We have been reading lately the parish registers of one of the Huguenot strongholds. The period just after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685 is full of just what the history books tell us. Dozens of Protestant children baptized as Catholics by law and, if their parents did not marry in the Catholic church, those children were entered in the register as illegitimate. This was more than stigma, for illegitimate children were not allowed to inherit. We also came across what we consider to be a fine example of a conversion which does seem to have been rather forced, an abjuration.
It is not very easy to read or to understand, as if the curé doing the writing were nervous. The gist of it is that in April of 1706, a farmwife named Anne, aged about 31 years, after a great deal of teaching in the faith of her king and advice from the Catholic church, has agreed to condemn and reject those beliefs that the Catholic church also condemns and rejects. Placing her hands between those of the curé, she stated "As God is my helper, on the Sainted Evangelists I swear to live and die in the Catholic belief."
Even three hundred year old intolerance outrages us.
©2009 Anne Morddel