Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Madame de la Tour

"But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come"--Revelation 2:25


Illustration by Charles William Jefferys


"In the 1640s, the French settlements in Acadia were subject to a bitter feudal conflict between Charles Menou d’Aulnay and Charles de Saint-Etienne de La Tour, the two noblemen who claimed sole authority over the colony. While de La Tour was absent in April 1645, Menou d’Aulnay attacked his fort on the St. John River (now at St. John, NB) with 200 men and artillery. Mme. Fran├žoise-Marie Jacquelin de La Tour (1602-1645) rose to the occasion and led the fort’s small garrison of about 45 men for three days. The fourth day, the fort finally fell by treason. Mme de La Tour was spared the massacre that followed, but died three weeks later of unknown but probably natural causes. This brave and determined woman was one of Canada’s first heroines as well as the first European woman to raise a family in present-day New Brunswick." pg 45, Canadian Military Heritage by Rene Chartrand


Madame de la Tour defended her husband's house and property against the rival d'Aulnay, like Margaret of Airlie last month. But notice what else M. Chartrand includes in his description of her: "the first European woman to raise a family in present-day New Brunswick." There is an important lesson here for all of us and that is, that while dramatic things (defending a settlement for four days) are remembered, the so-called mundane things (raising a family) are not. But God has called us to "hold what we have" and not seek to make a name for ourselves by our gallant deeds. We are to do the holding, and leave the results to God. She was faithful in holding her post, and did not worry about "what works" (a good lesson for a presidential election year!).

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