Version FrançaiseEnglish VersionNederlandse versieDeutsch Version
PASS VERDON
1 week in the Gorges du Verdon= 2 campsites to discover the richness of this incredible site

Find out more

Castellane, religions, struggles and controversies

Protestants in Castellane

Before entering the subject, we believe that it is good to clarify that the presence of Protestantism in Castellane is essentially linked to a man: Balthazar Brun, Lord of Castellane. What is its place in the lineage of Castellane? We cannot say.As we shall see, it was he who introduced Calvinism in this city. How are come himself? We ignore it completely. However, if we remember that if he resided in Castellane, he lived also in Manosque, and that as soon as 1555 reform had made its appearance in this city, we can move forward - without too much deceive us - it is there that he had knowledge of new ideas. It is not needless to say - because it shows us the degree of his commitment - that in Manosque, it is in his own house - Rue Soubeyrane - that cults were celebrated until 1560, date at which this House was seized by the Catholics of the town which forbade access to the protestants. Note Finally, to finish with Brown, at the Revocation of the edict of Nantes, in 1685, is a century later, one of his descendants Scipio of quail, will take the path of exile with his wife, his three children and his mother to get to Lausanne. This new detail we indicates the seriousness of the accession of this family to Protestantism because they hesitate, nor to take risks by installing the cults in their homes, or to leave their country and renounce their possessions to feed and save their faith with all the risks that such decision could be.
That said, are trying to address the actual history of Protestantism in Castellane which we can only indicate a few broad lines, because once again, the lack of archives is that it is virtually unknown. We do know the existence, in truth, by the passions that his introduction in the city could raise. What was the exact location? Everything remains mysterious. We are obliged to treat the subject only through the passion movement.

Paul de Mauvans

At least three years ago that quail is home to protestants who fled, who are burned and looted; women and children who are driven from their homes...
However, for the moment things remain there, and little by little, everything returned in order. Paul de Mauvans, however, travelled to Aix to Parliament for justice about the losses suffered by the huguenots of Castellane. As expected, it is not understood. Waiting for the return of her brother, Antoine claimed to take justice himself, how he was wrong, torching the convent of Augustinian and vandalizing Notre-Dame-du-Roc. Having seen its interventions with rejected d'Aix Parliament Paul is different before the Parliament in Grenoble, then to Paris before the King. Finally, the County of Tende, Governor of Provence and is protestant, gets that the matter be referred to the arbitration of the Lords of Barrême, Demandolx, Espinouse and du viguier of Castellane who will meet in Flayosc. Antoine de Mauvans went to the appointment that it is fixed by the Areopagus. But passing in Draguignan, it is recognized and mobbed by a hostile crowd. A scuffle undertakes during which the Draguignan viguier himself is killed. then this is the tour de Mauvans. His body is then cut into pieces, and they dragged on a rack across the city into an unimaginable excitement. Of course, justice seized of the case. But, and it is barely conceivable, the Parliament of Aix, holding that the misdeeds of the huguenots (which are real, it is undeniable, but it is not only their) holding so that the misdeeds of the huguenots and ignoring their complaints or damage that they have suffered, and which are just as real - exhume the remains of the unfortunate Antoinemakes them hang, and then burn and in fact disperse the ashes to the wind, while the head is carried in Aix where it is exposed. There are no words to describe such actions. Do not wonder then, that after these infamies, Paul de Mauvans, dream to avenge his brother.

Special Offers

Chalet on campsite at Castellane Mobile-home
Starting from 301 €/Week

Mobile-home at Castellane Chalet
Starting from 350 €/Week

Camping pitches at Castellane Gorges du Verdon Pitches Gorges du Verdon
Starting from 18 €/Night


Cults still celebrated in Castellane?

However, in the years that followed, nothing notable seems to occur in Castellane, except in 1586 when protestants, led by the baron of Germany and of the Duke of Lesdiguières, trying in vain to capture the city. This is the time of the leagues, i.e. the time when troops the most various and more or less numerous are circulating around the country, striving to capture the points with any strategic interest. Protestants support the King, while many Catholics are fighting alongside the Leaguers led by Hubert de Vins for Provence. Anyway, we know nothing of the life of the protestants in Castellane during those fifteen years.
On this, comes the royal edict of October 1585 making 'ban the Protestants celebrate their cults anywhere tonight'. But cults are still celebrated in Castellane? The events that soon will follow, they link any with this edit? We have every reason to doubt; in any case, there is more than pastor. Come to Geneva, and which we reported the presence twenty years earlier, did not have to stay much longer, even not archived in the annals of the reformed church. Maybe even, are there more protestants at all? Is that the baron of Germany, who was appointed head of the Protestant armies in Provence goes head to seize Castellane - no doubt due to its highly strategic position - and it is defeat that we know and whose history has preserved memory.
We will not dwell on this event, we believe that it is not our purpose. Once again, we do not believe that there were still protestants in the city at that time. Indeed, nowhere does involvement any protestants from inside the city at the time where the assault is given... which would not fail to occur, it seems to us, if some were found there. Moreover, it is not more question after the failure of troops from Germany, which, similarly, had probably not lack of being. Finally, it seems that the Lord of quail has permanently left Castellane to settle in her Rougon and especially in Manosque Castle where we find its trace – or that of his descendants – repeatedly and this until the Revocation.
Finally we will note that among refugees in Geneva, and in Neuchâtel, we note that four names from Castellane. These are those of Louis Montanier, exiled in Geneva in October 1559, Jehan Deconvenis, doctor in law, in Geneva, in January 1560, Paul de Mauvans, Geneva also in 1560 (but subsequently returned) Demandolx, in Neuchâtel in 1563. All four were therefore exiled between 1559 and 1562, either well before one and other attempts to capture of the city.These names should be added, of course, that Scipio of quail and his family, although they were parties of Manosque and then also, perhaps others whose names us have not succeeded. Note that two families from Castellane are reported in Frankfurt, Germany, in 1685 after the Revocation of the edict of Nantes. Which means - whatever we have said - that there were still a few protestants in Castellane. Anyway, we are entitled to believe that Protestantism in Castellane lived, or survived, only a few short years, and that he has never known a great success.
Georges Gillier

The siege of Castellane in 1586

Origin of the feast of the French

Under a cold sky, in this January 31, 1586, a troupe of arquebusiers, people, weapons and Huguenot petardiers, down flags, was growling the slopes of Cheiron. She had suffered a painful failure under the walls of Castellane. Meant away the bells of Saint-Victor Peal swiping the valour of the inhabitants of the city... Simple fact in the city. Remembrance, entered into folklore, is perpetuated in every year.
Stories, chronicles and traditions have given us, among various fantasies or contradictions, enough elements specific to give us a clear vision of this episode, brief but dramatic, of the wars of religion.

Reasons for the attack of Castellane in 1586

This attack was not fortuitous; it stood in an atmosphere with the first burst twenty-seven years. Children and adolescents in 1559 had become adults and mature males in 1586.
Very attached to their city, they were the descendants of the inhabitants of the high city of Petra Castellana which terribly affected by the plague in the middle of XIV century, had been abandoned. For two centuries the village fortified the lower town had become Castellane, around the parish church of Saint-Victor.
It was thought that for the descendants of the expelled huguenots of Castellane in 1559, beaten again in 1574, it was to repair the slights suffered, perhaps to avenge the death of Antoine de Mauvans and especially to assert an indisputable authority. But, no doubt, was the baron of Germany more concerned about the present, and its future as this recent and troubled past.
He was thinking of a more distant past. Heir to Melchior de Castellane, his uncle, he was a descendant by Hugues de Castellane, and Boniface V Agnès Spata. Lesdiguières was son of Françoise de Castellane-Saint-Juers, down it also by Hugues de Castellane. It was therefore assumed that of Germany and Lesdi-guieres had been tempted to reclaim land which Boniface V had to do homage to Raymond Béranger V in 1226. In truth this reference to a distant common ancestor would explain, more than their religious beliefs, their collusion in this company.
It also appears that of Germany will be hardly consoled the fiasco of his expedition on Fréjus. The collar would have prompted him to take courage and him would have exposed "the way that he had prepared to Castellane and assured him that many Noblemen and soldiers in Provence would join him when he would have taken any place".
Finally it is certain that the ambitious baron of Germany wanted to impose in Provence. He needed to organize and maneuver his troops of "basics" more southern than the refuge of Seyne. Fréjus and Castellane, strongholds, had caught his attention; He had even sent emissaries in recognition in 1585. The vanity of a conquest of Fréjus having been admitted, Castellane remained the privileged objective to be achieved as soon as possible.
In this bundle of probabilities which contain all truth, this last hypothesis is the most plausible and the most concrete.
With the approval and the complicity of the collar, a first attempt is committed at the end of 1585. The baron of Germany installs a garrison at Espinouse and asked of collar to join him. Detachment from Seyne, made to party near Digne, is decimated and the Collet, wounded, end its participation in the operation "Castellane". The baron of Germany renounces; He seeks a few days after in Tallard, the help of Lesdiguières; It thus caters to an eminent personality. Therefore the operation is launched.

Under what conditions?

Preparation of the operation

The land around Castellane, allowed distant observations during the market approach, but in the 16th century the State Railways and roads was not bright. The route of the old Roman roads were still used. The road from Digne to Nice by the Col of Taulanne will be construction as in 1839, at a time where Blanqui said again that "the communes of the arrondissement of Castellane were farther from the French influence of the Marquesas Islands"! ... In 1586 the roads were little more than Mule paths.
The topography of the surroundings of Castellane, compartmentalized, with heavily forested slopes, essentially lent itself to guerrilla actions, entrusted personnel reduced, prepared with discretion and executed promptly. The timing is explained: the cold season has disadvantages; the bivouacs might not be comfortable. However, in winter the campaign is deserted and the progression of the troops had a chance to pass unnoticed, as snow haul noise of horses No.
The information that Germany had received, had all seemed it favourable: peaceful population, small garrison, summarily walled city, at least poorly defended door, presence in the city of a core of supporters. The sequence of events will show that the facilities provided were illusory.
Means of the attackers represented a global workforce of 1,500 men divided, roughly, in three contingents of 500, under the orders of three heads: Nicolas Mas-Castellane, baron of Germany; François de Bonne, Duke of Lesdiguières;René de la Tour Pin, Viscount of Girard. Seasoned warriors were part of the expedition: bump, la Breole Jacques, whose role was discreet; Captain Jean Motte, son-in-law of Bougarelly (or Bougerel) and also the gentleman Scipio Du Virailh de Valée, including A. Béraud, lawyer in Sisteron, collected the memories in the year 1600.
The troupe consisted of people of arms, valets of weapons, arquebusiers, petardiers, Mule.
Assault armament consisted essentially of firecrackers, explosive destruction of the doors, whose implementation was delicate and long. It was heavy bronze cylinder closed at one end and filled with powder, which was placed the opening in a hole drilled in the middle of a strong oak table, with on its sides of two rings for the hanging at the door we wanted to push. The implementation required the intervention of several men. This laborious operation was uncovered; It was therefore dangerous.
The tactic was simple: it was to make a breakthrough in blowing a door, to allow the troops walk to invade the city and to setbacks the defenders on the ramparts. A general assault on all the defenses of the city was unthinkable without means.
The maneuver took place in three phases: preparation, execution and withdrawal. The preparatory phase began with the meeting of the forces (who were not acquainted). "From the first days of January 1586, Lesdiguières arrived at Ribiers with two hundred masters and as many arquebusiers on horseback". The baron of Germany was in the castle of le Poët (between Ribiers and Tallard)... After the junction of the Dauphinois and the Provencal "the huguenots took by the Jabron Valley and went down to the front of the Mees spent the Durance.

Conduct of operations

Lesdiguières standing on its big roussin, in the middle of the water to show Ford that his soldiers "(DeleDe Virailh, Louvet, Lambert)." The troupe then joining the Vallée de L'asse regained Barrême where she step on 28 January. On the instructions of Lesdiguières, cantonment is organized in the order of the operation device to take to reach Castellane to attack without delay. The goal was efficiency: more question of a parade of prestige, gentlemen in mind, carrying their weapons jacks grouped into rearguard. Rightly Lesdiguières felt the need to place each valet beside his master, so that operative of assault was taken quickly, without noise and disorder.
January 29, a detachment of recognition through Senez, Taulanne and Sionne region to intercept anyone who, moving towards Castellane, was likely to give warning. Sage security measure. During the descent of the col de Sionne, the huguenots ' did forget any kind of precaution to cover their market and Lesdiguières was sign from time to time to walk to small noise "... However "a poor woman who picked up the wood in the height of the Escoulou having previews of far enough, ran at the most quickly to announce their arrival. As soon as the alarm was General". And the tocsin informed attackers that they were expected. Thus the surprise effect had been circumvented; What was naturally quite unpleasant for them.
On the evening of January 29, the troops were at the gates of Castellane. To start the city seems better protected that it had assumed it. The defenders had prepared new towers, dug a moat around the city walls, pulled the drawbridges, closed the doors and even walled Grave (or Draguignan - who disappeared when, later, was created and then expanded in-Vallat Street). Many citizens were weapons on the curtains. Under these conditions, finished the braggadocio: he seemed careful not to engage in a night fighting. "Of Germany however proposed to force a door, convinced that his supporters would benefit from the disorder to make a move in his favour. This view was not shared by Lesdiguières"(Lambert). The huguenots are therefore headed for waiting positions, facing the city, on the left bank of the Verdon, in ensuring of course control of the rock bridge. Choosing an area protected from any attack unexpected and massive on the part of the inhabitants, "they share their small army into three corps: the baron of Germany, in the plain Saint Lazare;" Lesdiguières somewhat above, on the slopes of Rayaup; the sieur de - govern to the sunset of the plain"(Laurensy).This device gives opportunities to counter-attack from side of a possible offensive infiltration aimed one of the bodies. It is obvious that the huguenots, little reassured, now demonstrate circumspection.
The execution phase is launched on 30 January in the morning. The city is invested, but she is ready to defend itself with energy. The inhabitants, men and women had not lost their time; during the night, any small portion of the ramparts had been strengthened; "the arquebusiers started the fire, at the same time that the petardiers applied their firecrackers against the door of the Annunciation" deemed the most low, but which had been, in a hurry, since two days, coupled with a domestic –guard.

Heroism of Judith defeated de Lesdiguières

Firecrackers are ineffective. The situation becomes quickly critical. Lesdiguières is very unhappy: optimistic forecasts from Germany proved worthless. Pissed off Germany wants to try to see why firecrackers are short-lived; He approaches; shot in the shoulder, which fortunately for him, is diverted by his battleship, it is not moves and welcomes only choosing a solid armor. His phlegm stimulates the attackers but the muskets of the defenders do damage. Captain Jean Motte approached the door of the Annunciation to replace a firecracker which had produced no effect; this daring is fatal to him. A Castellanaise, Judith Andrau, posted above the door, launches a VAT filled with boiling pitch (improvised weapon) which falls on the brave captain oc».
This death breaks the momentum of his company. The case takes decidedly bad turn. The baron of Germany would like to persevere, but Lesdiguières is baffled and troupe, in its whole, very bad mood, is not determined to try climbing the walls; She wants to get out of this Bee-eater. It is the failure. On Friday, January 31, at daybreak, the seat is thrown. The decline begins immediately. The three contingents of the coalition take up roughly the route of their arrival, each blaming the other failure of the operation. A serious dispute would have even broken out in the plain of Cheiron. The Castellanais were not witnesses; they had not taken the trouble to exploit their victory and to prosecute the vanquished.Some Huguenot supporters living in Castellane abstained from any event. The joy was General in the city, which is disinterested about the fate of the aggressors; the consuls, however, informed by letter their colleagues and Annot Guillaumes, urging them to be cautious... The huguenots parted around Volonne. Lesdiguières marched on Sisteron; Germany, Sourribes and Saint-Geniez, regained first Seyne, then retired to his castle of Germany, have, meanwhile, sacked Thorame-Basse. In the month of August, a fight opposed the Leaguers of wines supporters of Germany and Lesdiguières, came to the aid of it, before the own Castle of the baron. During snap violent, of Germany commit the imprudence to remove his helmet; He fell mortally wounded. However the triumph of the troops of Lesdiguières was total and made forget the failure of Castellane.
In 1586, Lesdiguières was forty-three years old. He still made a brilliant career. He was named Marshal of France by Henri IV and then participated in the campaigns of Louis XIII. Having abjured Protestantism in 1622, he was raised to the dignity of Constable above. He died at age 83.
Meanwhile Girard reported in 1591 to the command of the rearguard of the Duke of Valletta, the battle of Viñón, against established Savoyards in rout.
During the last months of 1586, the duc d ' Épernon cleans ultimate Huguenot homes (Seyne, La Breole). A page is turned. The eighth and final war of religion goes to its end. After the day of the barricades (may 1588), the assassination of the duc de Guise (dec. 1588), the assassination of Henri III (August 1589), Henri IV abjured Protestantism and promulgated the edict of Nantes in 1598.

Causes of the failure of the huguenots in Castellane

To the course so happy, fast and probably unexpected events of 30 and 31 January 1586, the entire castellanaise population, its municipal administration and its Catholic clergy attributed their success to Providence. This devolution was natural at a time where all activity, thought, life were dominated by the religious faith of the people. The Te Deum sung in Saint-Victor was a beautiful Act of faith, but the causes of the failure of the huguenots were multiple. Can we, with the passing of time, estimate the share returning to some and to others?
Despite rational precautions due to the initiative, military experience and sense of Lesdiguières, the intervention of the huguenots accumulated errors and gaps:
•    inadequate safety measures, during the Terminal progress towards the target: the intervention of the timber Harvester has had serious consequences by cancelling the effect of surprise. Happy coincidence, this timely action of intelligence seemed to castellanais Catholic enthusiasts to testify a favor of Providence and to stimulate their enthusiasm.
•    error of assessment on the goal: much stronger that crowns and Germany not assumed it; the place had, just in time, been highly consolidated for the safeguarding of its material and spiritual goods.
•    error on the existence of a weak point: the door of the Annunciation, vulnerable, had been in extremis with a dry-stone wall (on which the firecrackers were without effect).
•    lack of homogeneity in the troupe: complicity forced between the Provence and the Dauphinois obscured a background of mistrust and testing, far from ensuring cohesion, soon to create discord, in the same battle between groups of fighters tired, under-equipped, embittered.
•    poor knowledge of the possibilities of weapons of defence which, by improvising (melted pitch, boiling oil) has created not only surprise but a reaction of fear and panic (death of Captain J. Motte).
Conversely, the defense had advantages and qualities:
•    She knew how to use all the resources a summary weapons (muskets, cannonballs, stones, planks, boiling oil and pitch melted...)
•    Its garrison was hardly 600 men able to bear arms, but the entire population supported by its ideal of independence and religious passion, first concerned, has was quickly resolved to fight and defeat. 2000 inhabitants, the city could align (men, women and teenagers) as many 'active' fighters as the assailant.
•    The stubbornness of the defenders had distant roots. Their ancestors had defeated the troops of Charles Quint in 1536. There was still witness to 1559. The population had also given evidence of his Warrior determination in 1574 and his peaceful obstinacy in 1577.
It therefore represented a group of solid, homogeneous; the fearlessness of women was exemplary. Before the strength of the defense, Lesdiguières wondered, told (Laurensy and Julien), if the facilitator was not Henri de Mauvans, son of Antoine and nephew of Paul, he had known and which was rallied to Catholicism. This hypothesis has never been confirmed. We do not know more if the "haves" Lords of that time (Samuel Demandolx and René Blieux, for example) were present. The legend did hold that the name of the local heroine Judith Andrau (12), to which some authors ascribe even the entire organization and the conduct of the defence, which is an exaggeration. We know it poorly. Some say that it was "old, widowed and poor", others as "beautiful as the Sun and proud as a flag". Its identity is mentioned by J. J. Julien in 1840, by J.M. Féraud in 1844, and A. Thomas in 1865 (and in these sources by various authors).neglected or ignored many historians who speak not the incident of the cuvier (of the Virailh) or which cite an unknown heroine (Laurensy, Louvet, Lambert...); preserved by tradition: why not? Even if its intervention is reduced to the episode of the cuvier of boiling pitch, his bold and decisive action it is well worth a parcel of glory.

Cult of remembrance

A deliberation of the Municipal Council in the aftermath of the siege of Castellane took the decision (an archival record would make faith to celebrate, at least for a century, the anniversary of January 31 by a procession of Thanksgiving (13).
The ceremonial, referred to by the prior Laurensy, included:
•    the meeting of the "gentlemen of the body of the city" in the room of the Council, to get then preceded by the fifes and tambourines and trumpets, before the parish church of Saint-Victor.
•    the output of the clergy and the formation of the procession: music and choristers in head - clergy - consuls and principals of city - departure to the singing of the Veni creator.
•    a circuit in the city to go through the door of the Annunciation and go up to the Church of the Augustinians - during the circuit, bursts of blunderbuss and the choristers singing alternate - return to the parish church and solemn office.
•    participants wear "a bunch of green boxwood, topped with several wheat grains of Turkey it did flourish in the fire and it attaches to the boxwood with wax of Spain." These grains are being so dilated form white buttons that mimic those of the orange tree. It is a resource in a season where the flowers are few"(Laurensy).
This ritual combines a bravado and a procession. There is no duality, but union. In the 16th century in fact, the people of Provence "looked at the Catholic religion as the first law of the country and municipal liberties as inherent to Catholicism who had always protected them and could keep them alone" (G. Lambert).
At the beginning of the 18th century, the ceremony fails to be deleted, but the population demanded his continued and the celebrated with enthusiasm.
We do not know what exact date was composed singing traditional, said the firecracker or the French one once sang in Provençal, between two bursts of blunderbuss separating the verses:
"In the year five hundred Octanto graci sici millo." Millo five hundred bandits Per uno fouolo audaci... "
The celebration of the 200th anniversary of the events, in 1786, was particularly vivid and regular ceremonial increased, on the initiative of the prior Laurensy, a religious Office with participation of all the Priors in the vicinity, sermon and prayer of circumstance (Pro liberatione civiratis Castellanensis ab obsidione hoereticorum). During the course of the procession of gun dumps were drawn on the platform of the Roc (according to Doc. Archives IV E 1769-1790, and story of the Abbot Saurin). The route was gradually modified to take account of the evolution of the city. The procession is formed outside the door of the Annunciation (neighbor of the present parish church which did not exist in the 16th century) and runs through the town of Saint-Victor in College (which replaced Saint-Augustin), where it broke because the religious ceremony precedes the bravado, in which the clergy still participates. The population is then invited by the municipality to a ham tasting. "At the beginning of this century, the parish priest of Castellane finding to the lament of the firecracker was not sufficiently Orthodox to be sung loudly by the clergy... decided that the procession would be divided into two portions: one composed of people and things of religion, go singing inspirational songs and work the first;" "while more far behind the second portion with selected and paid by the municipality, cantors would follow singing the famous firecracker".
The second part of the procession was quickly more successful than the first, because we were far away from the time the religious ideal was guiding the acts of each. The unique procession had to be restored. It should be kept. If it comes to commemorate a warrior Act and the victory of our ancestors took advantage of the mistakes of the enemy, she not primarily resulted from their civic zeal which, certainly, owed everything to their Catholic passion and the communion of their thoughts? Do not betray.

Lesson of an era and a feat of arms

During the dark wars religious and civil of the 16th century, "it saw male and vigorous characters who, if they do not save the Provence of the reproach of fanaticism and just horror, the save at least contempt for posterity. Our fathers had more passions and vices; these passions were violent, terrible, but they were foreign to the meanness and frank. "The great struggles that they supported, torrents of blood that they paid must be for us free son and pleased with these men guilty but convinced a source rich in lessons for the present and expectations for the future".
After the disappearance of the ancient city of Saliniens, after the Roman peace, after the long eclipse of the middle ages, generations of Castellanais, since the 13th century, demonstrated on various occasions their desire for independence and resistance to oppression. Their feat of arms of 31 January 1586 is certainly one example among many others in our country. It's a model: it was seen as a testament to the piety of our great ancestors to the religion they had chosen (and which was that of the Kingdom) and also a mark of loyalty with respect to the princes who governed them. This loyalty was not unusual at the time where the huguenots protesters passed to thieves. Obviously Finally, our valiant forefathers, very attached to their property, their city, their freedom, demonstrated the effectiveness of the will of the people when it is unanimous and sustained by a deep faith. Do not forget. Do not forget.

The French song

1 to five hundred rail
Huitante-sic thrush,
One hundred bandits.

Came themselves
United by common accord,
Castellane surprise;
But God sent,
Couinait most-hid
It was good enough to defend.

In order to steal
Their March Castellane,
D, did precede,.
Du cille Taulanne.
Fifteen or sixteen of their
Lestes and good runners,
To take the passage
For three full days
Paths. Trails
Of the entire neighbourhood.

A Thursday on the evening
The alarm was given,
We should have,
Fish for the dinée
The next morning
For those who take hunger
In defending the breach
This was another way
Because instead of fish
Or had the fresh flesh.

The night was given
A all people of their own
That to be saved
It would be setting table
That it would do no evil.
On seeing the signal
Of the race of Calvi.
But God Almighty,
Who all is present,
Changed them mine (?)

January trente-un.
In beyond of the river.
Governs the first
Campe his entire troupe,
Then. Lesdiguières puts
His on the top
The nearby mountain,
At the crossing of the bridge, all
The soldiers are, of
Baron of Germany

Women inside,
Shouting long live the France
Believed their children,.
A show their insistence (?)

They were well beaten (?)
Each is skilled goofed
Against the Huguenots,
Full of bold words (?)
To take our city.

The bravest soldiers
Of them,
Advance
Paint their scales (?)
While on the other hand
You pull the firecracker
To bring down this door,
Which incontinent
Had to skip washing,.
To finally be strong (?)

Three trumpets sounding
Highest year of rock,
By their brilliant sounds
Say approaching the baron (?)
Full of Salter soldiers
Walk hard.
Enter in the place.
They are all eager
But being repulsed
Their courage is ice.

Judith arm
Arming of courage
By its value challenge
Full of rage enemy;
The Mollie is overwritten
Under pitch up in flames
A heavy machine
Then raising the voice.
They say both
The sky exterminate us.

For reason
What did rabble cete
The Cheiron district
Against them fight
Confused, baffled
Rage carried.
A God for us friendly
Had not lent the hand
Inhuman will
Their black malice.

Seeing Lesdiguières
Come malparade.
Does not allow
Given climbing;
But outraged by despite
Scale broke,
Fiché against Germany
That had led to him
From the top of the Dauphiné
In these proud mountains.

However this is the beautiful fruit
The Governor of Seyne
Who, day and night, is
Gave so much trouble.
Our ramparts Autour
Driving on all sides
To the master,
But it is gone
With her back gale
As mi Fox chapetre.

All soldiers in this place
And the public peace.
Fight all for God
And for the Republic.
Spare our efforts
Expose our body
To save the homeland. and
For our holy laws
Deliver all at once.
Our good, our life,

The only sovereign God,.
Give the glory
Because of his hand
We want the victory,
Sing in his greatness,
And mouth and heart,
All in good harmony,
He wants in the future
Always support us
In his mercy.

Long live the Republic!

Jean Soanen, «jansenist"by Sandra Bishop

Cannot hold a study day to Castellane without mentioning the figure of one of its most illustrious inhabitants of the 18th century, the Bishop Jean Soanen.
Born in Riom, Auvergne, on January 6, 1647, Jean Soanen was son of the présidial Attorney of this city, and by his mother, great-nephew of Father Jacques Sirmond, Jesuit, confessor to Louis XIII. After solid studies, he entered very young the House of the Oratory in Paris. He had to master the famous father Quesnel who exercised upon him a profound and lasting influence. After a few years of teaching, he became preacher in the province, then in Paris, where he was very listened. It was he who pronounced the funeral oration of the Queen Marie-Thérèse at the chapel of the oratory. The Chair P. and P. Bourdaloue, Fenelon, Massillon rented his eloquence simple and strong. His doctrine was then not suspected. Louis XIV himself appreciated the speaker and for his preaching, appointed him to the bishopric of Senez September 8, 1695. Soanen continued to preach with success at the Court at Aix in 1698 and 1708, in Toulouse in 1700, in Montpellier in 1701, while dealing with very active Affairs of his diocese.
The bishopric of Senez is attested from 451. In addition to the 'cantons' of Senez, and Barrême, it extended in the département of Provence over the whole valley of the high Verdon, including Allos, then to the Duke of Savoy, until the peak of the three Bishoprics, so named because has joined the part of the Archdiocese of Embrun directly administered by the Archbishop, the Bishop of Digne and the Diocese of Senez, all two suffragans of the Archdiocese of Embrun with the dioceses of Glandèves-EntrevauxNice-Cimiez and Vence.
In 1695, the seat of the bishopric was the village of Senez, ancient capital of the tribe of the Senecii, where were the Cathedral and the episcopal Castle. But the Bishop of Senez had a residence in Castellane, capital of the viguerie and the sénéchaussée, main town of the diocese.

The change by Soanen

The very poor and very isolated, diocese in which Jean Soanen brought a sudden fame, thirty years later, there were 56 parishes, a very modest income, 7-8000 books only, but the Evangelical spirit of the new Pastor is propitiated easily.He renounced the splendour of its predecessor, dressed very simply, merely modest straw chairs, decreased more than it put its expenditure to relieve the poor, many in this country mountainous and infertile, a time when hunger and poverty were general. Just remember the famous text of La Bruyère and the memories of the terrible winter of 1709. Soanen led an exemplary life, got up at four o'clock in the morning, and apply to reform a diocese monitored from afar by its previous Bishop, who often resided in Paris. The new prelate brings synods, regular ecclesiastical conferences, multiplied visits as well under its load of Pastor as its role as administrative Inspector for all matters related to public assistance and education. It was not a sinecure through this country of mountains "awful" as it wrote so, by bad paths, most often to horse or mule back. Records of visits which remain to us, show with how carefully attentive Bishop discussed all things and checked each time if its previous comments had been implemented. It was as severe as charitable. If one day, devoid of money, he did not hesitate to give his episcopal ring to a poor, he tolerated no breach of discipline. The day of Corpus Christi had become, under the pretext of celebration, an opportunity of disorders. The youth spent the night at the cabaret and celebrated his way the day with games and dances, to the great displeasure of the religious offices. Bishop put in good order, after serious incidents had occurred at Castellane even.
"Despite the remoteness and difficulties, Soanen fit the Paris trip, several times in order to obtain relief from the King for his diocese, which he presented as a hospital" of ten leagues long and eight wide "or to request to the Assembly of the clergy an exemption in the distribution of the decimated, always in the favour of his constituents. But he refused for himself the Archbishop of Vienna. His concern for independence and his selflessness were well known. He "rarely accepted the hospitality of the Castle" and preferred to simply stay in the parish priest of the place, but being careful to fund additional expenditure that it imposed.

The "justification" and birth of Jansenism

The publication of the bull Unigenitus Christus Filius by Pope Clement XI, the 8-10 September 1713, made him suddenly change their attitude. To try to understand this transformation, it is necessary to open a parenthesis.
Eternal salvation, the "justification" were the constant concern of all the faithful. The theological discussion focused on the problem of the relationship between divine grace and human freedom, problem that concerned Christian theology from its origins. St. Augustine and after him St. Thomas Aquinas have admitted the idea of free predestination by which God predestines men to salvation by an absolute Decree of his full power and the idea of the effective grace given to man by God in respecting human freedom.
Luther and Calvin had resumed by pushing to the extreme the theses of saint Augustine, while the Jesuit theologians sought a less restrictive theory of the free will of man. It is in this sense that the Jesuit Molina had substituted for the effective grace sufficient grace by which God brings to man what is necessary to ensure his salvation but which produces its effect only after intervention of the human free will. The Council of Trent did not clearly position. It was then that in 1640 appeared a thick folio volume of 1300 pages printed in two columns of tight characters: the Augustinus. It was the posthumous work of a Bishop of Ypres, Cornelius Jansen, which immediately marked a turning point in the controversy.
Jansenism, until then latent, was born. We won't, not only in detail, but in a summary analysis of the theories in the presence yet. A century ago, the Canon Antoine Bayle, Professor of eloquence sacred at the Faculty of theology of Aix already wrote: "today, we can no longer look at the disputes which have so strongly passionate about our fathers. We do not understand, in our century, which has been his idol of freedom, how the disputes on grace and free will could extend so long. How many generations have infatuated a theological system which resulted in fatalism and defiance of human activity. For a player of the 19th century, the history of Jansenism is necessarily boring, it is a story of books and pamphlets, discussions without good faith, of intrigue without interest".

System according to Jansenius

We appreciate all the more the accuracy of these observations that one hundred years have passed and that the subtlety of the employees arguments cannot be appreciated by specialists. Give an example, taken from a quarto entitled: "the entire system of Jansenius".
"Jansen claims to say in the passage which we have quoted in the previous paragraph, the man not only moves yourself, but still he is the master of its shares, as soon as he reflects on what is happening in luy, and he approved it, movet is ac dominatur sui." What he says. It is the master, he said, because he is when he wants, and when he is unwilling to act, it is not.
If Jansenius entendoit by that what all men usually hear by this expression, it is runs counter to clear himself. Say that I Act when I want, and I do not act when I don't want to act, is to say according to ordinary language that I can act or not to act in my choice, and that it depends on moy to want or do not want. But this is not what Jansenius mean.
He claims that the blessed who love God necessarily like him nevertheless freely, that the Act by which they love God is in their power, that they are the masters, and they love God when they want to; not that they can love him or love him not, at their option, and it depends on them to want or do not want to love him, it should be that they cannot help but to love God; what it means is therefore as love is an act of the will, and want to love it is love, he who loves God wants to love him, and anyone who wants to love him, love him, thus, according to Jansenius, say that I love God when I want, is not to say it depends moy liking it or disliking it, but it only say I love it. What nonsense! '. "

Quesnel thought

At the end of the reign of Louis XIV, the theological aspect of the quarrel goes to the background in favour of a political and institutional aspect. Imbued his absolute power, the King saw indeed the Jansenists centre of an opposition party, to shoot at the first opportunity. Little by little the gallicanism, i.e. the defence of the "freedoms" of the Church of France against the authority of the Pope (papal infallibility was proclaimed in 1870), and even the richerisme, i.e. the use of faith to the whole Church and not its only pastors, Pope and bishops, overshadowed the discussion purely theological and moral.
The book of father Quesnel, the New Testament in french with moral reflections on each pay, which the first State dating from 1671, sparked fiery polemics. The thought of Quesnel was closer to that of cardinal de Bérulle, founder of the oratory, than to that of Cornelius Jansen, but it was opposed to that of the Jesuits, then all-powerful in the Court. Louis XIV believed it would suffice to obtain the conviction of moral reflections by the Pope to restore peace and made strong to impose the decision to the bishops and the parliaments. Pope Clement XI was not satisfied of this beautiful insurance and he signed the bull Unigenitus to regret. The great surprise of the King, it immediately aroused a strong protest of the Parliament of Paris and if he found himself a majority of "accepting" bishops, it was not expected unanimous. After the disastrous results that had driven the revocation of the edict of Nantes in 1685, the Unigenitus dispute would poison the religious life and the French political life until the end of the century.
We know in what veneration Soanen was his former master and his congregation. Also well enlisted bottomed in the fight until his death. We choose only the main episodes. March 5, 1717, four bishops filed at the Sorbonne a deed by which they called the Constitution to a general Council. The four "appellants" were: Jean Soanen, Bishop of Senez; Joachim Colbert de Croissi, nephew of the great Minister, Bishop of Montpellier, the BREW, Bishop of Mirepoix, and Langle, Bishop of Boulogne. Many members of the clergy joined in the following months, Catholic theologians seeing no difficulty, since the superiority of the general Council over the Pope was one of the four articles of the declaration of 1682. The agitation continued, punctuated by measures of rigour taken by the power and attempts of reconciliation and appeasement. Soanen rekindled the discussion by a vehement pastoral statement dated August 28, 1726, published in January 1727. The new Prime Minister, cardinal Fleury, saw an opportunity to crack down on the "appellants" by hitting the small Bishop of Senez, without support, rather than attacking the powerful family of Colbert. A provincial Council was convened at Embrun from 16 August 1727, under the chairmanship of the Metropolitan Guérin de Tencin. Soanen has presented challenging the judges. It must be admitted that most of them were him notoriously hostile, including the Bishop of Marseilles, Belsunce and Sisteron, Lafiteau, all two Jesuits, and that the reputation of the president himself was not good. Soanen was obviously condemned and a letter from stamp exiled him to la Chaise-Dieu in Auvergne, on September 30, 1727.

Exile of Soanen

A long period of reclusion then opened for him in the mountains of Auvergne, very isolated, harsh climate and difficult access. At the age of 80, he remained a large and vigorous old man - he had read without glasses a lengthy statement at the Council of Embrun! The Benedictine monks had welcomed him with veneration and had housed it in an old body of inconvenient logis: Apartment guests. Soanen participated all that allowed him his health to the religious exercises of the monks, leading a regularly ascetic life. The essence of his food was a piece of boiled dinner and in the evening a hash of what remained of the boiled. He continued to get up at four o'clock in the morning, lying at ten or eleven o'clock in the evening, devoting his time to prayer or work, to the relief of the poor or the sick visit.
But mostly he remained in relation to many correspondents - 1461 of his letters are dated the Chaise Dieu - and received many visits, as his supporters considered him a martyr of the faith, a victim of the "banditry of Embrun". "He signed himself often: Jean, prisoner of Jesus Christ". He followed very closely the actions of the vicar general appointed by the Council of Embrun to administer the diocese of Senez - "Wolf in the fold" - and consoled his former constituents who in large numbers, had remained it faithful. A special place must be made here to the nuns of the Visitation de Castellane, that a struggle of several years opposed the vicar general "intruder" and which were the subject of harassment. Very also informed of what was happening in the Kingdom, Soanen considered a Holy Deacon François in Paris, died in 1727, and believed in miracles performed through her intercession on his tomb in the cemetery of Saint-Médard. While admitting "convulsions", with Joachim Colbert, he remained reserved on the excesses of the "Rescuers". Similarly, he encouraged a parliamentarian, square of Montgeron, converted on the tomb of the deacon Paris, who dared to edit and present himself to Louis XV, a luxurious book on the "miracies" of Saint-Médard, which earned him prison. Soanen was interested at all, the Missal and the Breviary of Paris, in the ancient history of Rollin. Moreover, it appears more gallican as jansenist in the religious rules that he wrote, quoting saint Charles Borromée, cardinal de Bérulle and St. Francis de Sales. The death of Joachim Colbert in 1737 was perceived by him as "an irreparable loss". He was too smart not to understand that the party of the appellants was weakening day by day and is not renewed. "The rest, said a historian, most callers cared well little questions of grace and some were frankly molinist subsequently on this point... It is, so to speak, not a thesis supported by a jansenist which cannot be opposed a contrary thesis sustained by an other jansenist".
Soanen died December 25, 1740 to nearly 94 years, considered by some as a saint, and by others as a rebel.

The monastery of the Visitation de Castellane "rebellion"...

The monastery of the Visitation de Castellane was founded in 1644. Bishop Soanen him porta extreme attention. "It it almost always was chaplain, confessor and preacher" so that the nuns had put their confidence in "the incomparable prelate" of which the House was adjacent to the convent. 'The condemnation by the Council of Embrun against a Bishop who was so dear to them was a stroke of lightning that stuns those innocent sheep' wrote the mother Dalmas, superior of the convent of the visitation of Embrun.
It is not surprising that the life of Soanen him respond in a sort of counterpoint: "when the Abbé de Saléon, the first vicar"intruders"entered the diocese, nuns of Castellane looked it as a usurper; and they refused all visits on his part. They had written to Mr. of the door that they recognize for their legitimate superior... They wrote similarly to their Holy Bishop (Soanen) who forgot nothing to animate them in battle". And, indeed, the hostilities were open. Stamp letter had dispersed one third of nuns in various monasteries of the order. The monastery of Embrun was the superior of Castellane, Claire-Thérèse Le More and his assistant Marie-Thérèse Rabier. They stayed eighteen months in the House, where the Archbishop of Tencin took care of them personally. The nuns of the convent of Arles were transferred to Castellane. The life of Soanen reports thereon an incident which has no shortage of spice: "They entered in Castellane the range hand and head of small straw hats that ladies wear to not spoil their complexions".
The nuns of Castellane refused to let Mr. de Saléon. It required the Sieur Niel, subdelegation of the intendant, a Mason, a locksmith, and he entered force. The nuns of Saint-Dalmas and Raymondis were exiled to the monastery of Grasse, where Bishop "made them separately locked in rooms where it reduced them to bread and water". Then the nuns of Arles joined their monastery, accompanied by two nuns of Castellane: Hansen and Bich. Two other nuns, Théas and Bompas, were conducted in Grasse, where they submitted soon. At Embrun, the the More superior and his assistant Rabier does went not easily. "The great prelate (Tencin) listened with patience and compassion the terms less measured these Dear Sisters used and how irritated party had taken care to suggest, both to support the feelings of their bishop to maintain them in the spirit of revolt". Finally, the two Jesuits of the seminar it had given them for managers of consciousness gained their public retraction, which was celebrated by a good meal offered by the Archbishop. Meanwhile, Grasse, Dalmas nuns and Raymondis also agreed to submit.

...and reconquered

But in Arles, the nuns of La Bastide and Mérigon always resisted. A new letter of stamp exiled them to Marseilles in two separate monasteries. Finally, they went to the great relief of the Bishop of Belsunce, tired of this "difficult task".
Abbé de Saléon appointed to the bishopric of Agen was replaced as Vicar by Abbot of La Mothe, theologian of the Council of Embrun. It began the "reconquest" of the monastery of Castellane, where two-thirds of the nuns remained strong occupied to feed their hatred against "Powers" (i.e. the Pope, the King, the Jesuits and the Abbé de La Mothe). September 18, 1729, the mother accompanied by two nuns submitted after eighteen months of stay at Embrun Dalmas came to Castellane. They found two nuns returned from Marseille and four other revenues from Grasse after their submission, in total, eight nuns of Castellane - that the life of Soanen describes as "fallen" - and mother Dalmas. But the enclosed visitation - that Mr. de Saléon was not afraid to call "Christian Amazons" - deny them the entrance to the convent. Mr. de la Mothe wrote to the revoltees, but his letter remains unanswered. All conciliation attempts fail. Therefore, withdraw, first in a bourgeois home then the fathers of mercy convent (near the present parish church).
"Fallen" nuns living there for almost two months in a strict closure. Finally, on November 4, 1729, orders expected from Versailles arrive and give full powers to the Abbot of la Mothe.
The previously reported scene recurs, the Abbé de La Mothe playing the role of Abbé de Saléon. Pressed doors, changing the locks. Some sisters join the "fallen" but "ten are still closed". Two hiding in an attic, in are drawn by sergeants and are exiled, in Digne, in Sisteron. A third is relegated to Marseille. Finally, little by little, the "Christian Amazons" submitted. But it took six months. "The sister of Blacas showed more consistency than any other". Sisteron, it exiled him to Marseille, Marseille in Embrun where she finally returned to Castellane where Abbé de Vocance, third "intruder" vicar "fit locked up in a room with the only superior had the key ' and where 'his head weakens". " She finally gave in.

Letter to the monasteries of the order

The community is now in peace, it proceeded to the election of a new superior and the choice fell on the former superior, Marie-Thérèse More. Everything was in order. It tore solemnly in the Register notice of appeal to the Council, it scored a contrary note attesting to the submission of the nuns to the "decisions of the Holy Church, the pastors and the Council of the Province".
Finally, on 29 December 1730, twenty-four religious of Castellane pitched a very long circular letter to all the monasteries of the order. They are traced the case of their conversion, qualified of "miracle of mercy" and presented all the arguments on appeal, with their rebuttal. They concluded clientele: "We urge you (your prayers) still more for Monsignor our Bishop (Soanen) that we will keep all the time of his life and which we would well like to honour the memory after his death". They apologize "for a long letter". "We could not resign ourselves if, having had the misfortune to a shine by our resistance, it had taken make a second for our conversion, but this last filled, we will return to our former darkness after which we have stopped sighing since that party had actually us come out..."
It was the end of Jansenism in the convent of the Visitation de Castellane.

Saint-Pancrace - Digne
Digne
Bléone Valley - Digne
Digne
Provence

Back to questions on History of Castellane - Annals of Haute-Provence

Other information
Other categories