Bls. Teresa of St Augustine and Companions – (d. 1794)
(Martyrs of Compiegne) – Virgins and Martyrs
As the French Revolution entered its worst days, a community of sixteen Discalced Carmelites from the Monastery of the Incarnation in Compiegne, France offered themselves as sacrificial victims to beg God for peace for the Church and for their country. On June 24th, 1794, they were arrested and thrown into prison. Their happiness and resignation were so evident that those around them were also encouraged to draw strength from God’s love.
Condemned to death for their loyalty to the Church, to their religious vows and for their devotion to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, they were guillotined at the Place du Trone Renverse, now called Place de la Nation, Paris, July 17, 1794. They are the first sufferers under the French Revolution on whom the Holy See has passed judgment, and were solemnly beatified May 27, 1906.
Before their execution they knelt and chanted the “Veni Creator”, as at a profession, after which they all renewed aloud their baptismal and religious vows. The novice was executed first and the prioress last. Absolute silence prevailed the whole time that the executions were proceeding. The heads and bodies of the martyrs were interred in a deep sand-pit about thirty feet square in a cemetery at Picpus. As this sand-pit was the receptacle of the bodies of 1298 victims of the Revolution, there seems to be no hope of their relics being recovered.
Their names are:
(1) Madeleine-Claudine Ledoine (Mother Teresa of St. Augustine), prioress, b. in Paris, September 22, 1752, professed 16 or May 17, 1775;
(2) Marie-Anne (or Antoinette) Brideau (Mother St. Louis), sub-prioress, b. at Belfort, December 7, 1752, professed September 3, 1771;
(3) Marie-Anne Piedcourt (Sister of Jesus Crucified), choir-nun, b. 1715, professed 1737; on mounting the scaffold she said “I forgive you as heartily as I wish God to forgive me”;
(4) Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret (Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection), sacristan, b. at Mouy, September 16, 1715, professed August 19, 1740, twice sub-prioress in 1764 and 1778. Her portrait is reproduced opposite p. 2 of Miss Willson’s work cited below;
(5) Marie-Antoniette or Anne Hanisset (Sister Teresa of the Holy Heart of Mary), b. at Rheims in 1740 or 1742, professed in 1764;
(6) Marie-Francoise Gabrielle de Croissy (Mother Henriette of Jesus), b. in Paris, June 18, 1745, professed February 22, 1764, prioress from 1779 to 1785;
(7) Marie-Gabrielle Trezel (Sister Teresa of St. Ignatius), choir-nun, b. at Compiegne, April 4, 1743, professed December 12, 1771;
(8) Rose-Chretien de la Neuville (Sister Julia Louisa of Jesus), widow, choir-nun b. at Loreau (or Evreux), in 1741, professed probably in 1777;
(9) Anne Petras (Sister Mary Henrietta of Providence), choir-nun, b. at Cajarc (Lot), June 17, 1760, professed October 22, 1786.
(10) Concerning Sister Euphrasia of the Immaculate Conception accounts vary. Miss Willson says that her name was Marie Claude Cyprienne Brard, and that she was born May 12, 1736; Pierre, that her name was Catherine Charlotte Brard, and that she was born September 7, 1736. She was born at Bourth, and professed in 1757;
(11) Marie-Genevieve Meunier (Sister Constance), novice, b. May 28, 1765, or 1766, at St. Denis, received the habit December 16, 1788. She mounted the scaffold singing “Laudate Dominum”. In addition to the above, three lay sisters suffered and two tourieres.
The lay sisters are:
(12) Angelique Roussel (Sister Mary of the Holy Ghost), lay sister, b. at Fresnes, August 4, 1742, professed May 14, 1769;
(13) Marie Dufour (Sister St. Martha), lay sister, b. at Beaune, 1 or October 2, 1742, entered the community in 1772;
(14) Julie or Juliette Vero-lot (Sister St. Francis Xavier), lay sister, b. at Laignes or Lignieres, January 11, 1764, professed January 12, 1789. The two tourieres, who were not Carmelites at all, but merely servants of the nunnery were:
(15 and 16) Catherine and Teresa Soiron, b. respectively on February 2, 1742 and January 23, 1748 at Compiegne, both of whom had been in the service of the community since 1772.
The miracles proved during the process of beatification were:
(1) The cure of Sister Clare of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of New Orleans, when on the point of death from cancer, in June, 1897;
(2) The cure of the Abbe Roussarie, of the seminary at Brive, when at the point of death, March 7, 1897;
(3) The cure of Sister St. Martha of St. Joseph, a Carmelite lay sister of Vans, of tuberculosis and an abcess in the right leg, December 1, 1897;
(4) The cure of Sister St. Michael, a Franciscan of Montmorillon, April 9, 1898.
“Courage, my sister, the yoke of a Carmelite is necessarily very light or very heavy in proportion as one’s courage bears it or one’s cowardice drags it.” St. Teresa of St. Augustine (Martyr of Compiegne)
“The secret of sweetening our sacrifices is to attend a little less to what costs us and a little more to what we value” St. Teresa of St. Augustine (Martyr of Compiegne)
Last content update 07/03/09