Priest rebukes King publicly during Holy Week ceremony

April 11, 2019

King Louis XV of France, Painted by Charles-André van Loo

King Louis XV of France, Painted by Charles-André van Loo

Jesuit Father Gouthier preached to the Court at Saint-Gervais during the Holy Week ceremonies, but became upset with the ladies’ behavior, seeing them giggling and sending frequent signals to the king so as to provoke him to laughter as well. Indignant, he raised his voice from the pulpit and said:

—    “Your Majesty, when will you stop bringing around this harem which disturbs you while you listen to the Word of God and is the cause of so much scandal in this sacred place?”

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The ladies were furious with the priest and tried every way they could to have him punished. The king was unrelenting though and refused to humor them. Afterwards he said to the Jesuit:

—    “You have nothing to fear. On the contrary, I thank you for your reprimands. All I ask is that they not be given in public.”

 

Edmond Guérard, Dictionnaire encyclopédique d’anécdotes (Paris: Firmin Didot, 1872), Vol. II, p. 233. (Nobility.org translation.)

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