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Blessed Ursuline Martyrs of Orange

July 9

Blessed Ursuline Martyrs of Orange


During the hardships of the French Revolution, 29 Sisters were expelled from their convent and found refuge in a house of Bollène.
During eighteen months they shared there a life of prayer and complete poverty.
Arrested in April 1794 for having refused to take the oath required by the city officials, an oath their conscience disapproved, they were imprisoned on May 2nd at Orange, in the Cure’s prison, near the Cathedral, where 13 other religious were already detained.

They organized their community and consecrated the essential part of their time to prayer.
Condemned to death by the people’s Commission, then seated in the actual Chapel Saint Louis, and transferred to the ancient Theatre, they waited to be beheaded on the guillotine in the courtyard Saint-Martin.
They climbed the scaffold with joy, singing and praying for their persecutors who admired their courage : “These rascals die with laughter !”

Ten other Sisters who had been arrested were saved by the fall of Robespierre, on July 28, and freed in 1795.
The bodies of the martyrs were thrown in the common graves of the Lapland field (at Gabet), 4 kilometers from the city, on the edge of the Aygues river, and a chapel was built there in 1832.

Gabet

The 32 Sisters were beatified by Pope Pius XI, on May 10, 1925.
NB : In Orange there were 332 death penalties in six weeks’ time.

From July 9 to 26, 32 of them were put to death. (16 Ursulines, 13 Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament, 2 Cistercians, and 1 Benedictine).

Among the Ursulines,

  • on July 9, Sister Sainte-Mélanie, from Bollène, (Madeleine de Guilhermier, born in Bollène en 1733, 61 years of age) and Sister Marie-des-Anges, from Bollène, (Marie-Anne de Rocher, born in Bollène in 1755, 39 years of age),
  • on July 10, Sister Sainte-Sophie, from Bollène, (Gertrude d’Alauzier, born in Bollène in 1757, 37 years of age) and Sister Agnès, from Bollène, (Sylvie de Romillon, born in Bollène in 1750, 44 years of age),
  • on July 11, Sister Sainte-Sophie, from Pont-Saint-Esprit, (Marguerite
    d’Albarède, born in Saint-Laurent-de-Carnols in 1740, 54 years of age),
  • on July 12, Sister Saint-Bernard, from Pont-Saint-Esprit, (Jeanne de Romillon, born in Bollène in 1753, 41 years of age),
  • on July 13, Sister Saint-François, from Bollène, (Marie-Anne Lambert, born in Pierrelatte in 1742, 52 years of age) and Sister Sainte-Françoise, lay Sister from Carpentras, (Marie-Anne Depeyre, born in Tulette en 1756, 38 years of age),
  • on July 15, Sister Saint-Gervais, Superior of the Ursulines of Bollène (Anastasie de Roquard, born in Bollène in 1749, 45 years of age),
  • on July 16, two lay Sisters from Bollène, Sister Saint-Michel, (Marie Anne Doux, born in Bollène in 1738, 56 years of age), Sister Saint-André, (Marie Rose Laye, born in Bollène in 1728, 66 years of age); Sister Madeleine, from Pernes, (Dorothée de Justamond, born in Bollène in 1743, 51 years of age),
  • on July 20, Sister Saint-Basile, from Pont-Saint-Esprit,
    (Anne Cartier, born in Livron in 1733, 61 years of age),
  • on July 26, Sister Catherine, from Pont-Saint-Esprit, (Marie-Madeleine de Justamond, born in Bollène in 1724, 70 years of age),
    Sister Claire, from Bollène (Claire Dubas, born in Laudun in 1727, 67 years of age) and Sister du Cœur-de-Jésus, Superior of the Ursulines of Sisteron (ElisabethThérèse Consolin, born in Courthézon in 1736, 58 years of age).


PRAYER

Lord our God, you have given to the Blessed Ursuline Martyrs of Orange the strength of overcoming the trial of martyrdom: grant us, through their prayer, to be firm in our faith and fervent in our charity, so that we may share with them the joys of eternal life.

Lyon, juillet 2013
9 juillet, Bienheureuses Ursulines martyres d’Orange

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