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The Procession of St.-Geneviève


Guess from whence I write to you, my dear, — from M. de Pomponne’s, as you will perceive by the few lines which Madame de Vins sends you with this. I have been with her, the abbé Arnauld, and D’Hacqueville to see the procession of St.-Geneviève1 pass. We returned in very good time, — we were back by two o’clock; there are many that will not return till night. Do you know that this procession is considered a very fine sight? It is attended by all the religious orders in their respective habits, the curates of the several parishes, and all the canons of Notre Dame, preceded by the archbishop of Paris in his pontificals and on foot, giving his benediction to the right and left as he goes, till he comes to the cathedral; I should have said to the left only, for the abbé of St.-Geneviève marches on the right, barefoot, and preceded by a hundred and fifty monks, barefoot, also; the cross and miter are borne before him like the archbishop, and he gives his benedictions in the same manner, but with great apparent devotion, humility, and fasting, and an air of penitence which show that he is to say mass at Notre Dame. The parliament,2 in their red robes, and the principal companies, follow the shrine of the saint, which glitters with precious stones, and is carried by twenty men clad in white, and barefoot. The provost of the merchants and four counselors are left as hostages at the church of St.-Geneviève, for the return of this precious treasure. You will ask me, perhaps, why the shrine was exposed. It was to put a stop to the continual rains we have had, and to obtain warm and dry weather, which happened at the very time they were making preparations for the procession; to which, as it was intended to obtain for us all kinds of blessings, I presume we owe his Majesty’s return, who is expected here on Sunday next. . . .

4 Madame de Sévigné, , pp. 147–148.

1 Patron saint of Paris.

2 The law court of Paris.


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Chicago: "The Procession of St.-Geneviève," Letters in Readings in Modern European History, ed. Webster, Hutton (Boston: D.C. Heath, 1926), 52. Original Sources, accessed September 30, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51HWLTMG3TV6QNY.

MLA: . "The Procession of St.-Geneviève." Letters, in Readings in Modern European History, edited by Webster, Hutton, Boston, D.C. Heath, 1926, page 52. Original Sources. 30 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51HWLTMG3TV6QNY.

Harvard: , 'The Procession of St.-Geneviève' in Letters. cited in 1926, Readings in Modern European History, ed. , D.C. Heath, Boston, pp.52. Original Sources, retrieved 30 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=51HWLTMG3TV6QNY.