Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The Calvinist King Of France And The Catholic Society Of Jesus

At the end of the year 1594 French King Henry IV (A Protestant Huguenot, later reconciled with the Church) was reminded that there were other weapons in the armory of Spain and Rome besides those of open warfare.
It was believed that more than once already assassins had aimed at his life. On November 27, while the King was at Amiens, a young man called Jean Chastel, only eighteen years of age, attempted to stab the King as he was entering the apartments of his mistress, Gabrielle d'Estrees.
Henry stooped just as the blow was delivered. It struck him therefore not on the throat, as had been intended, but on the lip and gum. The wound was quite a trivial one, but it had some important consequences.
Jean Chastel had, it turned out, been a pupil of the Jesuits, and maintained upon his trial that he had been encouraged in his attempt by the theories of his Jesuit teachers. Consequently, after he had been put to death with the most shocking tortures, the blow fell upon the whole order.
Their constant hostility to the King needed no proof. They were expelled from France by order of the Parliament of Paris, and the decree of Paris was followed by similar orders from the Parliaments of Rouen and Grenoble. But these decrees were ineffective. The Parliaments of Aix, Rennes and Bordeaux refused to follow the example of Paris, and the Jesuits found therefore a refuge within their jurisdiction.

Painting of Henry IV

Link (here)

More

The French Wars of Religion (1562 - 1598) (here)

The St. Bartholomew's Day Massacre (here)

The Jesuits and the Thirty Years War: Kings, Courts, and Confessors. By Robert Bireley, S.J. (here)

1 comment:

de Brantigny........................ said...

It seems that King Henri watched the execution and was so horrified from it it forbid that form of execution ever again.