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Postcard From Paris: Incorrupt Among the Corrupt

PARIS, FRANCE — Arriving here late last Friday evening, I had essentially a full Saturday with my family to see as much of this historic city as we could muster. I had never visited before. The weather was hardly ideal — mid-90s, nasty hot. The week preceding likewise had not been exactly ideal for a visit. Rioting had broken out over the fatal police shooting of a teenage boy. For several consecutive days, protests raged. Fortunately, the street fires had cooled by the time we got there.

“Has the rioting stopped?” I asked our cab driver. “Yes,” he replied. “It is finished.”

The driver took us past the main square that served as a flashpoint of the protests. “See,” he said, “it’s all cleaned up. But last week? Very bad.”

It did appear to be cleaned up. For now.

Of course, chaos and corruption in Paris is hardly new. Today, July 14, the French celebrate their independence. Our Independence Day, July 4, marks something grand — the Declaration of Independence. For the French, theirs marks something vulgarly violent, the deadly 1789 Storming of the Bastille and the launch of the French Revolution.

Despite its promise of liberty, equality, and fraternity, the French Revolution was a bloody mess. From 1793–94, some 40,000 people were beheaded in Paris alone. The Jacobins (celebrated today by obscene American leftists who moronically have a magazine called Jacobin) went on a rampage. Their targets were everything from religion to human nature itself. They even went to war with the Christian calendar, seeking to create a 10-day week and thus erasing the prominence of the Lord’s Day. They tried to make the year 1794 the year 0.

It was a fundamental transformation, and it was disastrous.

“The difference between the French Revolution and the American Revolution,” observed historian Paul Johnson, longtime close friend of The American Spectator. “Is that the American Revolution was a religious event, whereas the French Revolution was an anti-religious event.” That key difference, noted Johnson, defined and shaped the two revolutions from start to finish.

Eventually, the corrupt Jacobins ate their own, gobbling up Maximilien Robespierre, who had his own denouement with the “National Razor.”

Remnants of these signs of corruption remain throughout France to this day. Tourists can visit them. But for me personally, I was on a mission to see something else entirely, an extraordinary sign of incorruption. I wanted to see Saint Catherine Labouré.

Catherine Labouré was a nun who lived in 19th-century Paris. She was born on May 2, 1806, the ninth of 11 children in a farming family in the village of Fain-lès-Moutiers. Her mother died when Catherine was 9, and the little girl thereafter committed herself to the Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, as her protector. Her father and brothers attempted to marry her off, including with two marriage proposals, but Catherine deeply desired religious life. She eventually entered the Daughters of Charity convent at Rue du Bac in Paris.

What happened to her at the convent was extraordinary.

Read more at American Spectator 

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