Chapter

Prefiguration: Marseille and the Sacred Heart

Raymond Jonas

in France and the Cult of the Sacred Heart

Published by University of California Press

Published in print September 2000 | ISBN: 9780520221369
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520924017 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520221369.003.0003
Prefiguration: Marseille and the Sacred Heart

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This chapter examines the role of religion in the plague that hit Marseille in 1720. The plague was carried there by the merchant vessel the Grand Saint-Antoine. The chapter studies the holy men and women of Marseille during the plague, one of whom was Henri François Xavier de Belsunce de Castelmoron, the bishop of Marseille. He was an energetic man who promoted a Catholicism that was publicly demonstrative, which included public processions and large-scale pilgrimages. The discussion notes that it was believed that the plague could only be lifted through acts of religion, and that when the plague passed, Belsunce led a procession from the cathedral throughout Marseille. The next section studies the events that occurred after the plague had been lifted from Marseille, and notes the principal elements of the Sacré-Coeur story. By the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, this story had become a part of episcopal efforts to promote the devotion to Sacré-Coeur.

Keywords: plague; Marseille; Henri de Castelmoron; acts of religion; principal elements; Sacré-Coeur story; devotion; episcopal efforts

Chapter.  7263 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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