“Song on the Scaffold” of Bl. Pierre René Rogue, C.M.

by | Mar 1, 2020 | Congregation of the Mission, Formation

March 3 is the anniversary of the death of Blessed Pierre-René Rogue, C.M., a martyr of the French Revolution. He was a native of Vannes in Brittany, France, where he carried out all of his priestly ministry. He was guillotined there on 3 March 1796. Blessed Pierre René Rogue’s Feast Day is celebrated by the Church on September 2, together with four other martyrs of the French Revolution.

Framed oils; original in Vincentian general curia, Rome

The blog Iconographie Chrétienne posted the « Cantique sur l’échafaud » de Pierre-René Rogue (“Song on the Scaffold” by Pierre-René Rogue). It is said that Blessed Pierre-René wrote this hymn and then sang it while going up to the scaffold to be executed. Here is a translation:

How lovely is my fate, my soul is delighted!
I can taste endless joy now.
May everything in me bring out the goodness of the Lord;
My misery is over, I can touch my happiness.
I served God my King, imitating His zeal;
I kept the faith, I’m going to die for it.
How beautiful this death is, and worthy of a great heart!
Pray, faithful people, that I may be victorious.
O all of you, who are affected by, and interested in, my fate—
far from mourning my death, start with joy;
Turn your tenderness towards my persecutors;
Keep asking for an end to their mistakes.
Alas! They are no longer children of light,
since they no longer listen to St. Peter’s successor.
But, since they are our brothers, let us always cherish them;
Let us oppose their war only with sweetness and love.
O Monarch of the heavens, O God, full of mercy,
look not on the evils of France!
May my penance, equal to her crimes, disarm Your revenge,
and be extended to you forever!
I loved Christ passionately;
He who is present in our midst in the Most Blessed Sacrament,
and who said He was also present in each of the people around us.
To you who wish to honor me, I repeat the words of my last letter
to my brothers the priests of my good city of Vannes:
“We still love each other! At this moment and for eternity! So be it.”
The body of Blessed Pierre-René Rogue rests today in the cathedral of Vannes, where this martyr of the French Revolution spent his whole life.

Learn more about Blessed Pierre-René Rogue in this brief presentation: