Monday, July 17, 2006


Blessed Therese of St Augustine and Companions, Martyrs

Today Carmel celebrates the birth-in-heaven of some of our Carmelite martyrs of the French Revolution. I did a longer piece on these martyrs two years ago which you can find here. July 17 washes away the bad taste left in the mouth by July 14 - jour du Bastille.





(There's a wonderful opening scene in the beginning of Claudette Colbert's 1937 comedy "Tovarich" in which Miss Colbert and Charles Boyer play Russian artistocrats exiled by the Bolsheviks who find themselves in the middle of a street celebration in Paris. They're having a wonderful time dancing until they happen to ask a Parisian what the celebration is for. It seems it is July 14 and they are celebrating Bastille Day. The dancing stops on a dime. They go off chastened, asking pardon of the Russian saints for celebrating such an evil event. Which has nothing to do with our Carmelite saints, except in my own stream-of-consciousness sort of way. And I had no place else to mention it.)