Welcome to 'Lost in the Myths of History'

It often seems that many prominent people of the past are wronged by often-repeated descriptions, which in time are taken as truth. The same is also true of events, which are frequently presented in a particular way when there might be many alternative viewpoints. This blog is intended to present a different perspective on those who have often been lost in the myths of history.

Thursday, 4 August 2011

Words from a Father

As a follow-up to Christina's defense of Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette and to my own review of Elena Maria Vidal's novels of royal France, here are the noble and thoughtful words the King addressed to his eldest daughter, Princess Marie-Thérèse-Charlotte, on the occasion of her First Communion, on April 8, 1790.
It is from the depths of my heart, my daughter, that I bless you, asking Heaven to grant you the grace to appreciate well the great action you are about to perform. Your heart is innocent and pure in the eyes of God, your prayers must be pleasing to Him. Offer them to Him for your mother and for me. Ask Him to give me the graces necessary to bring about the happiness of those over whom He has given me dominion, and whom I must consider as my children; ask Him to deign to conserve in this Kingdom, the purity of religion, and remember well, my daughter, that this holy religion is the source of happiness and the support in the adversities of life. Do not believe you are safe from them. You are quite young, but you have already seen your father afflicted more than once. You do not know, my daughter, what Providence has destined for you; whether you will remain in this Kingdom or go to dwell in another. In whatever place the hand of God puts you, remember that you must edify by your example, do good as often as you find the occasion for it. But above all, my child, relieve the unfortunate with all your power. God has caused us to be born into the rank where we are only to work for their happiness and to console them in their pains. Go to the altars where you are expected, and beseech the God of mercy never to let you forget the advice of your father. 

6 comments:

Val said...

A lovely and compassionate letter that truly presents a side of Louis XVI that people don't always take the time to see. His deep belief in his faith is quite evident here. Thank you, once again, Matterhorn for sharing such words with us!

Christina said...

This is very beautiful, Matterhorn - thank you. Doesn't it make you smile at the nonsense of the notion that Louis was 'a tyrant'?

Matterhorn said...

Yes, for sure! Thank you, Val and Christina, for your kind comments.

Lorraine said...

very beautiful,
Lorraine

Julian said...

Wonderful words which give a truly deep insight into the good King's relationship with God, with his people (as perceived by him), and with his daughter.
I would give anything to know where this magnificent portrait of Marie-Therese-Charlotte is located. I have not seen a finer of her.

Matterhorn said...

Thank you, Julian! I am not sure where this portrait is located. I just found the image via Elena Maria's site. It is a gorgeous painting, I agree!