Pope Recognizes the Martyrdom of Five Priests during the Paris Commune

Pope Francis has recognized the martyrdom of five French priests during the religious persecution of 1871, the Paris Commune

Martíres da Rue Haxo – www.paris.catholique.fr/lettres-des-religieux-des-sacres.html

Newsroom (November 26, 2021, 4:20 PM, Gaudium Press) Pope Francis has authorized the promulgation of a decree recognizing the martyrdom of 5 priests during the Paris Commune.

The congregation responsible for issuing the document is the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The five priests martyred in 1871 are: Henri Planchat, Ladislas Radigue, Polycarpe Tuffier, Frézal Tardieu, and Marcellin Rouchouze.

The Pope’s recognition allows for the beatification of the priests in the near future. Beatification is the last step before the canonization of a saint.

Who were the martyrs?

Henri Planchat (1823-1871) joined the Brothers of St. Vincent de Paul and was ordained a priest in 1850. He spent a long period of study in Italy. He was sent to Paris in 1863 to care for the poor, the sick, and the war wounded. In 1871, he was arrested by the authorities of the Paris Commune and killed on May 26.

Father Ladislaus Radigue (1823-1871) was a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary and of the Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. He was superior of the congregation’s motherhouse located in Picpus, east of the French capital. He was arrested in April 1871 and shot with the four other priests.

Father Polycarpe Tuffier (1823-1871). He was also a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, where he was ordained in 1830. For many years he was a chaplain in Paris and was procurator of the congregation at the time when he was shot.

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Fr. Marcellin Rouchouze (1810-1871). Another member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary, he was a professor of Latin, mathematics, and philosophy. He was sent to Belgium to teach in the colleges of the congregation. During the Commune in Paris, he was imprisoned and martyred with the others.

The fifth priest, Fr. Frézal Tardieu was also a member of the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary. He was a theology professor and general councilor of the congregation.

The Commune and hatred of religion

As explained by the Congregation for the Causes of the Saints, the Paris Commune, besides its socio-political interests, was deeply opposed to religion. The “Commune” considered religion as “an obstacle that should be eliminated.”

The hatred of the faith during the Paris Commune is evident from the countless destruction and looting that occurred in places of worship.

Therefore, hatred of the faith was the motivation of the murderers, and “the martyrs were aware of the risk,” the congregation explained (FM)

Compiled by Sarah Gangl

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