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Saint Vincent's Reading List XXXIV: Anne of Austria

by Rev Edward R Udovic CM 10/29/2012 9:30:00 AM

Oraison Funebre de la Reyne Mère du Roy : Prononcée dans l'Abbaye Royalle de S. Denis en France, le 12 Feurier de l'Année 1666, by François Fauré. Paris: Chez Antoine Vitré, 1666.

Call Number: SpC. 944.032 A613Yf1666



In 1661, Louis Abelly dedicated his biography of Vincent de Paul to the Queen-mother; Anne of Austria (1601-1666):

"The favorable reception Your Majesty always gave to Monsieur Vincent during his lifetime and the kindness with which you have honored his memory since his death gives me hope that you would accept this work…The innocence and sanctity of him whose life we write, Madame, assure us that he is in heaven with his God. We believe that he is imploring unceasingly God’s goodness to shower his blessings upon our great prince, Your Majesty, and all the royal household. What particularly obliges him to this intercession is his recognition of the favors he received from your hands, and continues to receive in the person of the priests of his Congregation."1
Anne of Austria, by Robert Nanteuil (1666)
Serving as regent after the death of Louis XIII in 1643, and aided by Cardinal Mazarin, Anne of Austria demonstrated her Hapsburg heritage (she was the daughter of Philip III of Spain and Margaret of Austria) by her determination to uphold the authority of the crown on behalf of her minor son, Louis XIV, in the face of unrest among the nobility and the parlementaires. Louis XIV was, for her, le Dieu-donné (the one given by God), given the circumstances of his unexpected birth when she was 37 years old, and after several still-births and miscarriages.

By the time Anne became Regent, Vincent de Paul was a well-known figure at court. Vincent reached his height of influence as a member of the famous Council of Conscience, until he fell out of favor with Cardinal Mazarin. The Queen’s personal esteem for Vincent and her interest and support of his work, however, were unfailing.

Anne’s death on 20 January 1666 marked the end of an era. Louis XIV was by then well on his way to completing the construction of an absolute monarchy. The queen’s oraison funèbre, or eulogy, took place at the royal abbey of Saint-Denis outside of Paris. The church served as the burial place of the kings and queens of France, and the preacher was the bishop of Amiens, François Fauré.


1Abelly, Louis. The Life of the Venerable Servant of God Vincent de Paul. Ed. by John E. Rybolt, C.M., trans. by William Quinn, F.S.C., vol. 1.  (New York: New City Press, 1993) 22. See also http://via.library.depaul.edu/abelly_english/3.


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St. Vincent’s Reading List is a recurring blog series exploring texts known to have been read and recommended by Saint Vincent de Paul, those which can be presumed to have been read by him, and  works published during his lifetime (1581-1660) illustrating his world. All materials discussed are held by DePaul University’s Richardson Library. The entire series may be viewed here.

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