1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 30

1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 30

“I welcome you to this solemn occasion,” he said. “Beloved in the Lord, when the Savior sent out his Apostles, he said unto them, ‘Go ye, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.’ He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved. Through baptism men are cleansed from their sins, made partakers in the meritorious redemption of Jesus Christ, taken into the society of the faithful and into the Church of Christ, fitted to obtain a share in all the treasuries of grace, with the management and administration of which Christ has entrusted his church.

“Your Majesty,” he said, bowing to Anne, “it is an honor to receive you here in the sight of God, and to receive your son, a gift from God, the source of all life, who seeks to bestow His life upon him. What name do you give to this child?”

“Louis,” she said. “Louis Dieudonné — a gift from God.”

“What do you ask of God’s Church for Louis?”

“Baptism — the grace of Christ.”

“Louis,” the bishop said to the baby, and then looked directly at Anne. “Dost thou desire to obtain eternal life in the church of God through faith in Jesus Christ?

“He does,” she said.

“Who shall stand as godparents for this child?”

Katie stepped forward from her position to stand beside Achille.

“We will,” Achille said.

“Are you ready to help the parents of this child in their duty as Christian parents, in the sight of God and within the body of the Holy Catholic Church?”

Achille was ready to answer the second question, but Katie said, “We are ready.” It drew a sharp look from the knight of Malta, but he softened it to a mild wry smile.

The bishop dipped his right hand in the baptismal font and then stepped directly in front of Anne.

“The Lord himself has appointed baptism with water, accompanied by the invocation of the Trinity, to be the outward sign of the grace which is communicated through this blessed sacrament. It is thereby intimated that as the body is purified by water, so the soul is purified by this sacrament from whatever in it is displeasing to God.

“Now, the community of Christ welcomes this child with great joy,” he said. “The Lord Himself hath said: ‘This is life eternal, that they may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, and that thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy neighbor as thyself.'”

He drew a cross on little Louis’ forehead, and then as Anne unwrapped a bit of the swaddling, upon his breast. “Receive the sign of the holy cross, to remind thee that thou openly profess thy faith in Christ crucified, and glory not, save only in the cross of Jesus Christ our Lord; and to remind thee that thou love from thy heart Him who hath died on the cross for thee, and that as He bids thee thou shouldest take up thy cross and follow Him.”

Bishop Léonore leaned forward and breathed very softly on Louis’ face; the baby looked up at him smiling. “May the powers of darkness, which the divine Redeemer hath vanquished by his cross, retire before thee that thou mayest see to what hope, and to what an exceeding glorious inheritance among the saints, thou art called.”

Mazarin handed the bishop a small towel, with which he wiped his hands. Léonore then placed a small bit of salt on the tip of his right index finger and touched the baby’s tongue. Louis made a small frown.

“Louis,” the bishop said, “receive this salt as an emblem of wisdom; the Lord grant it thee unto everlasting life.” He then laid his hand on the baby’s forehead.

“O God, thou author of all wisdom, look graciously down on this thy servant Louis and preserve him ever in thy fear, which is the beginning of wisdom, through Christ our Lord. Amen.” He then touched Louis’ ears and mouth and said, “Ephphatha, that is, be opened. As the Savior gave the power of hearing and of speech to a man that was both deaf and dumb by the use of these words, and by touching his ears and tongue, so may he strengthen thee through his grace, that thou mayest be ready and willing to hear his words, and mayest joyfully proclaim his praise.

“Does Louis now and for all time renounce the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life?”

“He does,” Anne said.

Mazarin handed the bishop a small dish that had oil in it; he dipped his fingers in it and touched Louis’ breast and forehead.

“For the war against evil, and for the practice of good, thou needest strengthening through the grace of him who hath redeemed us from our sins. Therefore I anoint thee with the oil of salvation in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.”

He then touched the edge of his stole to Louis’ cheek and said, “Louis, receive the white raiment of innocence. Preserve it pure and unspotted until the day of Jesus Christ, that thereby thou mayest enter into eternal life.

“In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, I baptize thee Louis Dieudonné, the Gift of God.”

Anne wrapped the baby once more, then took the bishop’s ring and kissed it. He placed his hands over hers and smiled.

“Majesty,” he said. “I am in great fear of what might come next. I wish you would reconsider your course, and remain here, or accompany me to Chartres as my guest.”

“I wish I could accept your offer,” Anne answered. “But a prince who would stoop to killing his own brother would not scruple to kill a woman and child.” She looked up at Mazarin. “I am in safe hands.”

“My brother has offered to accompany you, I know. He has pledged his faith to Holy Mother Church, but I dispensed him from any duty he owes to my see so that he can go.”

“I am most appreciative, Your Grace.”

“I wish I could do more.”

“You have done a great deal already,” Anne answered. “I would only ask that you pray for us as well. All of us.” She glanced back at Katie. “We are in God’s hands now. All of France is in God’s hands.”

“Indeed, my Queen,” the bishop said. “But you always were.”

The last that Katie and the rest of the royal party saw of Château Baronville was of Bishop Léonore and the servants of the castle standing outside watching, as their carriage pulled away into the morning light. The duke of Uzès and the bishop stood a little apart from the others, and as they watched, Léonore made the sign of the Cross.


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26 Responses to 1636: The Cardinal Virtues – Snippet 30

  1. Joe says:

    It always sort of jars my Catholic ears to hear the phrase ‘holy ghost’, which is the usual Protestant way of saying it. I would have expected the good bishop to say ‘holy spirit’ in this particular passage. I know it’s just a nit-picking detail and has no bearing at all on the story, but it wasn’t what I was expecting, and it rather stood out.

    • Robert H. Woodman says:

      I wish they would have done at least part of the dialogue in Latin to give it a flavor more in line with France of the 1600’s. Writing in English with no nod to the Latin that would be authentic for the time, while understandable, makes it hard for me to “get into” this passage.

      Still, overall, I am enjoying this store and look forward to the full publication.

    • Cobbler says:

      I’m betting you grew up in a post-Vatican II world. I didn’t. When I was a scantling, the Mass was in Latin. The English translation of Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti was unambiguous: “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

      Nowadays the Ghost may have become the Spirit. I wouldn’t be surprised. Vatican II changed so much. A funeral brought me to church for the first time in decades. If I hadn’t known it was a Roman Catholic ceremony, I could never have guessed it from watching the service.

      • John Cowan says:

        Ghost and Latin spiritus originally both meant ‘breath’, and then ‘supernatural being’. The change to the modern meaning of ghost is much more recent than the invention of the term Holy Ghost, so Holy Spirit is just a modernization of it to avoid confusion.

        (Further back in time, ghost was connected with the idea of fear, as seen in the related words ghastly and aghast, which originally meant ‘terrifying’ and ‘terrified’.)

        • Cobbler says:

          Many terms for that set of experiences come from breath or something similar. The Latin spiritus the Hebrew ruach, the Hindu prana, can mean either breath or wind. But they also spirit; the breath of the divine. The Chinese chi and the Japanese ki both mean steam escaping a kettle. In the home language of philosophy, Greek pneuma was used by the pre-Socratics, by Aristotle, various gnostic sects, the stoics, and biblical translators.

      • Johnny says:

        Spirit and ghost are synonyms, one with a Latin root and one Germanic. I’d say that “spirit” is more appropriate given that it comes from a Latin translation…

        • Cobbler says:

          That may be so. But it’s beside my original point.

          The highly conservative Roman Catholic Church, in the English speaking world, has used “The Holy Ghost” for a long, long time. For the purposes of this story, from a Catholic background, Holy Spirit sounds wrong to me. Holy Ghost sounds right.

  2. Ed Thomas says:

    As a disinterested agnostic, I find the “official line” of the times interesting, but a bit distracting and a waste of story time. I’d much prefer to find out what resources Mazarin has to keep the little guy alive and if they’re heading for a rendevous with Sherrilynn.

    • Lyttenstadt says:

      Nope. They don’t know about Sherrilynn and her “Rifles”. Probably, she’ll arrive about 2-3 days later here, while the Queen &Co would be well on their way to Paris.

      • hank says:

        Why do you thnk they are heading for Paris? I get more the impression that they are headed for a different hiding place.

      • daveo says:

        Considering the snake pit. it’s highly unlikely Mazarin will allow them to go to Paris. At least without Turrene and all his men. And Sherrilyn and hers. Rheims is possible.

        • Lyttenstadt says:

          Snakepit or not, they must present future king of France to the court – and they must do this before Gaston reaches the capital.

          • daveo says:

            The kings of France are crowned at Rheims. If Louis the Preemie is crowned, his position is immensely stronger, and Gaston’s is weaker. The King is a sacred person. It doesn’t matter if he’s only a few days old, he’s still King.

            • Lyttenstadt says:

              They can’t just rush to Rheims unannounced. They must gather the royal court first. The more people will be attending the coronation, the better.

              • daveo says:

                Some in the royal court, particularly Henri IV’s legitimated bastards are on Gaston’s side. No one sane would risk a newborn infant’s life in Paris. The fact of the coronation will be plenty

  3. jeff bybee says:

    So will katie and achillies make a match? thought god parrents were to be a married couple?

    • Lyttenstadt says:

      How? Correct me if I’m wrong, but he is a knight of Malta (Hospitaliers), i.e. he took a vow of celibacy.

    • Cobbler says:

      thought god parrents were to be a married couple?

      A standard pattern for godparents is; two of the child’s gender, and one of the opposite gender.

      Many Christian churches would find such a marriage a bit…recherché.

    • Drak Bibliophile says:

      There’s no requirement for god parents to be a married couple.

    • Terranovan says:

      My nephew had an uncle and a great-aunt for godparents. I think the only requirements are : 1 of each gender (and I’m not sure of that one), and both/?all? good role models.

      • stewart says:

        The more serious responsibility of God Parents is to be responsible and answerable for the child’s upbringing and training in God’s teachings.

        I had a Godfather from my Dad’s side and a Godmother from my Mom’s side.

        — Stewart

        • Cobbler says:

          Godparents served as extra-family help and counsel for their charges. A Godparent was someone outside the family dynamic. For when Mommy and Daddy are driving the kid crazy. They were someone with whom the kid can blow off steam, talk out problems, get temporal advice and spiritual support. If both parents died, a Godparent was expected to take the orphan in.

          Another term for Godparent was Godsib. From Godsibs clacking together about wayward children, not to mention wayward adults, we get the word gossip.

          • John Cowan says:

            Godsibs weren’t godparents, they were the godparents of your children. In French the terms for your children’s godparents are compère and comère; in Spanish, compadre and comadre, both literally meaning ‘co-father’ and ‘co-mother’. The Spanish word for the relationship between you and your children’s godparents is compadrazgo, and it is a very important social institution, often reciprocal (that is, you are often one of the godparents of your compadre/comadre‘s children).

            • Cobbler says:

              What I said was, Another term for Godparent was Godsib.

              You responded, Godsibs weren’t godparents, they were the godparents of your children.

              Okay, I oversimplified the relationships. I occasionally try to contain my pedantry. Still…Doesn’t that mean that godsibs are godparents? Maybe not godparents to you. But godparents to someone. Isn’t that’s how they get to be godsibs?

              Or am I missing something?

              In any case, thanks for the language lesson.

  4. Ed Thomas says:

    Grandparenting aside,it looks as if things are going to get a bit complicated! Turenne (Lyon) lies due west of Turin. Lyon (according to Wikipedia and google maps) is on the northern edge of Southern France.
    So, will Sherrilynn and her sharpshooters not be heading to Paris? Does she have a radio? Will she be attempting to slow Gaston down and preventing couriers from getting to Turenne?
    Gaston will go to Lyon and then head either north or west to Paris, proclaiming himself as the new king all the way. Or….?
    I’m gonna love this book!!

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