Fêter Noël ?

Sunday December 2, 2018, early morning, I found! says Jacques Noyer, former bishop of Amiens. I have found what the Church of France should say about this month-end insurrection we know.

She should announce that we will not celebrate Christmas this year. December 25 will be a day like any other. Nothing in the churches: no office, no nursery, no children. We will return to ordinary Sundays because Advent will not take place.

She will say that our people are not in a state of mind that allows them to celebrate Christmas. The cry of despair that runs through it is incompatible with the mystery of Christmas, with the hope of Advent, with the welcome of a foreign child.

I may be old-fashioned but I remember the Christmas of my childhood. It was not just the end of the month that was difficult. But at Christmas we forgot everything to rejoice in what we had. The most modest families were left with the little they had. In the night, the poor felt rich from the roof over their heads, the improved meal of their plate, the extra log that heated the house and especially the chance to have a dad, a mom, brothers and sisters who loved him. [ . . . ]

Continue at SAINT MERRY: Fêter Noël ?

The invention of France

Two hours north east of Paris is a famous battlefield. The defeated French leader was called Napoleon, but the battle was not Waterloo. It was Sedan, and lining up against the French, the Prussians. The defeated French leader was Napoleon’s nephew, le petit Napoleon, otherwise known as the emperor Napoleon III. This battle, in 1870, set up the dynamic that led to two world wars. | Audio

In the final Invention of France, Misha Glenny explores a crucial year for all western Europe. France was invaded, Paris bombarded, and Alsace occupied. January 18th 1871, a humiliating event – the proclamation of a new German empire, announced not in Germany but in the Palace of Versailles. Europe would never be the same.

With contributions from Thomas Kielinger, Jonathan Fenby, ambassador Sylvie Bermann, Andrew Hussey, Jeremy Black and Agnew Poirier. Plus contrubutions from Emile Zola’s novel, Le Debacle.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde. LISTEN to the BCC program

Falconetti as Joan of Arc