Soeur Gabrielle

For this Friday, a drawing made by French artist Georges Goursat, better known under his nickname “Sem”. Aged over 50 at the start of World War I, he was not drafted. He nevertheless involved himself as a war correspondent for Le Journal. Some of his articles were published in 1917 in Un pékin sur le front, including this one, about Soeur Gabrielle, a nun who protected French soldiers against German troops in Clermont-in-Argonne in 1915.

Even if France was very heavily divided by the effects of 1905 Law on the Separation of the Churches and State, the conflict between secularists and catholics was put on hold during the Great War, as many soldiers and their families felt the need of a religious support. Therefore some religious practices were even tolerated by French Army, such as the wearing of Blessed Heart medals. Therefore, it’s not a suprise to find a nun transformed in a war heroin!



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