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St. Bartholomew's Day massacre
Welcome back to the story of liberty. A day, called St. Bartholomew’s Day, will never be thought of as the same. In France, there is a king, named King Charles IX. He is a weak boy and his mother Catherine de' Medici keeps him under her thumb. She hates the French Huguenots and would like to see every last one executed. She has a plan for their extermination and conspires with the Duke and the Cardinal. She sees that the Huguenots are too powerful to fight in battle so she decides to form a “truce.� She does this by forming a partnership through marriage. She married her daughter to a French Huguenot, to trick them into “peace.� 

Catherine de' Medici poisoned her future son-in-law’s mother, and then invites all the other Huguenots to the wedding. Even the Admiral of the Huguenot army trusts Charles. He does not believe that Charles would harm so he goes to the wedding.

The canopy and the platform at the church are erected in preparation for the wedding. All of Paris is there. The drums beat, the trumpet sound and the ring of bells filled the air. The royal procession begins down the street on their way to Notre Dame. The marriage is about to take place.

The Huguenots truly hope that this marriage will heal the division and bring peace to their land. However this is not the plan. The trusting Admiral is shot in the arm, as he leaves the wedding.

The wedding was on Sunday, and now it’s Friday… there’s all kinds of whispering in the kingdom, acts of deceit. The committee meets, and decides it must be done tonight. The plan to execute the Huguenots, must be done tonight.
Catherine, pressures her son, King Charles IX go along with the plan. Charles, is very weak. He has always obeyed his mother. Charles at this time is only 21 years old. Catherine tells Charles we must kill the Huguenots now.

It’s midnight, and Paris is asleep. But not all are asleep. The Dukes and Catherine go forward with their plan at this time to commit the act of murder, on St. Bartholomew’s Day. 

At daybreak, the bells ring and the crushing of the Huguenots begins. The education that Charles received from his mother, that the ends always justify the means, is a school of falsehood. Charles is a boy without a mind of its own, he has always obeyed his mother and decides to havehave all the French Huguenots murdered.

Charles jumped to his feet and yells, do it! Kill all the French Huguenots! Let none of them live! He runs out of his room into his chamber and then the bell is struck.

The old brave admiral is asleep in his bed, and they come in and they murder him. They throw him out the window. And then they smashed his face with their feet. Catherine is still not satisfied. France is no longer a quiet town, the execution of the Huguenots have begun. Catherine lets loose all the guards of the kingdom on the French Huguenots and they are massacred. They lie in a heap in the courtyard of the Louvre. 200 of the noblest men are killed.

Charles and Kathryn go out to see the slaughter, these people they celebrated with three days ago. They look at the dead, and then laugh. It is said that hyenas laugh as they kill their prey. 

Families are broken up, husbands from wives, parents from children, lovers separated forever. They will see each other no more this side of the grave. In the river, there are thousands of corpses. Men, women, children. No one has been spared, no age, no gender, no one. “Kill the heretics,� is the cry of the soldiers. Mothers pray for their children, but there is no pity. The massacre continues.

The massacre continues and spreads to other towns. 70,000 are killed. The children are slaughtered, and the bells of Rome ring. The preacher still deliver eloquent speeches, and a roses delivered to Charles as a gift.

15 months is past, and Charles is beginning to act very strangely. 15 months ago, because of him, 70,000 people were slaughtered. His conscience is awake. His mind filled with remorse. The screams of the innocent murdered haunt him. The victims of St. Bartholomew Day, ringing in his ears. In his mind he sees the innocent being slaughtered, pursued by the bloodthirsty soldiers.
� What evil have I done, God forgive me.� He says. Despair sets in, and he becomes very depressed. And then on July 30, 1574, he dies. And now, Katherine’s younger son becomes King Henry III the King of France.

It seems that those in power have had their way, again. However, men and women have a right to think for themselves especially in matters of faith. There is another point however you will notice over time that while these oppressors have carried out their evil plans, they’ve had their own way. There were other forces at work silently, that undermined their plans. As if the divine hand was working a counter plan. You will see that in the story of liberty, there must be an explanation for history. It has meaning, it’s not just a series of coincidences.

Men do act freely as they lay out their plans, but behind the turmoil and the conflict of the human endeavor you will see an unseen power that shapes destiny. Nations rise and fall, generations come and go but through the ages there has been advancement of truth, justice and liberty. In this case, we will see the divine hand of God preparing a reformation of the church.