Martyrs of September
This commemorates the 191 clergymen who were killed on September 2-3, 1792. Some, like Jean Marie du Lau d'Allegman, were archbishops (Arles, in his case). Others, like Solomon le Clerq, were hard-working scholars and functionaries rather than privileged leaders. But all refused to take oath of support for the Constitution which placed priests under the control of the state.
It must have been a hell of a thing to have grown up Catholic and then see about ninety-five priests publicly executed, one after another, all day long. And when the same thing happens on the next day, it must have felt like the world was off its axis.
Fortunately, they ran out of clergy to execute (at least for that moment). Still, the French government was a brutally repressive regime, blazing a trail to a new realm of totalitarianism which would only be fully explored in the twentieth century.
If you want a sizable list of specific martyrs, follow this link.
Posted by Tom Major at 4:00 AM