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 Madame Élisabeth 

How was she?
A religious and a saint 75%  75%  [ 15 ]
One more extravagant "princesse de Versailles" 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
A very ultra-conservative catholic that ruined the French Crown 5%  5%  [ 1 ]
An equilibrius person, not very conservative or revolutionary 10%  10%  [ 2 ]
Total votes : 20

 Madame Élisabeth 
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To be more explicite, I find her advocating civil war showing the limits of her charity. To me, but correct me if I am wrong, being a saint includes abnegation. Madame Elizabeth was devoted to her family. She defended, courageously indeed, the interests of her family, her social class, her vision of the world, and was ready to resort to violence. It has nothing to do with the views in themselves as long as you comit yourself for the general good and not for your own interests. Then, to me, she did not practice charity at a heroic degree in being ready to provoke a civil war to defend her own vision of society and her social calss's interests. But I am not an authority on saints, far from it, I admire many of them because they are patterns as you said of faith, hope and charity, and devotion to humanity as a whole.
I apologize if I misinterpreted you, I am sure there was a misunderstanding.


Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:25 pm
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Ludy wrote:
To be more explicite, I find her advocating civil war showing the limits of her charity. To me, but correct me if I am wrong, being a saint includes abnegation. Madame Elizabeth was devoted to her family. She defended, courageously indeed, the interests of her family, her social class, her vision of the world, and was ready to resort to violence. It has nothing to do with the views in themselves as long as you comit yourself for the general good and not for your own interests. Then, to me, she did not practice charity at a heroic degree in being ready to provoke a civil war to defend her own vision of society and her social calss's interests. But I am not an authority on saints, far from it, I admire many of them because they are patterns as you said of faith, hope and charity, and devotion to humanity as a whole.
I apologize if I misinterpreted you, I am sure there was a misunderstanding.


I don't think she wanted violence for the sake of violence, or civil war at all. She wanted the foreign powers and the princes to intervene to stop the bloodshed of Revolution, which, as you may know, was out of control. She saw war as self-defense to save the people of France. Louis XVI, however, wanted to avoid violence at all costs. But as we know, violence came anyway, the land was in chaos, bandits were terrorizing the peasants, the peasants of the Vendee were tortured and killed by les bleus. The Revolution ended with the wars of Napoleon, in which hundreds of thousands of Europeans died. Madame Elisabeth wanted to nip it in the blood before it got out of hand. I am not saying that she was correct, but her intentions were not evil. I do think the queen was more politically savvy.

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Sat Nov 03, 2007 4:37 pm
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My personal view is that Mme Elisabeth's reaction to the Revolution stemmed from the offence she took at the abuse of the monarchy, which for all of her life had been absolute and beyond reproach.


Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:07 pm
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Thérèse wrote:

Ludy, you sound like you are quite an authority on saints.

I tend to agree with Ludy that this does sound rather sarcastic.

Elizabeth was a devout woman, as far as I know she never performed any miracles as such and no miraculous occurences happened around her, which is the usual prerequisite to beatification. I would say that she was a saintly woman, the adjective being the difference.

As for her political activism, she was very close to her brother Artois and was manifestly frustrated by the inactivity of Louis XVI and the fact that he didn't stand up to the revolutionary leaders. At one point, bloodshed or no bloodshed, one had to make a stand. The revolutionaries played on this weakness. But despite this she remained loyal to the end, and died because of this loyalty. Her death itself was extraordinary, sat on a bench near the scaffold, she was last to go in a series of a couple of dozen, each of which bade her goodbye in passing...imagine the tension and the cruelty of the wait, each execution making the scene bloodier and more repulsive. So much so that the drummer couldn't keep it up and fainted after Elizabeth's turn, instead of greeting the fall of the blade with the usual triumphant roll of the drums.

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:27 pm
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baron de batz wrote:
Thérèse wrote:

Ludy, you sound like you are quite an authority on saints.

I tend to agree with Ludy that this does sound rather sarcastic.

Elizabeth was a devout woman, as far as I know she never performed any miracles as such and no miraculous occurences happened around her, which is the usual prerequisite to beatification. I would say that she was a saintly woman, the adjective being the difference.

As for her political activism, she was very close to her brother Artois and was manifestly frustrated by the inactivity of Louis XVI and the fact that he didn't stand up to the revolutionary leaders. At one point, bloodshed or no bloodshed, one had to make a stand. The revolutionaries played on this weakness. But despite this she remained loyal to the end, and died because of this loyalty. Her death itself was extraordinary, sat on a bench near the scaffold, she was last to go in a series of a couple of dozen, each of which bade her goodbye in passing...imagine the tension and the cruelty of the wait, each execution making the scene bloodier and more repulsive. So much so that the drummer couldn't keep it up and fainted after Elizabeth's turn, instead of greeting the fall of the blade with the usual triumphant roll of the drums.


Actually, a miraculous occurrence did occur around the princess at the moment of her death, when many onlookers reported the scent of roses filling the square. This is recorded in the Yvonne La Vergne biography of the King's sister. It is true that no cause has ever been formally introduced at the Vatican; in that case, any and all miracles would be categorized and thoroughly examined. Just because a cause has not been introduced yet, does not mean it will never be. Sometimes it takes awhile, as in the case of Jeanne d'Arc. And my dear Baron, just because you have not personally heard of any miracles surrounding Madame Elisabeth, does not mean there have not been any.

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:45 pm
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baron de batz wrote:
Thérèse wrote:

Ludy, you sound like you are quite an authority on saints.

I tend to agree with Ludy that this does sound rather sarcastic.

Elizabeth was a devout woman, as far as I know she never performed any miracles as such and no miraculous occurences happened around her, which is the usual prerequisite to beatification. I would say that she was a saintly woman, the adjective being the difference.

As for her political activism, she was very close to her brother Artois and was manifestly frustrated by the inactivity of Louis XVI and the fact that he didn't stand up to the revolutionary leaders. At one point, bloodshed or no bloodshed, one had to make a stand. The revolutionaries played on this weakness. But despite this she remained loyal to the end, and died because of this loyalty. Her death itself was extraordinary, sat on a bench near the scaffold, she was last to go in a series of a couple of dozen, each of which bade her goodbye in passing...imagine the tension and the cruelty of the wait, each execution making the scene bloodier and more repulsive. So much so that the drummer couldn't keep it up and fainted after Elizabeth's turn, instead of greeting the fall of the blade with the usual triumphant roll of the drums.


And furthermore, what is the difference between a "saintly woman" and "a saint?" I have been reading about saints my whole life and have never seen anyone make such a distinction. Many "saints" and/or "saintly persons" (not that there is a difference) are saints only in the eyes of God; they are never canonized or officially recognized as being such. That does not mean, however, that a person cannot have a private devotion to someone who demonstrated remarkable and heroic virtue, as Madame Elisabeth of France certainly did.

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Thu Nov 29, 2007 3:57 pm
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It can be assumed that Elizabeth didn't want violence for the sake of violence, but she could not foretell the bloodshed the Revolution would finally provoke. As Simone Bertière states it, even if you mean to protect your own conception of happiness, can you resort to all means even if the price in human lives may be heavy ? Louis XVI did wonder about it, I don't have the impression Elizabeth really did.
It is only my opinion, but it seems difficult to be a saint and to share certain political views. Royalism is not only being faithful to the king, it also entails a conception of the society divided into classes and including practices near to slavery. It could be compared to India and the system of casts (not sure of the English equivalent). I don't think you can be a saint and agree with a system that not only entails unfairnesses in society (every systems do) but also in which inequality between people is part of the system's essence and definition. To me you can't be a saint and a fascist or a nazi, or a royalist. And we all know that royalism is today a form of political extremism very close to fascism, as it was proved during the XIX century and the 30s, at least in France.
I don't say that for Elizabeth's case, she was born with a certain conception of society, but she didn't question it. She certainly was a sincerly generous person, with, I think, the limits I have stated. And her overwhelming courage can't be denied. I disagree with being a saint's having nothing to do with political views.
I am not an authority on saints, but as you seem to be one, I'd sincerly like you, Therese, to explain your views on the links between political views and saints.


Sun Dec 02, 2007 10:49 am
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Ludy wrote:
It can be assumed that Elizabeth didn't want violence for the sake of violence, but she could not foretell the bloodshed the Revolution would finally provoke. As Simone Bertière states it, even if you mean to protect your own conception of happiness, can you resort to all means even if the price in human lives may be heavy ? Louis XVI did wonder about it, I don't have the impression Elizabeth really did.
It is only my opinion, but it seems difficult to be a saint and to share certain political views. Royalism is not only being faithful to the king, it also entails a conception of the society divided into classes and including practices near to slavery. It could be compared to India and the system of casts (not sure of the English equivalent). I don't think you can be a saint and agree with a system that not only entails unfairnesses in society (every systems do) but also in which inequality between people is part of the system's essence and definition. To me you can't be a saint and a fascist or a nazi, or a royalist. And we all know that royalism is today a form of political extremism very close to fascism, as it was proved during the XIX century and the 30s, at least in France.
I don't say that for Elizabeth's case, she was born with a certain conception of society, but she didn't question it. She certainly was a sincerly generous person, with, I think, the limits I have stated. And her overwhelming courage can't be denied. I disagree with being a saint's having nothing to do with political views.
I am not an authority on saints, but as you seem to be one, I'd sincerly like you, Therese, to explain your views on the links between political views and saints.


Everything you say, Ludy, is probably why Madame Elisabeth (and Louis XVI and Marie-Antoinette, for that matter) have NOT been canonized by the Roman Church. Because whenever politics is involved, it becomes very, very difficult for the unique virtues of the individual to stand out. Politics also creates strong prejudices against people, which has very obviously happened here, especially in the case of Marie-Antoinette. It has been politically expedient to slander her over the years, so that the real woman has become lost-- which is the whole point of this forum.

You have a right to you own views on these things, of course. And it is probably beyond me (and the scope of this forum) to give a long theological explanation about sanctity and politics. All I can say is that fascism and communism cannot be equated with"royalism," simply because fascism and and communism are basically atheistic and socialist. "Royalism" is not by definition godless, as are the other two political sysytems, although it can be. Louis IX and Edward the Confessor are kings and canonized saints; therefore monarchy and sanctity can go together. Joan of Arc is a canonized saint; and she fought for her king. And so many queens and princesses were saints-- Elizabeth of Portugal, Elizabeth of Hungary, Margaret of Scotland. If you think that royalism in itself is an evil system, then that is your opinion, but history has shown that great good can come from it.

And, I hate to say this, but democratic, elected leaders are also capable of making bad decisions which lead to the deaths of thousands. I think we have seen a lot of that in the last two centuries. We tend to forget that Napoleon was elected and so was Hitler. And so many dictators in South America. Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 1:21 pm
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Therese wrote:
Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.


Very well said!

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 4:58 pm
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Hans Axel wrote:
Therese wrote:
Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.


Very well said!


Thanks!

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:01 pm
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You're welcome, Therese.

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Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:03 pm
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Therese wrote:
Hans Axel wrote:
Therese wrote:
Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.


Very well said!


Thanks!

I'm not that manichean, there's no point caricaturing what I say. I'm talking about royalism in its very principles. By the way, Napoleon wasn't elected, he took the power and then it was ratified through plebiscites (manipulated , so we can't even talk about an actual election). I'm perfectly aware some kings were "good" at their time, but societies evolve, and the royalist ideas have grown increasingly close to far right and fascism throughout French history. Communism is an other kettle of fish that's why I did not mention it. Just because a political regime includes religion does not mean that this will be a good regime.


Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:05 pm
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Ludy wrote:
Therese wrote:
Hans Axel wrote:
Therese wrote:
Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.


Very well said!


Thanks!

I'm not that manichean, there's no point caricaturing what I say. I'm talking about royalism in its very principles. By the way, Napoleon wasn't elected, he took the power and then it was ratified through plebiscites (manipulated , so we can't even talk about an actual election). I'm perfectly aware some kings were "good" at their time, but societies evolve, and the royalist ideas have grown increasingly close to far right and fascism throughout French history. Communism is an other kettle of fish that's why I did not mention it. Just because a political regime includes religion does not mean that this will be a good regime.


No one was caricaturing you, Ludy.

Yes, Napoleon's power was ratified by a plebiscite. Sadly, plebiscites and dictators so often seem to go together.

You think that elections cannot be manipulated? I know of some elections in certain major American cities that are manipulated all the time.

But you are right, just because a political regime has religion does not make it good. Isn't that the truth!!

But back to the topic of Madame Elisabeth. I think she was a saint and you do not. That's fine. We must agree to disagree.

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 2:32 pm
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Therese wrote:
Ludy wrote:
Therese wrote:
Hans Axel wrote:
Therese wrote:
Just because someone was elected by the people does not guarantee that they will be a good leader. Just because someone was born a king does not mean that they will be a bad leader.


Very well said!


Thanks!

I'm not that manichean, there's no point caricaturing what I say. I'm talking about royalism in its very principles. By the way, Napoleon wasn't elected, he took the power and then it was ratified through plebiscites (manipulated , so we can't even talk about an actual election). I'm perfectly aware some kings were "good" at their time, but societies evolve, and the royalist ideas have grown increasingly close to far right and fascism throughout French history. Communism is an other kettle of fish that's why I did not mention it. Just because a political regime includes religion does not mean that this will be a good regime.


No one was caricaturing you, Ludy.

Yes, Napoleon's power was ratified by a plebiscite. Sadly, plebiscites and dictators so often seem to go together.

You think that elections cannot be manipulated? I know of some elections in certain major American cities that are manipulated all the time.

But you are right, just because a political regime has religion does not make it good. Isn't that the truth!!

But back to the topic of Madame Elisabeth. I think she was a saint and you do not. That's fine. We must agree to disagree.


Also, Ludy, the great Nesta Webster and the great Simone Bertiere would both probably agree with YOU, not with me, about Madame Elisabeth. Nesta Webster makes it pretty clear that the person who she thinks most behaved like saint through all the horrors of the Revolution was not Madame Elisabeth, but Marie-Antoinette. :)

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Mon Dec 03, 2007 6:13 pm
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Forums would be dull if everybody agreed. Without dwelling on my personal religious views, I have a deep admiration for certain religious figures and saints. I find it unsettling to put Madame Elizabeth and Marie Antoinette, albeit undeniably courageous, on an equal footing with Charles de Foucauld, Sainte Thérèse d'Avilla or John Paul II, among others ... But even in the official definition you gave me, it obviously depends on your appreciation, so there wouldn't be any point in our continuing this debate. Anyway, as usual reading you is always rewarding and enthralling and thank you for giving me more knowledge about saintety ! :D


Thu Dec 27, 2007 12:27 pm
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