Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Martyr's Witness

On the way to the guillotine.
On  the way to the scaffold Madame Brard's witness was confirmed by an encounter that ensured the honored memory of her religious name.  An  awe-struck girl with a religious vocation devoutly followed the trumbrels that day, her gaze fixed on the singing nuns.  Touched by her devotion, Sister Euphrasia passed the girl her office book prior to reaching the place of the sacrifice.
         This girl was Therese Binard, who later assumed the martyr's name and became Mother Euphrasia, foundress of the convent of "Les Oiseaux" in Paris.  The relic received from the martyr's hands was piously preserved by her spiritual daughters as a memento of the Carmelite martyrdom until it was lost during the return of the community's archives to France from England following World War II.  At the beginning of the twentieth century the nuns of her congregation had been forced into exile in England by antireligious Combes laws.  Persecution of Christians by the government was nothing new in France, as the relic of the martyred Sister Euphrasia attested.~ From To Quell the Terror, by William Bush

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