EUGENE DE MAZENOD AND THE HISTORY OF FRANCE: EUPHORIA TURNS INTO CONCERN UNDER THE BOURBON KINGS (1814 – 1830)

Yvon Beaudoin gives us the context:

On the very day of Napoleon’s abdication on April 6, 1814, the Senate called to the throne the Count of Provence who already had taken the title Louis XVIII. Initially, he reigned one year (First Restoration). In point of fact, upon Napoleon’s return (May-June 1815, the Hundred Days), the king fled to Belgium. A new European coalition compelled Napoleon to abdicate anew. As soon as Napoleon was exiled to the island of Saint Helena, Louis XVIII returned to Paris on July 8… Louis XVIII reigned until his death which took place September 16, 1824. Just as in other dioceses, through letters to the parish priests and in pastoral letters, the Mazenods called for prayers for the king during his illness and death and, subsequently, each year through an anniversary service.

The Count of Artois, Louis XVIII’s brother, succeeded him under the name Charles X. During his reign, the liberals became ever more powerful. In 1828-1829, Martignac, the Prime Minister, in order to bring together those who were left leaning and the liberals, granted them concessions to the detriment of the Church. He appointed a layman as head of the University. He forbade religious orders, especially the Jesuits, to teach. He set a 20,000 limit on the students in the minor seminaries, etc. (Ordinances of 1828)

The Mazenods mention the king often in their correspondence and their intense opposition to the ordinances of 1828, that of April 21 which deprived the bishops of the oversight and the direction of grade schools and that of June 16 on secondary schools, which forbade religious to teach, limited the number of students in the minor seminaries and established a rule that was in conflict with the rights of the bishops.

http://www.omiworld.org/en/dictionary/historical-dictionary_vol-1_r/933/restoration/

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One Response to EUGENE DE MAZENOD AND THE HISTORY OF FRANCE: EUPHORIA TURNS INTO CONCERN UNDER THE BOURBON KINGS (1814 – 1830)

  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    I wonder what my reaction and/or response to this piece would have been like 5 or 10 years ago, even a few years ago. As I read this morning my thoughts, my reflections took me through different parts of my life and what that looked like. The trip was neither black nor white but rather a mixture of both and as I approached the here and now the edges were not only blurred but in fact they seemed to have been dropped altogether. I thought of the political affiliations that my parents had as they grew up with the Liberal party as my father went to school with quite a few of them so that was how ‘our house voted’ even though we could see they were far from perfect and eventually were able to realise that they could not and would not right all wrongs. Eventually I moved to supporting the NDP (National Democratic Party) which seemed then (and still does) more concerned with all peoples and not just big business. I remain a “NDPer” to this day.

    It had to have upset Eugene to see what the various kings and their families were doing, particularly in regard to his beloved Church. It never really hit me before that Eugene went to the king’s men to have his uncle Fortuné named Bishop of Marseille. He was a “both and” person, blurred edges leaving room for everyone. He was so clearly able to live in the present moment. He was able to look and see through the eyes of his crucified Saviour, eyes that saw through love.

    Growing up I thought saints were people who were perfect, in every way and that was why God loved them so much, because of their perfection. I can remember an Oblate priest who told me years ago that St. Eugene was a very human saint rather than a ‘plaster’ saint. I see that clearly today and that is not a ‘lessening’ thing but rather a very beautiful and awesome thing. Perhaps that is why in meeting St. Eugene I began to have hope for myself that one day I too could become a saint.

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