The after-effects of the July 1830 Revolution in France continued to be felt in 1832. Writing to Father Courtès, Eugene touches on one.

The very evening of the day of the consistory, a messenger came and announced the taking of Ancona by the French. The details which have come to us are horrifying; you have to go back to the time of the barbarians to find like examples of cowardly betrayal or rather of so revolting a treachery.

To Hippolyte Courtès, 11 March 1832, EO VIII n 417

Yvon Beaudoin explains: “After 1830 there were revolutionary upheavals in the whole of Europe: Belgium, Poland, Germany, Switzerland and the Papal States. With a view to helping the Pope, Austrian troops had just occupied the Romagna at the beginning of 1832. As a counter-weight to this intervention Louis-Philippe ordered the occupation of Ancona, against the wishes of the Sovereign Pontiff.”

France had always been regarded as the “Eldest Daughter of the Church” and Eugene found this betrayal of the Pope by the French King an act of treachery.

Today, what is my reaction when I encounter hostility to the Church and to the values of the Kingdom of God?

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  1. Eleanor Rabnett, Oblate Associate says:

    Do we ever set out to deliberately betray another? I move from the realm of countries and institutions to my own life and way of being. When and who have I betrayed? I think of how I have felt when I feel I have been betrayed, that having come at the hands of others, but there were times when I also betrayed myself. It is with the latter that the word bitter comes to mind. I think for a moment of Eugene’s experience before the cross that one Good Friday and how he described his ‘bitter’ tears. Coming from that sense of having betrayed God, Jesus who died on that cross for him. I think of how I have betrayed or tried to betray my Church, those around me, even myself – that arising out of pain and a desire or need to strike back. As if that would make me feel better somehow – it never does.

    A small sadness this morning as I look not just at Louis-Philippe, or at those who would betray our Church, our countries, our trust. I think once again of Eugene and his experience of Jesus on the cross. It was recently pointed out to me that on the Oblate cross the eyes of Jesus are wide open – Jesus on the cross, crucified and not retaliating in any way save to love and to forgive. He stood in love and forgiveness.
    That would seem to me the way I want to respond rather than react. Yes with sadness, but with love and forgiveness. It doesn’t need to be at the level of the ‘Church’ or of world leaders – how do I respond in the ordinary of the day?

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