Monday 8 June 2020

xx. prairial

Corresponding with the above date on the Republican Revolutionary calendar—the equivalent of today on the Gregorian—lawyer and statesman, Maximillen Franรงois Marie Isidore de Robespierre aghast at the idea of complete rejection of the role of god and religion, sought to achieve a happy medium between Roman Catholicism and the agnostic Cult of Reason, proclaimed in Year II (1794) of the Republic the Festival of the Supreme Being, Fรฉte de l’รŠtre suprรชme.
Meticulously planned and with holidays scheduled in advance every tenth day—the equivalent of fortnightly celebrations, many saw the courtly and bureaucratic nature of the event as a substitution and surrogate for the old ways that the movement had sought to overturn, especially the paternal nature of this civic, state religion that believed that reflection and threat of retribution were necessary for a democratic society. The Thermidorian Counter Revolt (so called for taking place not long afterwards on IX. Thermidor II—27 July 1794) was in response to this re-imposition and precipitated Robespierre’s downfall and his guillotining—the agenda of observances falling away immediately thereafter, with Napoleon restoring Catholicism by Year X.