The King-Martyr Louis XVI of France - I
The Vow King Louis XVI Made in Prison
In 1791, King Louis XVI, while living under house arrest at the Tuileries Palace, made a solemn promise that he would perform this Consecration should he be restored to his former power. He did this under the guidance of the Eudist priest and confessor Abbé Hébert, who had refused to take the oath to the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. It is interesting that he also expresses his contrition for his tolerance and leniency in granting liberty to the revolutionaries.
The Vow was discovered sealed in the wall of the King’s room when the Palace was being torn down almost a century later in 1871. Here are the words of the King’s solemn Vow, written and signed in his hand
The King wrote his Vow while under house arrest at the Tulleries
The cries of all the misfortunate ones, the moaning of our oppressed religion resounds in my ears, and an inner voice suggests to me that perhaps Thy justice holds me accountable for all these calamities because, in the days of my power, I did not repress their main causes, which are the people’s licentiousness and the spirit of irreligion, and because I served the weapons of heresy, now triumphant, by favoring the laws that doubled its forces and gave it the audacity to dare everything.
I will not have the temerity, O my God, to justify myself before Thee. But Thou knowest that my heart was always subject to Fath and Morals. My faults are the fruit of my weakness and thus seem worthy of Thy great mercy.
Thou didst forgive King David, who caused Thy enemies to blaspheme Thee, and King Manassès, who had led his people into the idolatry. Disarmed by their penitence, Thou didst restore one and then the other on the throne of Judah, and make them reign with peace and glory. Wouldst Thou, then, be inexorable today toward a son of St. Louis, who takes these penitent Kings for models and who, following their example, wishes to repair his faults and to become King according to Thy Heart?
He begged God in the name of King David for mercy & restoration to the throne
1. To revoke at once all the laws that will be indicated to me, either by the Pope or by a Council or by four of the most learned and virtuous Bishops of my Kingdom, as being contrary to the purity and the integrity of the Faith, and contrary to the discipline and the special jurisdiction of the Holy, Roman, Catholic and Apostolic Roman Church; and in particular to revoke the Civil Constitution of the Clergy.
2. To take, within a year, in union with the Pope and the Bishops of my Kingdom, all the necessary measures to establish, in accordance with canonical forms, a solemn feast in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, which will be celebrated in perpetuity in all France on the first Friday after the octave of the Feast of Corpus Christ, and always followed by a general procession. This feast will be celebrated in reparation for the outrages and desecrations perpetrated in our holy churches by the schismatics, the heretics and the bad Christians in these times of such great turmoil.
The King nobly bore the mockery & scorn of the revolutionaries
4. To erect and adorn in the church that I will choose, within a year of my release and at my own expense, a chapel or an altar that will be dedicated to the Sacred Heart, which will stand as a lasting monument of my recognition and my limitless confidence in the infinite merits and inexhaustible treasures of grace that this Divine Heart contains.
5. Finally, to renew every year, wherever I might be on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, the Act of Consecration stated in the third article, and to participate in the general procession that will follow the Mass of this day.
Today I cannot pronounce this pact except in secret, but I would sign it with my own blood if necessary; and the most beautiful day of my life will be that when I will be able to proclaim it aloud in the Temple.
O Adorable Heart of my Savior, may my right hand be shriveled and cursed should I ignore Thy benefits and these my promises, and should I ever cease to love Thee and to place all my trust and comfort in Thee. Amen.”
Louis XVI, King of France.
A promise to consecrate France to the Sacred Heart