Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Queen Mary of Modena

"But let it be the hidden man of the heart in that which is not corruptible even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit which is in the sight of God of great price"--1 Peter 3:4

"She was 'the model of what a queen should be, and she bore her misfortunes heroically.'"--Demetrius C. Boulger, The Battle of the Boyne

"And there hope is, that when the Spouse of Christ shall have summoned her grand array to meet the Bridegroom, among the humblest of her handmaidens may be numbered the names of Francoise de Maintenon and Marie of Modena and England."--George S. Smythe, Historic Fancies

Mary of Modena was born on October 5, 1658 to the Duke and Duchess of Modena, a small state in Italy. On November 23, 1673, Mary married James, Duke of York. For over ten years she lived quietly, until February 6, 1685. Charles II died, and the English throne passed to his brother James.

James was crowned as James II and Mary of Modena became Queen. They ruled for three years until on June 10, 1688, the Queen gave birth to a son, triggering William III's invasion. I have already studied the Revolution which drove James, Mary, and their son into exile.

Mary of Modena "bore her misfortunes heroically" as she fled England and sailed to France. Her heroism won praise from Louis XIV, as she endured disaster after disaster including defeats at the Boyne (1690) and Aughrim (1691), and the death of James II (1702). Mary of Modena had one more child: Louisa Maria Teresa Stuart, born on June 28, 1692.

She died in exile on May 7, 1718, but her legacy of perseverance lives on.

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