The Tragedy of Bastille Day


Since July 14, 1790, the French people have celebrated the storming of the Bastille prison as a celebration of the unity of the French nation during the French Revolution. Yet this is very far from the truth. It is also a day that celebrates atrocities committed against a Catholic people. The “Enlightenment” persecutions that took place in France were a direct attack against Catholicism, an attack against the Christian monarchy and an attack on the liberty of the decent and pious men and women of France. The armies of the Republic, led by “modern, progressive” radicals, such as Maximilien Robespierre, killed more than 300,000 Catholic peasants in their day. The king and queen were beheaded, their very young son left to die in prison. Churches were looted and the clergy were killed, sent running or made to take the oath of the Republic.

Some tried to fight back, such as the faithful Catholics of the Vendee. But there was to be no mercy for the new Republic’s enemies. This was a time of paranoia, hysteria and pure hate that had festered among the peasant class and was riled into blaze known as the French Revolution. The old, Catholic way had to be destroyed. Society, the revolutionaries believed, needed to be culturally reconstructed through a new program of social and secular engineering. The radical mindset of the French Revolution was a frame of mind and action that today’s modern Left desperately wants to return to.

The storming of The Bastille — and the French Revolution as a whole — was a complete abandonment of piety, humility and goodness, and it was the embrace of pride, hate and terror. The heralds of The Revolution cried for liberty, equality, and fraternity, but in truth, they wanted to replace the true liberty with a license to do as they pleased without the Catholic Church’s moral guidance. If we do not learn from the errors promoted by the radicals of the French Revolution, then we might find ourselves making the same mistakes, which are starting to foment within our society today.