Monday, August 24, 2015

A day to remember freedom of worship

The 24th of August is St. Bartholomew’s Day and in 1572 it was the day of a massacre known as St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre.  But in reality it was the start of a season of massacres.  The Massacre begin in Paris when Duke Henry of Guise took his men to kill French Protestant Admiral Gaspard Coligny.  They got most of his men and family as well.  His son-in-law was shot off the roof trying to get away for example. 

The killing lasted 4 days and actually a while week as one Huguenot was killed seven days after it began when he snuck into a parade the king was taking to try and show calm had returned to the city.  The man was recognized and killed right there by the crowd.  The King was less than pleased, but such was the atmosphere. 

What we don’t realize is that the killing often went on longer.  It spread to places like Orleans, Caen, Toulouse, and throughout the rest of France.  Rouen for example actually had their massacre on over a month later, and some killing was still going on in the first week of October.  In many places Huguenots had sought safety in the jails as the authorities had refused to allow the killing, but he eventually they just gave way and allowed it.  The jails were emptied and the Protestants slaughtered. 
All of this happened because the Huguenots were Protestant.  They would not bow the knee to the Pope, nor would they bow the knee to the Mass.  They worshipped differently and demanded the right to do so.  In return, the King tried to wipe them all out.

So today thank God for the freedom of worship (assuming you are reading this from a place that has such freedom) and say a prayer for those places and believers who do not have that freedom.  There are many who still worship in fear that such a massacre will happen to them.