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.