Daughters of the Christian Union, Tours ~ questions, questions, questions

Further to my recent post. I’ve been thinking about the curious 17th Century church; Église Réformée de France on the rue de la Préfecture in central Tours and formally the Chapel for the Daughters of the Christian Union.

It has thrown up a number of questions in my mind:

(i) The information panel (left) says the building was erected in 1676 for the bringing back to the Catholic fold widows and daughters of Protestant families. This was nine years before Protestantism was declared illegal in France through the ‘Revocation of the Edict of Nantes’. So, was this an early move by Catholic authorities in Tours? Or, was the Chapel originally built for a different purpose not mentioned in the brief text?

(ii) The Jesuits (Catholic zealots with truly global ambitions) were behind the ‘Revocation of the Edict of Nantes’. Was the Joseph Sain, canon of Tours, mentioned on the plaque, a Jesuit dedicated to the eradication of Protestantism in the Touraine?

(iii) After the ‘Revocation of the Edict of Nantes’ re-education of Protestants was paid for through the confiscation of Protestant property and lands. Was this the case in Tours? One can imagine the armed soldiers of the city arriving after the death of a Protestant father, taking away the women of the house and property being either sold off at knockdown prices or just repossessed (see extract from The Huguenots of France below).

extract: The Huguenots in France, by Samuel Smiles, 2009

A little more research required over the coming months!



About Jim McNeill

I am a blogger on 'The Social History of the Touraine region of France (37)' and also 'The Colonial History of Pennsylvania and the life & Family of William Penn'. I am a Director of Fresh Ground Group Ltd.
This entry was posted in 17th Century, Protestantism + Huguenots, Tours, Wars of Religion and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Daughters of the Christian Union, Tours ~ questions, questions, questions

  1. John Neal says:

    Fascinated to read about this building, because I, too, am researching about this building. I am a Church of England priest and since 2014 we have held a monthly Eucharist in it. However, we have only “come home”. because we have discovered that the first religious use of what is now the Temple was the C of E! I am waiting for a book I ordered to arrive to discover more and we also have a lady researching for us in the London Metropolitan Archives. It was she who discovered your blog. Naturally we are more interested in the history of the C of E community than the building but clearly the two overlap. Best wishes

    • Jim McNeill says:

      Hi John,
      Thanks for dropping by!
      Do feel free to share any research findings/web links, etc. and I do my best to promote whatever you come up with.

  2. Hilda Hilpert says:

    I too was trying to find out more about the Daughters of the Christian Union.I found out about them by accident while looking on ebay under nuns. There was a seller selling old pages or reprints from a book
    about religious orders.The pages were from a very old book. The sisters apparently were founded to as mentioned above to recieve those women and girls who returned to the faith. They might also have tried to convert women and girls as well. There were those catholics who even before the revocation of the Edit of Nantes who worked to reconvert the Hugenots or other protestants in France.Their founder probably was one of these people.The chapel was probably built for the sisters to use and then later for the purpose stated on the plaque. They like some other communities didn’t survive the French Revolution.But
    some orders like the Daughters of Charity of St.Vincent de Paul; the Bernardines;Annonciades of St.Joan of Valois; Daughters of the Holy Spirit have.
    I guess my interest in them stems from the fact a cousin belonged to the Sisters of Charity of Nazerath,Ky.And I had a another cousin and great aunt who were School Sisters of Notre Dame.

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