(Reprinted from The Remnant, July 1995) On July 17, 1794, sixteen holy women were executed by guillotine at the Place du Trône Renversé in Paris. The group comprised thirteen professed Carmelite nuns, one Carmelite novice, and two “tourières” (laywomen servants).
When they were solemnly beatified by Pope Pius X on May 27, 1906, they became the first martyrs under the Masonic “French Revolution” on whom the Holy See passed judgment. Though often called the “Carmelite” martyrs, two of them were not actually Carmelites; they were faithful house servants who considered themselves part of the community and refused to leave them when the Reign of Terror against the Church, the Clergy and all Religious Orders was in full swing.
1) Mother Teresa of St. Augustin [Madeleine Claudine Lidoine] -- prioress -- the last to be executed -- age 42.
2) Mother Henriette of Jesus [Marie-Françoise Gabrielle de Croissy] -- ex-prioress -- age 49.
3) Sister Charlotte of the Resurrection [Anne-Marie-Madeleine Thouret] -- sacristan -- age 79.
4) Sister Of Jesus Crucified [Marie Anne Piedcourt] -- choir-nun -- the eldest -- age 80.
Conservative and Traditional Catholic apologists have spilled a lot of ink over the years explaining how Catholics and Muslims either do or do not worship the same God. Conducting a web search on the topic results in a cavalcade of apologetic websites promising to explain, often in painstaking detail, one or the other side of the issue. Why? Because, of course, a few lines from two documents of Vatican II which refer to Muslims seem to indicate that Catholics and Muslims worship the same God. If you’ll indulge me, I’m going to attempt to cut through the morass created by the repeated attempt to “explain” these few lines by apologists on both sides and simplify this issue to its essentials.
First the “Dogmatic Constitution” (which teaches no new dogma) Lumen Gentium (LG) paragraph sixteen offers the following words regarding the Muslims:
But the plan of salvation also includes those who acknowledge the Creator. In the first place amongst these there are the Muslims, who, professing to hold the faith of Abraham, along with us adore the one and merciful God, who on the last day will judge mankind.
The urgent need of a saintly and courageous Pope to govern and guide the Church in the early years of the ill-fated 20th century is evident from the description of the sad condition of the times that was given by Pope St. Pius X himself in his first Encyclical, E supreme apostolatus Cathedra, in which he wrote that on ascending the Chair of Peter (1903) he was “terrified beyond all else by the disastrous state of human society today.” “Who can fail to see,” he asked, “that at the present time society is suffering more than in any past age from a terrible and radical malady which, while developing every day and gnawing into its very being, is dragging it to destruction. You understand, Venerable Brethren, that this disease is apostasy from God.”
“Truly,” he concluded, “nothing is more allied with ruin, according to the saying of the Prophet (King David): For, behold, they that go away from Thee shall perish (Ps. 72.27).”