Sunday, January 27, 2013

Thurs, Jan 24, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog: Culture, Hebrews 7:25-8:6, Psalms 40:7-17, Mark 3:7-12, St Francis de Sales, Haute-Savoie France, History of French Wine, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:3-1-I I Believe

Thursday, January 24, 2013 - Litany Lane Blog:

Culture, Hebrews 7:25-8:6, Psalms 40:7-17, Mark 3:7-12, St Francis de Sales, Haute-Savoie France, History of French Wine, Catholic Catechism Chapter 2:3-1-I  I Believe

Good Day Bloggers!  Happy Mardi Gras!
Wishing everyone a Blessed Week!

Year of Faith - October 11, 2012 - November 24, 2013

P.U.S.H. (Pray Until Serenity Happens). It has a remarkable way of producing solace, peace, patience and tranquility and of course resolution...God's always available 24/7.

The world begins and ends everyday for someone.  We are all human. We all experience birth, life and death. We all have flaws but we also all have the gift of knowledge and free will, make the most of these gifts. Life on earth is a stepping stone to our eternal home in Heaven. Its your choice whether to rise towards eternal light or lost to eternal darkness. Material items, though needed for sustenance and survival on earth are of earthly value only. The only thing that passes from this earth to Purgatory and/or Heaven is our Soul, our's God's perpetual gift to us...Embrace it, treasure it, nurture it, protect it...

"Raise not a hand to another unless it is to offer in peace and goodwill." ~ Zarya Parx 2012


January 02, 2013 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
 "Dear children, with much love and patience I strive to make your hearts like unto mine. I strive, by my example, to teach you humility, wisdom and love because I need you; I cannot do without you my children. According to God's will I am choosing you, by His strength I am strengthening you. Therefore, my children, do not be afraid to open your hearts to me. I will give them to my Son and in return, He will give you the gift of Divine peace. You will carry it to all those whom you meet, you will witness God's love with your life and you will give the gift of my Son through yourselves. Through reconciliation, fasting and prayer, I will lead you. Immeasurable is my love. Do not be afraid. My children, pray for the shepherds. May your lips be shut to every judgment, because do not forget that my Son has chosen them and only He has the right to judge. Thank you."

December 25, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Our Lady came with little Jesus in her arms and she did not give a message, but little Jesus began to speak and said : “I am your peace, live my commandments.” With a sign of the cross, Our Lady and little Jesus blessed us together.

December 2, 2012 Message From Our Lady of Medjugorje to World:
Dear children, with motherly love and motherly patience anew I call you to live according to my Son, to spread His peace and His love, so that, as my apostles, you may accept God's truth with all your heart and pray for the Holy Spirit to guide you. Then you will be able to faithfully serve my Son, and show His love to others with your life. According to the love of my Son and my love, as a mother, I strive to bring all of my strayed children into my motherly embrace and to show them the way of faith. My children, help me in my motherly battle and pray with me that sinners may become aware of their sins and repent sincerely. Pray also for those whom my Son has chosen and consecrated in His name. Thank you." 


Today's Word:  culture  cul·ture  [kuhl-cher]

Origin: 1400–50; late Middle English:  tilling, place tilled (< Anglo-French ) < Latin cultūra.  See cult, -ure

1. the quality in a person or society that arises from a concern for what is regarded as excellent in arts, letters, manners, scholarly pursuits, etc.
2. that which is excellent in the arts, manners, etc.
3. a particular form or stage of civilization, as that of a certain nation or period: Greek culture.
4. development or improvement of the mind by education or training.
5. the behaviors and beliefs characteristic of a particular social, ethnic, or age group: the youth culture; the drug culture.
6. Anthropology . the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another.
7.Biology .
a. the cultivation of microorganisms, as bacteria, or of tissues, for scientific study, medicinal use, etc.
b. the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.
8. the act or practice of cultivating the soil; tillage.
9. the raising of plants or animals, especially with a view to their improvement.
10. the product or growth resulting from such cultivation.
verb (used with object) subject to culture; cultivate.
12.Biology .
a.  to grow (microorganisms, tissues, etc.) in or on a controlled or defined medium.
b.  to introduce (living material) into a culture medium.


Today's Old Testament Reading -  Psalms 40:7-17

7 then I said, 'Here I am, I am coming.' In the scroll of the book it is written of me,
8 my delight is to do your will; your law, my God, is deep in my heart.
9 I proclaimed the saving justice of Yahweh in the great assembly. See, I will not hold my tongue, as you well know.
10 I have not kept your saving justice locked in the depths of my heart, but have spoken of your constancy and saving help. I have made no secret of your faithful and steadfast love, in the great assembly.
17 Poor and needy as I am, the Lord has me in mind. You, my helper, my Saviour, my God, do not delay.


Today's Epistle -   Hebrews 7:25--8:6

25 It follows, then, that his power to save those who come to God through him is absolute, since he lives for ever to intercede for them.
26 Such is the high priest that met our need, holy, innocent and uncontaminated, set apart from sinners, and raised up above the heavens;
27 he has no need to offer sacrifices every day, as the high priests do, first for their own sins and only then for those of the people; this he did once and for all by offering himself.
28 The Law appoints high priests who are men subject to weakness; but the promise on oath, which came after the Law, appointed the Son who is made perfect for ever.
1 The principal point of all that we have said is that we have a high priest of exactly this kind. He has taken his seat at the right of the throne of divine Majesty in the heavens,
2 and he is the minister of the sanctuary and of the true Tent which the Lord, and not any man, set up.
3 Every high priest is constituted to offer gifts and sacrifices, and so this one too must have something to offer.
4 In fact, if he were on earth, he would not be a priest at all, since there are others who make the offerings laid down by the Law,
5 though these maintain the service only of a model or a reflection of the heavenly realities; just as Moses, when he had the Tent to build, was warned by God who said: See that you work to the design that was shown you on the mountain.
6 As it is, he has been given a ministry as far superior as is the covenant of which he is the mediator, which is founded on better promises.


Today's Gospel Reading -  Mark 3,7-12

Jesus withdrew with his disciples to the lakeside, and great crowds from Galilee followed him. From Judaea, and from Jerusalem, and from Idumaea and Transjordan and the region of Tyre and Sidon, great numbers who had heard of all he was doing came to him. And he asked his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, to keep him from being crushed. For he had cured so many that all who were afflicted in any way were crowding forward to touch him.And the unclean spirits, whenever they saw him, would fall down before him and shout, 'You are the Son of God!' But he warned them strongly not to make him known.


• The conclusion reached at the end of this fifth conflict (Ml 2, to 3, 6), is that the Good News as it was announced by Jesus, said exactly the contrary of the teaching of the religious authority of the time. This is why, that at the end of the last conflict, it is foreseen that Jesus will not have an easy life and will be put to death. Death is already appearing in the horizon. They decide to make him die (Mk 3, 6). Without a sincere conversion it is not possible for persons to attain a correct understanding of the Good News.

• A summary of the evangelizing action of Jesus. The verses of today’s Gospel (Mk 3, 7-12) are a summary of the activity of Jesus and they stress an enormous contrast. Earlier, in Mk 2, 1 to 3,6, it was spoken only of conflicts, including the conflict of the life and death between Jesus and the civil and religious authority of Galilee (Mk 3, 1-6). And here, in the summary, we have the contrary: an immense popular movement, greater than the movement of John the Baptist, because people come not only from Galilee, but also from Judaea, from Jerusalem, from Idumaea, from Transjordan, and even from the pagan region of Tyre and Sidon to encounter Jesus! (Mk 3, 7-12). All want to see him and to touch him. The people are so numerous, that Jesus himself is concerned. There is the danger of being crushed by the multitude. This is why he asks the disciples to have a boat ready for him so that the crowd would not crush him. And from the boat he spoke to the crowds. There were especially the excluded and the marginalized who came to him with their ailments: the sick and those possessed. Those who were not accepted to live in the society of the time were accepted by Jesus. Here is the contrast: on the one side the religious and civil leaders decided to put Jesus to death (Mk 3, 6); on the other side, an immense popular movement seeking salvation in Jesus. Who will win?

• The unclean spirits and Jesus. Mark insists very much on the expulsion of the unclean spirits. The first miracle of Jesus is the expulsion of the unclean spirits (Mk 1, 25). The first impact caused by Jesus is due to the expulsion of the devil (Mk 1, 27). One of the principal causes of the clash of Jesus with the Scribes is the expulsion of the unclean spirits. (Mk 3, 22). The first power which the Apostles received when they were sent out on mission was the power to expel the demons (Mk 16, 17). What does it mean in Mark’s Gospel to drive out or expel the evil spirits?

• At the time of Mark the fear of the devil was increasing. Some religions instead of liberating the people, increased fear and anguish. One of the objectives of the Good News of Jesus is precisely to help people to liberate themselves from this fear. The coming of the Kingdom means the coming of a stronger power. Jesus is “the stronger man” who has come to conquer and overcome Satan, the power of evil, and to take way from him, to rob humanity imprisoned by fear (Mk 3, 27). This is why Mark insists very much on the victory of Jesus over the power of evil, over the devil, over Satan, sin and death. From the beginning to the end, with almost similar words, he repeats the same message: “And Jesus drove out, expelled the impure spirits!” (Mk 1,; 3, 11- 5, 1-20; 6, 7.13; 7, 25-29; 9,25-27.38; 16, 9.17). It seems almost a refrain which is repeated! Today, instead of using always the same words, we prefer to use diverse words. We would say: “The power of evil, Satan, which causes so much fear to people, Jesus overcomes him, dominates him, conquers him, threw him off the throne, drove him out or expelled him, eliminated him, annihilated him, knocked him down, destroyed him and killed him!” What Mark wants to tell us is the following: “Christians are forbidden to be afraid of Satan!” After Jesus rose from the dead, it is a mania and a lack of faith to call in cause Satan, at every moment, as if he still had any power on us. To insist on the danger of the devil in order that people may return to Church, means to ignore the Good News of the Kingdom. It is a lack of faith in the Resurrection of Jesus!
Personal questions
• How do you live your faith in the Resurrection of Jesus? Does it help in some way to help you overcome fear?
• To drive away or expel the devil! What do you do in order to neutralize this power in your life?

Reference: Courtesy of Order of Carmelites,


Featured Item of the Day from Litany Lane


Saint of the Day:  St Francis de Sales

Feast DayJanuary 24
Patron Saint: Deaf, Baker, Oregon; Cincinnati, Ohio; Catholic press; Columbus, Ohio; confessors; deaf people; educators; Upington, South Africa; Wilmington, Delaware; writers; journalists; the Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Prie

Saint Francis de Sales
Francis de Sales, C.O., T.O.M., A.O.F.M. Cap., (French: François de Sales) (August 21, 1567 – December 28, 1622) was a Bishop of Geneva and is honored as a saint in the Roman Catholic Church. He became noted for his deep faith and his gentle approach to the religious divisions in his land resulting from the Protestant Reformation. He is known also for his writings on the topic of spiritual direction and spiritual formation, particularly the Introduction to the Devout Life and the Treatise on the Love of God.

Early years

Francis de Sales was born on 21 August 1567 in the Château de Sales into the noble Sales family of the Duchy of Savoy, in what is today Thorens-Glières, Haute-Savoie, France. His father was François de Sales, Lord of Boisy, Sales, and Novel. His mother was Françoise de Sionnz, the only child of a prominent magistrate and a noblewoman. His father wanted him, the first of his six sons, to attend the best schools in preparation for a career as a magistrate. He therefore enjoyed a privileged education in the nearby towns of La Roche-sur-Foron and Annecy. His parents entrusted his spiritual formation and academics to the Jesuits.

Education and conversion

In 1583, he went to the Collège de Clermont (later renamed Lycée Louis-le-Grand) in Paris, then a Jesuit institution, to study rhetoric and humanities. In 1584 Francis de Sales attended a theological discussion about predestination, convincing him of his damnation to hell. A personal crisis of despair--a lack of hope (virtue)--thus engulfed Francis de Sales. This conviction lasted through December 1586. His great despair made him physically ill and even bedridden for a time. The following month, January 1587, with great difficulty, he visited the old parish of Saint-Étienne-des-Grès, Paris, where he knelt in prayer before a famed statue of Our Lady of Good Deliverance, a Black Madonna, consecrated himself to the Blessed Virgin Mary, and decided to dedicate his life to God with a vow of chastity. He then joined the tertiary of the Minim Order. 

Sales ultimately concluded that God had good in store for him, because "God is love", as Scripture attests. This faithful devotion to the God of love not only expelled his doubts but also influenced the rest of his life and his teachings. His way of teaching Catholic spirituality is often referred to as the Way of Divine Love, or the Devout Life, taken from a book he wrote of a similar name: Introduction to the Devout Life.

In 1588 Sales completed his studies at Collège de Clermont and enrolled at University of Padua in Italy, where he studied both law and theology. He took Antonio Possevino, a priest in Society of Jesus, as his spiritual director. There he made up his mind about becoming a priest. Intelligent and handsome, he went through various conversion experiences that moved his heart to serve God rather than money or the world. In one incident, he rode a horse, and his sword fell to the ground and crossed another sword, making the sign of the Christian cross. He interpreted this and other signs as a call from Jesus Christ to a life of sacrifice and self-giving love for the Church.

Return to Savoy

In 1592, Sales received his doctorate in law and theology from Guido Panciroli. He made a pilgrimage to Loreto, Italy, famous for its Basilica della Santa Casa (Shrine of the Holy House]]) and then returned home to Savoy. The Senate of Chambéry admitted him as a lawyer. Meanwhile, his father secured various positions for his son Francis de Sales, including an appointment as senator. His father also chose a wealthy noble heiress as his bride.

But Francis refused to marry, preferring to stay focused on his path with God. His father initially refused to accept that Francis had chosen the priesthood rather than fulfill his expectations with a political-military career.

During the Protestant Reformation, Calvinist control of Geneva, Switzerland, compelled the Catholic bishops to take their bishopric to Annecy in the Duchy of Savoy. Claude de Granier, then Bishop of Geneva, intervened and arranged for his Holy Orders in 1593; he immediately received a promised appointment as provost of the cathedral chapter of Geneva, the highest official in the diocese.

Priest and Provost

Francis de Sales, in his capacity as provost, engaged in enthusiastic campaigns of evangelism among the Protestants of Savoy, winning many returns to the Catholic faith. He founded the Oratory of Saint Philip Neri at Thonon-les-Bains as its first provost. He also traveled to Rome and Paris, where he forged alliances with Pope Clement VIII and the King Henry IV of France. In 1602, Bishop Granier died, and Sales was consecrated Bishop of Geneva.

Bishop of Geneva

He worked closely with the Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, very active in preaching the Catholic faith in his diocese. They appreciated his great cooperation so much that in 1617 they made him an official associate of the Order, the highest honor possible to a person outside it.

During his years as bishop, Sales acquired a reputation as a spellbinding preacher and something of an ascetic. He was equally known as a friend of the poor, a man of almost supernatural affability and understanding.

Mystical writer

These last qualities come through in Sales' books, the most famous of which was "Introduction to the Devout Life", which - unusual for the time - was written especially for laypeople. In it he counseled charity over penance as a means of progressing in the spiritual life.

Sales also left the mystical work, the "Treatise on the Love of God", and many highly valued letters of spiritual direction. He was a notably clear and gracious stylist in French, Italian and Latin.

His writings on the perfections of the heart of Mary as the model of love for God influenced Jean Eudes to develop the devotion to the Hearts of Jesus and Mary.


Along with St. Jane Frances de Chantal, Sales founded the women's Order of the Visitation of Holy Mary (Visitandines) in Annecy on 6 June 1610.  Sales also established a small community of men, an Oratory of St. Philip Neri, at Thonon-les-Bains, with himself as the superior or Provost. This work, however, was crippled by his death, and that foundation soon died out.


In December 1622 Sales was required to travel in the entourage of Charles Emmanuel I, Duke of Savoy, for the Duke's Christmas tour of his domain. Upon arrival in Lyon, he chose to stay in the gardener's hut at the Visitandine monastery in that city. While there he suffered a stroke, from which Sales died on the 28 December 1622.

Veneration after his death

Heraldic device of St. Francis de Sales

Despite the resistance of the populace of Lyon to moving his remains from that city, Sales was buried on 24 January 1623 in the church of the Monastery of the Visitation in Annecy, which he had founded with Chantal, who was also buried there. Their remains were venerated there until the French Revolution. Many miracles have been reported at his shrine.

Sales' heart was kept in Lyon, in response to the popular demand of the citizens of the city to hold onto his remains. During the French Revolution, however, it was taken to Venice, where it is venerated today. Francis de Sales was beatified in 1661 by Pope Alexander VII, who then canonized him four years later. He was declared a Doctor of the Church by the Blessed Pope Pius IX in 1877.

The Roman Catholic Church currently celebrates St. Francis de Sales' feast on the 24 January, the day of his burial in Annecy in 1624. From the year 1666, when his feast day was inserted into the General Roman Calendar, until the reform of this calendar in 1969, it was observed on 29 January, and this date is kept by those who celebrate the extraordinary form of the Roman Rite.


Francis de Sales and Jane Frances de Chantal, medal 1867
Having been founded as the first non-cloistered group of sisters after attempts to do so with the Visitation Sisters founded by de Sales and de Chantal proved unsuccessful, the Sisters of St. Joseph (founded in Le Puys, France, in 1650) take St. Francis de Sales as one of their patrons.

In 1923, Pope Pius XI proclaimed him a patron of writers and journalists, because he made extensive use of flyers and books both in spiritual direction and in his efforts to convert the Calvinists of the region.

St. Francis developed a sign language in order to teach a deaf man about God. Because of this, he is the patron saint of the deaf.

In the 19th century, his vision for religious communities was revived. Several religious institutes were founded during that period for men and women desiring to live out the spiritual path which de Sales had developed.
  • The Missionaries of St. Francis de Sales (M.S.F.S.), founded by the Abbé Pierre Mermier in 1830 were the first congregation to adopt his spirituality in the 19th century.
  • The religious institute of the Salesians of Don Bosco (S.D.B.), founded by St. John Bosco in 1859 (approved by the Holy See in 1874), was originally named the Society of St. Francis de Sales, and was placed under his patronage.
  • The Oblate Sisters of St. Francis de Sales (O.S.F.S.) were founded by St. Léonie Aviat and the Blessed Louis Brisson, under the spiritual guidance of the Venerable Marie de Sales Chappuis, V.H.M., in 1866.
  • The Oblates of St. Francis de Sales (O.S.F.S.) were later founded by Brisson for men, also under the guidance of Mother Marie de Sales, in 1875.
  • The Paulist Fathers in the United States count him as one of their patrons.
The Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest, a society of priests founded in the 20th century, also has St. Francis de Sales as one of their three primary Patrons. The institute promotes Salesian spirituality heavily, using the Saint's writings to instruct both their seminarians and lay faithful. As St. Francis is often depicted in art wearing blue choir dress, the approved choir dress for members of the institute is also blue. One of the major apostolates of the Institute in the United States is the Oratory of St. Francis de Sales in St. Louis, Missouri.

St. Francis de Sales College, in Mount Barker, Australia, is named after him.

The island of St. François Atoll is named in honor of St. Francis de Sales.

DeSales University, located in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, (formerly Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales), is named for St. Francis de Sales. It is a Catholic liberal arts college administered by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales.
Salesianum School, an all-boys private school in Wilmington, Delaware, which is named after him, is also run by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Also named in his honor, Mount de Sales Academy in Macon, Georgia, was founded by the Sisters of Mercy in 1876.  

Saint Francis Hospital & Medical Center in Hartford, Connecticut, is also named after St. Francis de Sales.

St. Francis de Sales is recognized as an exemplary in the Church of England, where his memoria is also observed on January 24, and in the Church in Wales, where his memorial was moved to January 23, due to a conflict with that of St Cadoc.

St. Francis de Sales High School in Toledo, Ohio is a school dedicated to St. Francis and educating young men for their futures as leaders, helpers, and Christians. Another example is Bishop Ireton High School in Alexandria, Virginia, founded in 1964 by Oblates of St. Francis de Sales. Bishop Ireton established a Salesian charter in order to continue this heritage of St. Francis. Virginia's Governor Bob McDonnell is a graduate of Bishop Ireton High School (class of 1972).

St. Francis de Sales High School (Chicago, Illinois) a coed institution of higher learning standards dedicated and named after St.Francis de Sales.


  • This article incorporates text from a publication now in the public domain: Herbermann, Charles, ed. (1913). "St. Francis de Sales". Catholic Encyclopedia. Robert Appleton Company.

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Today's Snippet I:   Haute-Savoie, France

Seyssel, Haute-Savioe
Haute-Savoie ([ot savwa] (Arpitan : Savouè d’Amont / Hiôta-Savouè; English: Upper Savoy) is a department in the Rhône-Alpes region of eastern France, bordering both Switzerland and Italy. Its capital is Annecy. It lies on the northern tip of Lake Annecy (Lac d'Annecy), 35 kilometres south of Geneva. Seyssel is a commune in the Haute-Savoie department in the Rhône-Alpes region in south-eastern France. To the north is Lake Geneva and Switzerland; to the south and southeast are the Mont Blanc and Aravis mountain ranges. The French entrance to the Mont Blanc Tunnel to Italy is in Haute-Savoie. It is noted for winter sports; the first Winter Olympic Games were held at Chamonix in 1924.

Rhône-Alpes (French pronunciation: [ron.alp]  Arpitan: Rôno-Arpes; Occitan: Ròse-Aups) is one of the 27 regions of France, located on the eastern border of the country, towards the south. The region was named after the Rhône River and the Alps mountain range. Its capital, Lyon, is the second-largest metropolitan area in France after Paris. Rhône-Alpes has the sixth-largest economy of any European region.


Haute-Savoie comprises 4 arrondissements, divided into 294 communes and 35 cantons. To the north, it borders the Swiss Canton of Geneva and Lake Geneva; to the east the Swiss Canton of Valais and Italy's Aosta Valley; to the west the French department of Ain, and to the south the department of Savoie.

Haute-Savoie has the largest range of elevations of all the departments in France; the lowest point is 250 metres (820 ft) in the Rhone River Valley, and the highest Mont Blanc at 4,810.40 metres (15,782.2 ft).Some of the world's best-known ski resorts are in Haute-Savoie. The terrain of the department includes the Alpine Mont Blanc Range; the French Prealps of the Aravis Range, the Chablais, Bornes and Bauges Alps; and the peneplains of Genevois haut-savoyard and Albanais (known collectively as L'Avant-pays savoyard). Its mountainous terrain makes mountain passes important to trade and economic life. Some of the most important are the Col de la Forclaz (which connects Chamonix to the Canton of Valais) and the Mont Blanc Tunnel, linking Chamonix to Courmayeur in the Aosta Valley.


Map of Haute-Savoie, showing parks and roads
Map of Haute-Savoie
As of 1996, 178,624 hectares (441,390 acres) of Haute-Savoie is forested (38.8 percent of the total land area), compared to 34.4 percent for the Rhone-Alpes region and 27.1 percent for France as a whole. Of the forested area 141,063 hectares (348,570 acres) (79 percent) is managed for timber and other forest products, with the remaining 37,561 hectares (92,820 acres) having no commercial value or used for outdoor recreation.National nature reserves are designated by the French government as areas where an outstanding natural heritage is present in both rare and typical areas in terms of species and geology. Management is charged to local organizations, with direction and evaluation focusing on long-term protection for future generations and environmental education. Of the 37,561 hectares (92,820 acres) of land not managed for timber, Haute-Savoie has nine national nature reserves totaling 24,542 hectares (60,640 acres).
  • Aiguilles Rouges National Nature Reserve – 3,276 hectares (8,100 acres)
  • Bout du Lac d'Annecy National Nature Reserve – 84 hectares (210 acres)
  • Carlaveyron National Nature Reserve – 599 hectares (1,480 acres)
  • Contamines-Montjoie National Nature Reserve – 5,500 hectares (14,000 acres)
  • Delta de la Dranse National Nature Reserve – 539.7 hectares (1,334 acres)
  • Passy National Nature Reserve – 2,000 hectares (4,900 acres)
  • Roc de Chère National Nature Reserve – 68.24 hectares (168.6 acres)
  • Sixt-Passy National Nature Reserve – 9,200 hectares (23,000 acres)
  • Vallon de Bérard National Nature Reserve – 3,276 hectares (8,100 acres)



Aerial view of Annecy Lake  southeast
Haute-Savoie has significant freshwater resources. Lake Annecy is a major attraction, along with the town of Évian-les-Bains (perhaps the best-known town on the French shore of Lake Geneva, and known worldwide for its Evian mineral water. Haute-Savoie is entirely within the watershed of the Rhone.

Lake Annecy (French Lac d'Annecy) is a perialpine lake in Haute-Savoie in France.  It is the second largest lake in France, after the Lac du Bourget, if the French part of Lake Geneva (which is also partly in Switzerland) is excluded. It is known as "Europe's cleanest lake" because of strict environmental regulations introduced in the 1960s. It is a popular tourist destination known for its swimming and water sports.  The lake was formed about 18,000 years ago, at the time the large alpine glaciers melted. It is fed by many small rivers from the surrounding mountains (Ire, Eau morte, Laudon, Bornette and Biolon), and from a powerful underwater source, the Boubioz, whichenters at 82 m depth.

Lake Geneva or Lake Léman (French: Lac Léman, Léman, German: Genfersee) is a lake in Switzerland and France. It is one of the largest lakes in Western Europe. 59.53% 345.31 km2 (133.32 sq mi) of it comes under the jurisdiction of Switzerland (cantons of Vaud, Geneva, and Valais), and 40.47% 234.71 km2 (90.62 sq mi) under France (Haute-Savoie). The average surface elevation of 372 m (1,220 ft) above sea level is controlled by the Seujet Dam in Geneva.

Lake Geneva, formed by a retreating glacier, has a crescent shape that narrows around Yvoire on the southern shore. It can thus be divided figuratively into the "Grand Lac" (Large Lake) to the east and the "Petit Lac" (Small Lake) to the west. The Chablais Alps border its southern shore, the western Bernese Alps lie over its eastern side. The high summits of Grand Combin and Mont Blanc are visible from some places. Compagnie Générale de Navigation sur le lac Léman (CGN) operates boats on the lake.


Early history

The region occupied by the Celtic Allobroges people became part of the Roman Empire. The name Savoy stems from the Late Latin Sapaudia, referring to a fir forest. It is first recorded in Ammianus Marcellinus (354), to describe the southern part of Maxima Sequanorum According to the Gallic Chronicle of 452, it was separated from the rest of Burgundian territories in 443, after the Burgundian defeat by Flavius Aetius.

Early and High Middle Ages

Italy in 1494

By the 8th century, the territory that would later become known as Savoy was part of the Kingdom of the Franks, and at the division of Francia at the Treaty of Verdun in 843, it became part of the short-lived kingdom of Middle Francia. After only 12 years, at the death of Lothair I in 855, Middle Francia was divided into Lotharingia north of the Alps, Italy south of the Alps, and the parts of Burgundy in the Western Alps, inherited by Charles son of Lothair. This latter territory comprised what would become known as Savoy and Provence.

From the 10th to 14th century, parts of what would ultimately become Savoy remained within the Kingdom of Arles. Beginning in the 11th century, the gradual rise to power of the house of Savoy is reflected in the increasing territory of their County of Savoy between 1003 and 1416.

The County of Savoy was detached de jure from the Kingdom of Arles by Charles IV in 1361. It acquired the County of Nice in 1388, and in 1401 added the County of Genevois, the area of Geneva except for the city proper, which was ruled by its prince-bishop, nominally under the duke's rule: the bishops of Geneva, by unspoken agreement, came from the house of Savoy; this agreement came to an end in 1533.

Duchy of Savoy

Map of Savoy in the 16th century, white lines are modern borders
On February 19, 1416, Sigismund, Holy Roman Emperor, made the County of Savoy an independent duchy, with Amédée VIII as the first duke. Straddling the Alps, Savoy lay within two competing spheres of influence, a French sphere and a North Italian one. At the time of the Renaissance, Savoy showed only modest development. Its towns were few and small. Savoy derived its subsistence from agriculture. The geographic location of Savoy was also of military importance. During the interminable wars between France and Spain over the control of northern Italy, Savoy was important to France because it provided access to Italy. Savoy was important to Spain because it served as a buffer between France and the Spanish held lands in Italy. In 1563 Emmanuel Philibert moved the capital from Chambéry to Turin, which was less vulnerable to French interference. Vaud was annexed by Bern in 1536, and Savoy officially ceded Vaud to Bern in the treaty of Lausanne of 30 October 1564.

In 1714, as a consequence of the War of the Spanish Succession, Savoy was technically subsumed into the Kingdom of Sicily, then (after that island was traded to Austria for Sardinia) the Kingdom of Sardinia from 1720. While the heads of the House of Savoy were known as the Kings of Sardinia, Turin remained their capital.

French Revolutionary Wars

Savoy was occupied by French revolutionary forces between 1792 and 1815. The region was first added to the département of Mont-Blanc, then in 1798 was divided between the départements of Mont-Blanc and Léman (French name of Lake Geneva.) In 1801, Savoy officially left the Holy Roman Empire.[On September 13, 1793 the combined forces of Savoy, Piedmont and Aosta Valley fought against and lost to the occupying French forces at the Battle of Méribel (Sallanches). Two-thirds of Savoy was restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia in the First Restoration of 1814 following Napoleon's abdication; approximately one-third of Savoy, including the two most important cities of Chambéry and Annecy, remained in France. Following Napoleon's brief return to power during the Hundred Days and subsequent defeat at Waterloo, the remaining one-third of Savoy was restored to the Kingdom of Sardinia at the Congress of Vienna to strengthen Sardinia as a buffer state on France's southeastern border.

Modern history

Annexation to France

Italy in 1843
The French Second Republic first attempted to annex Savoy in 1848. Corps were dispatched from Lyons and invaded the capital of Savoy [Chambéry] and proclaimed the annexation to France. On learning about the invasion countrymen rushed to Chambéry. The corps were chased away by the local population and many were massacred.In order to secure an alliance against Austria in the wars of unification of Italy, the Prime Minister of the Kingdom of Sardinia Camillo Cavour met in secret with the French emperor Napoleon III on July 21, 1858 in Plombières (Vosges). During the discussion, Cavour promised that Sardinia would cede the County of Nice and Duchy of Savoy to France in exchange for military support in a planned war against Austria. Though this was a secret arrangement, it quickly became widely known.

The treaty annexing Nice and Savoy to France was signed in Turin on March 24, 1860 (Treaty of Turin). In the northern provinces of the Chablais and Faucigny, there was some sympathy for annexation to neighboring Switzerland, with which the northern provinces had longstanding economic ties. To help reduce the attractiveness of Switzerland, the French government conceded a free-trade Zone that maintained the longstanding duty-free relationship of northern Savoyard communes to Geneva. The treaty was followed on April 22–23 by a plebiscite employing universal male suffrage, in which voters were offered the option of voting "yes" to approve the treaty and join France or rejecting the treaty with a no vote. The disallowed options of either joining Switzerland, remaining with Italy, or regaining its independence, were the source of some opposition. With a 99.8% vote in favour of joining France, there were allegations of vote-rigging, notably by the British government, which opposed continental expansion by its traditional French enemy.

French annexation in 1860
The correspondent of The Times in Savoy who was in Bonneville on April 22 called the vote "the lowest and most immoral farce(s) which was ever played in the history of nations". He finished his letter with those words:
I leave you to draw your own conclusions from this trip, which will show clearly what the vote was in this part of Savoy. The vote was the bitterest irony ever made on popular suffrage. The ballot-box in the hands of those very authorities who issued the proclamations; no control possible; even travellers suspected and dogged lest they should pry into the matter; all opposition put down by intimidation, and all liberty of action completely taken away. One can really scarcely reproach the Opposition with having given up the game; there was too great force used against them. As for the result of the vote, therefore, no one need trouble himself about it; it will be just as brilliant as that in Nice. The only danger is lest the Savoy authorities in their zeal should fare as some of the French did in the vote of 1852, finding to their surprise rather more votes than voters inscribed on the list.
In his letter to the ambassador of Vienna Lord A. Loftus, the then Foreign Secretary Lord John Russell said "Voting in Savoy and Nice a farce ... we are neither entertained or edified".
The annexation was promulgated on June 14, 1860. On August 23, 1860 and March 7, 1861, two agreements were signed between the French Empire and the Kingdom of Sardinia to settle the remaining issues concerning the annexation.

20th century

In 1919, France officially (but contrary to the annexation treaty) ended the military neutrality of the parts of the country of Savoy that had originally been agreed to at the Congress of Vienna, and also eliminated the free trade zone - both treaty articles having been broken unofficially in World War I. France was condemned in 1932 by the international court for noncompliance with the measures of the treaty of Turin regarding the provinces of Savoy and Nice.

In 1960, the term annexation having acquired negative connotations in France, particularly after Germany's 1871 annexation of Alsace-Lorraine, the annexation was renamed Rattachement de la Savoie à la France (Incorporation of Savoy to France). It was the latter term which was used by the French authorities during the festivities celebrating the 100th anniversary of the annexation. Daniel Rops of the French Academy justified the new title with these words:
Savoy has begun to solemnize the feasts in 1960, commemorating the centenary of its incorporation (rattachement) to France. It is on purpose that the word incorporation (rattachement) is highlighted here: the Savoyards attach great value to it, and it is the only one they have resolved to use in the official terminology of the Centenary. In that, they are infinitely right. Yesterday another term that was used: annexation. Looking at it more closely it was wrong! Can we say annexation when we talk about a decision which was approved by 130,889 voters over 135,449? [...]. Savoy was not annexed [...] but actually incorporated freely and by the will of its inhabitants.
A former French deputy, P. Taponnier, spoke of the annexation:
In late March 1860, the betrothal ceremony of Savoy to France took place in Tuileries Palace [...], a ceremony which was a pact of love and fidelity [...] it is with free consent that she [Savoy] gave itself to France by a solemn plebiscite which our leaders can ignore neither the terms nor the commitments. [...] May the bells of our cities [...] in Savoy vibrate in unison to glorify, in this magnificent Centenary, the indefectible commitment of Savoy to France. The Savoyards did not feel Italian. Besides, they spoke French. This explains why in 1858-1859 when rumours ran of the Plombières secret agreement, where Napoleon III and Cavour decided of the fate of Savoy, the Savoyards themselves took the initiative to ask for the incorporation (rattachement). [...] Incorporation, not annexation [...] The incorporation was an act of free will, in the logical order of geography and history [...].


Modern regionalist politics

Since the mid twentieth-century, regionalist movements have appeared in Savoy much as in other historic provinces of France. The Mouvement Région Savoie (Savoy Regional Movement) was founded in December 1971 as a 'movement' (rather than a traditional political party) in favour of regional autonomy. Unlike other historic provinces, including Alsace and Brittany, Savoy does not currently have its own region within France and is part of the Rhône-Alpes region. In the 1996 local elections, the Savoy Regional Movement received 19,434 votes; it received 4,849 in the 1998 regional elections. A new non-party organisation, La Région Savoie, j’y crois ! (I believe in the Savoy Region!), was founded in 1998. The organisation campaigns for the replacement of the Savoie and Haute-Savoie departments with a regional government, separate from the Rhône-Alpes region, with greater devolved powers.

A very marginal separatist movement has also appeared in Savoy within the past twenty years, most prominently represented by the Ligue Savoisienne, founded in 1994. In the March 1998 regional elections, 1 seat (out of 23) was won by Patrice Abeille, leader of the Ligue, which won a total of 17,865 votes across the two departments. In 2004, Waiting for Freedom in Savoy was founded to promote the peaceful separatist cause to young people.

According to surveys conducted in 2000, between 41% and 55% of the population were in favour of the proposal for a separate Savoy region, while 19% to 23% were in favour of separation from France. Towards the end of 2005, Hervé Gaymard called for Savoie to be given special status, similar to a French region, under his proposed 'Conseil des Pays de Savoie'.

Modern historiographical debates

In recent years, sparked by the admittedly tiny Savoyard separatist movement, much attention has been focused on questioning the validity of the 1860 annexation. The Ligue Savoisienne, for example, rejects the Treaty of Turin and subsequent plebiscite as null and void, arguing that the plebiscite did not meet the standards of a free and fair vote. Today, historians generally acknowledge that the plebiscite of 1860 did feature irregularities, but they also affirm that the annexation instrument was the Treaty of Turin and not the plebiscite, whose main purpose was to demonstrate favorable public opinion in Savoy for the annexation after the signature of the treaty. In an interview for the newspaper Le Dauphiné Libéré, Sylvain Milbach, a historian at the University of Savoy, qualifies the vote as Napoleonic, but also argues that a completely free and fair vote would not have dramatically changed the outcome, as the majority of Savoyards wished to become French. This is today the official stance of the General Council of Savoie. 


In 2006 approximately 142,000 hectares (350,000 acres) of land was suitable for agriculture, of which 33,600 hectares (83,000 acres) (24 percent) was arable land suitable for market gardening, cultivation or pasture; 600 hectares (1,500 acres) was orchards; 300 hectares (740 acres) was vineyards, and 108,300 hectares (268,000 acres) was alpine tundra or grasses.[4] There were 4,450 farmers in 1999, 4,800 farmers and over 1,700 full-time farm employees at the end of 2006. In 1999, crop production was valued at €71.5 million and animal production at €165.4 million. 

Dairy production is a large part of the Haute-Savoie economy, earning €117.2 million in 2006 and representing 74 percent of the net animal-product worth. Cattle earned €29.7 million. 

Cheese production (by variety) in 1999 (except as noted) was:
  • Reblochon – 16,950 tons
  • Tomme de Savoie – 5,500 tons
  • Emmental – 3,000 tons (2006); 4,050 tons in 1999
  • Raclette raw milk – 2,000 tons
  • Abondance – 700 tons

Abondance (cattle)

Abondance cows.jpg
The Abondance is a mixed race breed of cattle which originated in the high valleys of Haute-Savoie, France.It comes from the Chablais in Haute-Savoie, where it was bred by the monks of the abbaye de Saint-Maurice d'Agaune since the 12th century. 

It was originally known as the chablaisienne.They are medium-sized, with the female weighing in at between 580 and 680 kilograms (kg) and standing 1.30 metres tall. They are golden brown in color with a white head (apart from the eyes), underside of the abdomen, and extremities of its legs. The bull weighs in at between 645 and 820 kilograms (kg) and stands 1.70 metres tall. Their colour is different, with a chestnut red and a bit of white on the head.

Their milk is rich in both fat and protein, with a good balance between the two. The milk is traditionally used to produce Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée (AOC) cheese such as the reblochon, abondance, tome des Bauges and the beaufort. Typical milk production is 5700 kg per lactation.
This breed of cattle is especially appreciated for its ability to withstand extreme variations in temperature, its fertility, its ease of breeding, its milk, its long life and its meat.

Reblochon Cheese

Half-circle of soft tan cheese, cut side forward, on white table
Reblochon cheese
Reblochon (French pronunciation: ​[ʁə.blɔ.ʃɔ̃] is a French cheese from the Alps region of Haute-Savoie and has been granted the AOC title. Reblochon was first produced in the Thônes and Arly valleys, in the Aravis massif. Thônes remains the centre of Reblochon production; the cheeses are still made in the local cooperatives. Until 1964 Reblochon was also produced in Italian areas of the Alps. Subsequently the Italian cheese has been sold in declining quantities under such names as Rebruchon and Reblò alpino.

Reblochon derives from the word 'reblocher' which when literally translated means 'to pinch a cow's udder again'. This refers to the practice of holding back some of the milk from the first milking. During the 14th century, the landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would therefore not fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer, and was traditionally used by the dairymaids to make their own cheese.

In the 16th century the cheese also became known as "fromage de dévotion" (devotional cheese) because it was offered to the Carthusian monks of the Thônes Valley by the farmers, in return for having their homesteads blessed.  Raw-milk Reblochon has not been available in the United States since 2004 due to the enforcement of laws concerning the pasteurization of soft and semi-soft cheese. Delice du Jura, a pasteurized soft ripened cheese is a close relative and a good substitute in the United States.
Reblochon is a soft washed-rind and smear-ripened cheese traditionally made from raw cow's milk. The cow breeds best for producing the milk needed for this cheese are the Abondance, Tarentaise and the Montbéliarde. This cheese measures 14 cm across and 3–4 cm thick, has a soft centre with a washed rind and weighs an average of 450g. As proof of its being well-aged in an airy cellar, the rind of this cheese is covered with a fine white mould. The optimal period to savour this cheese is between May and September after it has been aged six to eight weeks. It is also excellent from March to December.

Reblochon has a nutty taste that remains in mouth after its soft and uniform centre has been enjoyed. It is an essential ingredient of tartiflette, a Savoyard gratin made from potatoes, bacon (lardons), and onions. In 2002, 17.4 million kilograms of Reblochon were produced.


Tartiflette (French pronunciation: ​[taʁ.ti'flɛt]) is a French dish from the Haute Savoie region of France. It is made with potatoes, reblochon cheese, lardons and onions. A popular variation of this dish is to replace the lardons with smoked salmon. The word tartiflette is probably derived from the Arpitan word for potato, tartifla.

This modern recipe was inspired by a truly traditional dish called "péla": a gratin of potatoes, onions and cheese made in a long-handled pan called pelagic (shovel) in Francoprovençal parts of France. It was developed in the 1980s by the Union Interprofessional Reblochon to promote sales of the reblochon,as confirmed also Christian Millau (Gault-Millau Guide) in his dictionary of gastronomy lovers.

The name derives from the name tartiflette of potato Savoyard tartifles, a term also found in Provençal tartifles. The Savoyards first heard of the tartiflette when it arrived on the menus of restaurants in the ski stations, conveying an image of friendliness, authenticity, and soil of the mountain.

A common, related preparation found throughout the region is the Croziflette; the format of this adheres to that of the original dish in everything but the use of potatoes, in place of which are found minuscule squares of locally produced pasta (crozets de Savoie (usually made from buckwheat but sometimes durum)). The name of this dish is a portmanteau of "crozet" and "tartiflette".

Savoie Wine

Savoie Vineyard
Savoy or, in French, Savoie is a wine region situated in the Savoy region in eastern France, and is sometimes referred to as the country of the Allobroges. The Savoy landscape is distinctly alpine. Between lakes and mountains, the Savoy vineyards hang from slopes or clutch at hillsides in little islands that produce their special growth, from Fréterive in the South, to Evian in the North, passing through Apremont and Jongieux.

With grape varieties Jacquère, Roussanne, Altesse (also known as Roussette) and Gringet for white wines, and Mondeuse for the reds, Savoie is characterised by a number of varieties which are very rare elsewhere, and seem so anchored to their soil that they are not suitable for other locations .

The Savoyard appellations (labels) are distributed through four departments: Haute-Savoie, Ain, Isère and Savoie. Crépy near Lake Geneva and Seyssel in the Ain are easy to locate. But wines labelled Roussette de Savoie and Vin de Savoie can come from anywhere in the wine growing area, unless the label display the name of a village in addition to the appellation. There are 4 Roussette villages: Frangy, Monthoux, Marestel and Monterminod. And there are no fewer than 17 "Vin de Savoie" villages, the most well known being Apremont, Chignin, Chautagne and Arbin.

Most Savoy wines should be enjoyed young, particularly the white wines from Jacquère grapes, which produce light wines, that are all flowery and fresh. Much richer and more structured, varietal wines from Roussette reach a balance after 2 or 3 years of aging. The same goes for Mondeuse which ages remarkably well and soften their tannins as time goes by.

White wines

Roussette Cru Marestel

The first plants of grape Highness noticed by the quality of the product, have been reported from the island of Cyprus by "Le Comte de Marest", back from the Crusades in 1434 and offered to Anne de Lusignan, daughter of the King of Cyprus, became Duchesse de Savoie. Located on the hillside where Jongieux Amédée VII had a castle, this delicious wine was called "Marestel" by the Duchess in memory of the Crusader. In the 2000s, winemakers have rolled up their sleeves to put in vines up the hill which had been abandoned for decades. Today tourists can hike in the beautiful scenery along the paths that cross slopes ranging up "to 70%.

Chignin Bergeron

Chignin-Bergeron cru of the Vin de Savoie appellation in the Savoie region of eastern France. The name is taken from the village of Chignin. Bergeron is the local name of the Roussanne grape variety, from which Chignin-Bergeron wines are made. To be called "Chignin-Bergeron," the grapes must come from vineyards in the Francin, Montmelian and Chignin communes. The distinctiveness of the Chignin-Bergeron wines produced in this area are the reason for having their own independent cru title. Their origins on the sunny, south-west facing slopes contribute to their reputation as some of the finest of Savoie's wines.


Chignin is another cru of the Vin de Savoie appellation also named after the village of Chignin. These white wines are made from Jacquere grapes and are dry and light. They are less well known than the other Roussanne white wines, sold as Chignin-Bergeron.

Roussette de Savoie Monterminod

One of the four named crus of the Roussette de Savoie appellation, Monterminod is located above the village of Saint-Alban-Leysse in Savoie. The site is particularly well suited to the Altesse grapes that Roussette de Savoie is made from. The name "Monterminod" is permitted as part of the appellation title. Monterminod and the other three Roussette de Savoie crus are each distinct in character. Monterminod is the most southerly, with Frangy 30 miles (48km) north. Monthoux and Marestel are roughly halfway in between.
The sunny exposure of the steep, rapidly-drained south-facing slope give Monterminod an advantage in the cool, alpine climate. Their elevation makes them less susceptible to low-lying frosts and they are sheltered from extreme weather by the surrounding peaks rising to more than 4000ft (1220m). The wines of Monterminod and the other three crus are subject to stringent production conditions, including lower maximum yield and higher minimum alcohol levels than basic Roussette de Savoie wines.


Second fermentation of a dry white Jacquère with an Altesse (Roussette)-based liqueur. It has the vigor of Jacquère and the finesse of Roussette. This is a relatively rare wine. According to legend, Altesse came from Cyprus when a princess married a Duke of Savoy.

Pinot Gris

Grape variety for white wine, muted of the Pinot Noir. The skin of this grape has a color that can vary from almost black to white and from pale blue to pink. The color of the wine can also have a hint of pink.


Mondeuse blanche is a very rare white wine.


Red wines


Mondeuse is a red wine with bluish tones from mondeuse grapes, generally recognized as an excellent tonic. It flows easily in the mouth with scents of violet, strawberry and raspberry, and is "full-bodied". Its tannins will mellow over time, and hints of nut may emerge. Should be kept (6 to 10 years). Serve at temperature of about 16°C

Mondeuse d’Arbin

Mondeuse d’Arbin is also a red wine from mondeuse grapes with intense red deep color. In the mouth it tastes raspberry and liquorice. Its soft and warm tannins will aged well over time (up to 8 years). Perfect with red meat, game and cheese; to be served between 10 and 12° C.

Pinot noir

Pinot is a wine with a high alcohol content (12 to 13°) and a fine scarlet raisin color. A lively, full bodied wine with abundant hints of fruit and delicate perfumes. Heady even when young, this wine nevertheless keeps very well and will become smoother with age. To be served at room temperature.


  • ^"Haute-Savoie: IIIe inventaire 1998" (pdf). Inventaire forestier départemental. Inventaire Forestier National. 2005. Retrieved 2010-09-03.
  • ^ "Mémento agricole et rural Haute-Savoie" (pdf). Direction Départementale de l’Agriculture et de la Forêt. April 2008. Retrieved 2010-09-03.



    Today's Snippet II:  History of French Wine,

    The history of French wine spans a period of at least 2600 years dating to the founding of Massalia in the 6th century BC by Phocaeans with the possibility that viticulture existed much earlier. The Romans did much to spread viticulture across the land they knew as Gaul, encouraging the planting of vines in areas that would become the well known wine regions of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Alsace, Champagne, Languedoc, Loire Valley and the Rhone.

    Over the course of its history, the French wine industry would be influenced and driven by the commercial interests of the lucrative English market and Dutch traders. Prior to the French Revolution, the Catholic Church was one of France's largest vineyard owners-wielding considerable influence in regions such as Champagne and Burgundy where the concept of terroir first took root. Aided by these external and internal influences, the French wine industry has been the pole bearer for the world wine industry for most of its history with many of its wines considered the benchmark for their particular style. The late 20th and early 21st century brought considerable change—earmarked by a changing global market and competition from other European wine regions like Italy and Spain as well as emerging New World wine producers like California, Australia and South America.

    Early History

    There is archaeological evidence to suggest that the Celts first cultivated the grape vine, Vitis vinifera, in Gaul. Grape pips have been found throughout France, pre-dating Greek and Roman cultural influences, with some examples found near Lake Geneva being over 12,000 years old. A major turning-point in the wine history of Gaul came with the founding of Massalia in the 6th century BC by Greek immigrants from Phocae in Asia Minor. By the 2nd century BC, Massalia (by then known as Massilia) came under Roman influence as a vital port on the trade route linking Rome to Roman settlements at Saguntum (near what is now modern Valencia in Spain). Roman presence and influence in Massilia grew as the settlement came under attack from a succession of forces including the Ligurians, Allobroges and Arverni. Eventually the area became a Roman province first known as Provincia and later Gallia Narbonensis.

    Roman ruins in Vienne. Pliny the Elder noted that the Allobroges in Vienne produced a resinated wine that was highly regarded by both the Romans and the locals.
    The early Greek settlers brought a distinctly Mediterranean outlook to viticulture in Gaul. To their understanding, vines grew best in the same climate and area that would support olive and fig trees, therefore most of the early vineyard planting was in the warm, Mediterranean coastal areas. In 7 BC, the Greek geographer Strabo noted that the areas around Massilia and Narbo could produce the same fruits as Italy but the rest of Gaul further north could not support the olive, fig or vine. Under Roman rule, in the century and a half BC, the majority of the wine consumed in the area was required by law to be Italian in origin, as the distribution of fragments of wine amphorae found throughout Gaul after about 100 BC, especially along the coasts and rivers, suggests: some of the earliest amphorae, from the 2nd century BC, bear Iberian shipper's marks, indicating that distribution of wine predated conquest. It wasn't till the first century AD that there was record of Gaul's wine being of any note or renown. In his Natural History (book xiv), Pliny the Elder noted that in the region near Vienna (modern day Vienne in the Rhone wine region), the Allobroges produced a resinated wine that was held in esteem and commanded a high market price.

    It was also during the late first century BC/early first century AD that viticulture started to spread to other areas of Gaul — beyond areas where the olive and fig would grow, where a suitable variety was found to be the biturica, the ancestor of cabernet varieties. The high demand for wine and the cost of transport from Rome or Massilia were likely motivators for this spread. Archaeological evidence dating to the reign of Augustus suggests that large numbers of amphorae were being produced near Bézier in the Narbonensis and in the Gaillac region of Southwest France. In both these areas, the presence of the evergreen holm oak, Quercus ilex, which also grows in the familiar Mediterranean climate served as a benchmark indicating an area where the climate was warm enough to ensure a reliable harvest each year.

    Expansion continued into the third century AD, pushing the borders of viticulture beyond the areas of the holm oak to places such as Bordeaux in Aquitania and Burgundy, where the more marginal climate included wet, cold summers that might not produce a harvest each year. But even with the risk of an occasional lost harvest, the continuing demand for wine among the Roman and native inhabitants of Gaul made the proposition of viticulture a lucrative endeavor. By the 6th century AD, vines were planted throughout Gaul including the Loire Valley, the Île-de-France (Paris Basin) which included the areas of modern day Champagne, as well as Brittany.

    The decline of the Roman Empire brought sweeping changes to Gaul, as the region was invaded by Germanic tribes from the north including the Visigoths, Burgundians and the Franks, none of whom were familiar with wine. The invaders set up kingdoms in Aquitaine, Burgundy and Île-de-France. By the time that Charlemagne established his kingdom in the late 8th century, power in France was polarised between south and north: unlike the Mediterranean south, where grapes were easy to cultivate and wine was plentiful, the more viticulturally challenged regions of the north saw wine as a luxury item and a symbol of status. The influence of the Christian Church (which had been largely permeated throughout the region since the 6th century) also enhanced the image of wine in France as it became an integral part of the sacrament of the Eucharist, though the discovery of a second-third century silver wine dipper as part of temple votive deposit at Pont-de-Leyris reminds us that wine was an integral part of pagan rites as well.

    From the Dark Ages through the Age of Enlightenment

    In Medieval France, the landownership system of complant promoted the planting of uncultivated lands with new vineyards.
    During the Carolingian era, a new system of land development emerged that was intimately tied with the spread of viticulture in Medieval France. Under this system of complant, a farmer could approach a land owner with uncultivated land with an offer to plant and tend to the area for a contracted amount of time. After the given length of time, half of the fully cultivated land would revert back to full control of the original landowner while the remaining half would become the farmer's under the condition that a percentage or "tithing" of each year's crop would be paid to the original land owner. Under this system, many areas of France were enthusiastically and efficiently planted with little cost to the land owner; such as the Poitou region near La Rochelle. The modern day Loire Valley wine of Quarts de Chaume derives its name from the use of this practice back in the 15th century when the Abbey of Ronceray d'Angers owned a large portion of uncultivated land (chaume) which it contracted out to growers in exchange for a fourth (quart) of the wine produced on the land.

    In the Middle Ages, transportation of heavy wooden barrels of wine over land was a costly and risky proposition. Wine regions close to easily navigable rivers, such as the Loire and Garonne, found the possibility of trade to other regions and outside of France more attainable and profitable while more isolated and landlocked regions like Burgundy had a harder time developing much of a trade market outside their region. Port cities like Bordeaux, La Rochelle and Rouen emerged as formidable centers of commerce with the wines of Gascony, Haut Pays, Poitou and the Île-de-France. During this period, political climates and alliances played a substantial role in the trade of French wines to other European countries. The 1152 marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine with Henry Plantagenet, the future Henry II of England, was the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship between Bordeaux and England. The 1295 Auld Alliance between France and Scotland against England gave the Scots ample access to French wines for themselves. At the height of its power, the Duchy of Burgundy included the southern parts of the Netherlands and Flanders--introducing the Dutch to the wines of Burgundy.

    Pope Clement V was a native of Bordeaux and owned the vineyard estate in Graves that is today known as Château Pape Clément.
    The 1305 election of Pope Clement V was followed by the move of the papacy from Rome to Avignon. During this time, the wines of the Rhone and Burgundy region received a higher profile due to their preference by the Avignonese popes. When Petrarch wrote to Pope Urban V, pleading for his return to Rome, he noted that one obstacle to his request was that the best Burgundy wines could not be had south of the Alps. Following the prominence of Burgundy wine during the Avignonese papacy, the Valois Dukes of Burgundy took a keen interest in leveraging the region's wines into power and status. The Duchy would become one of the most powerful in France and very nearly it own kingdom—fueled in part by the prestige of the region's wines.

    The 14th century was a period of peak prosperity for the Bordeaux-English wine trade that came to a close during the Hundred Years' War when Gascony came `back under French control in 1453. Following the expulsion of the English, Dutch wine traders took on a more prominent role in Bordeaux. The Dutch were avid traders, buying wine from across Europe (particularly the Mediterranean countries) for trade with Hanseatic states, and were eager to capitalize on the potential of the French wine industry. For most of the 16th and 17th century, the Dutch traders would play an intimate role in the fortunes of the French wine industry. 

    The Age of Enlightenment saw an increase in the study and application of winemaking methods with University sponsored studies and treatise on wine related topics. In 1756 the Academy of Bordeaux invited students to write papers on the topic of clarifying wines and the advantages or disadvantages of using egg whites as a fining agent. In Burgundy, the Academy of Dijon sponsored study on ways to improve the quality of Burgundy wine. In the vineyards, vignerons began focusing more on which grape varieties performed best in different areas and augmenting their plantings to capitalize on their findings.

    From the Revolution to Phylloxera

    As Minister of the Interior, Jean-Antoine Chaptal played an important role in helping the French wine industry recover from the French Revolution.
    Following the French Revolution there was an increase in the amount of poor quality French wine being produced. Jean-Antoine Chaptal, the Minister of the Interior for Napoleon, felt that a contributing factor to this trend was the lack of knowledge among many French vignerons of the emerging technologies and winemaking practices that could improve the quality their wines. In 1801, Chaptal compiled this knowledge into a treatise Traité théorique et pratique sur la culture de la vigne which included his advocacy of adding sugar to the wine to increase alcohol levels—a process now known as chaptalization. Chaptal's treatise was a turning point in the history of wine technology as it synthesized the knowledge current to the beginning of the 19th century.

    By the mid 19th century, the wine industry of France enjoyed a golden period of prosperity. A new class of consumers, the bourgeoisie, emerged as a strong market for wine and other culinary products. The Gironde region of Bordeaux, in particular, enjoyed a swell of interest from both the Parisian market as well as its steady trade with England. For the 1855 Paris Exposition, Emperor Napoleon III commissioned the Bordeaux merchants to come out with a ranking of the region's wine estates. The 1855 classification of Bordeaux would become one of the world's most famous rankings of wine estates. Wine was becoming a cornerstone of the French economy and a source of national pride as French wine enjoyed international recognition as the benchmark standards for the wine world.

    Charles Joseph Minard’s map of French wine exports for 1864.
    A series of events brought this golden age of prosperity to an end. In the 19th century, scientific interest in collecting botanical species lead to the exchange of many specimens from around the world—with the unintended consequence of introducing new diseases and aliments to populations that had no natural resistances to these diseases. North America, in particular, was the source of several grape ailments that would devastate the French wine industry. It started in the 1850s with the introduction of powdery mildew, or oidium, which not only affected the skin color of the grapes but also reduced vine yields and the resulting quality of the wines. The 1854 vintage was particularly hard hit, producing the smallest yields seen in more than 60 years. A solution to the problem was discovered in 1857 when Henri Marès devised a technique of sulfuring vines to combat oidium.

    But just as French vignerons were recovering from oidium came a new mysterious ailment that caused decay or death in the grapevines. The cause was a tiny louse, known as phylloxera, imported from North America. This louse targets the rootstock of the vine. The solution to this epidemic also came from North America in the grafting of naturally resistant American rootstocks to the European vines. However, while the importing of this new North American plant material helped to stave off the phylloxera epidemic, it brought with it yet more problems-the fungal disease of downy mildew that first surfaced in 1878 and black rot that followed in the 1880s.

    The devastation to French vineyards brought with it the opportunity to explore new plantings and many vignerons began to experiment with hybrid plantings--starting first with the American hybrids (such as Delaware and Clinton) with genes from the more resistant American vines species and then moving onto to French hybrids (such as Chambourcin and Vidal blanc) that produces wines with flavors more familiar to European Vitis vinifera.

    To the modern day

    In the late 19th century the French government commissioned Louis Pasteur to conduct a study on the problems plaguing the French wine industry. His findings had a lasting influence on the science of French winemaking. Pasteur was asked to help identify wine quality control issues that caused spoilage and other faults. During the 3 to 4 years that Pasteur spent studying wine he observed and explained the process of fermentation--noted that it was living organisms (yeast) that convert sugar in the grape must into alcohol in some form of chemical reaction. He also noted the presence of glycerol and succinic acid in wine as well as the beneficial process of adding tartaric acid during winemaking. Another observation that Pasteur made was that oxygen played a significant role in the aging and improvement of wine.

    Pasteur identified several causes of wine spoilage including some that could be controlled during winemaking. He noted that "graisse" was due to the production of polysaccharide, degradation of sugars led to mannitic acid and that the degradation of glycerol led to bitterness in the wine. Pasteur found that the particular problem of Burgundy wine spoiling and turning into vinegar on long voyages to England was caused by the bacterium acetobacter. The results of Pasteur's studies revolutionized the French understanding of winemaking and eventually spread to other wine regions across the globe.

    The development of railway networks throughout France opened up new opportunities for wine regions that were historically disadvantaged due to the lack of river-based trading routes.
    The development of railway systems broadened the horizon for trade in French wines. Regions that were not historically dependent on river transportation suddenly found new opportunities and more commercial interest in their wines now that they could be transported more easily. The Languedoc region of southern France became a vastly planted expanse of land churning out great numbers of light, simple wines that were sent all over France. Many of these wines were "improved" in alcohol, color and weight with the addition of Algerian wine from the French colony in Africa—providing a sizable impact on the Algerian economy until that country's independence in the mid 20th century.

    The 20th century brought two world wars which had devastating effects on some French wine regions, but also brought a renewed focus on reorganization of the country's wine industry. The development of the Institut National des Appellations d'Origine (INAO) and the Appellation d'origine contrôlée (AOC) systems, spearheaded by Châteauneuf-du-Pape producer and lawyer Baron Pierre Le Roy, emphasized the identity of French wines and the concept of terroir. Programs have been enacted, in conjunction with the European Union, to combat the "wine lake" surplus problem by uprooting less desirable grape varieties and ensuring that vignerons receive technical training in viticulture and winemaking. Many of these actions came in response to declining domestic consumption and slumping sales that followed through the close of the 20th century. Heading into the 21st century, some parts of French wine industry have thrived while others have been faced with a crisis of confidence.

    Influences on the French wine industry

    Throughout its history, the French wine industry has been shaped by the influences of both external and internal forces. Three of the more prominent and pervasive influences came from the English/British people through both commercial interest and political factors, the Dutch who were significant players in the wine trade for much of the 16 and 17th century and the Catholic Church which held considerable vineyard properties until the French Revolution.

    The British

    The marriage of Eleanor of Aquitaine to Henry II of England would have a dramatic influence on the development of the prominent French wine region of Bordeaux.
    Over several centuries, a number of factors contributed to the prominent influence that Great Britain has had over the French wine industry. With a cool wet climate, the British Isles have historically produced dramatically different styles of wines than the French and in quantities too small to satisfy the London market. This caused the English to look abroad for wines, using the clout of their economic and political power to their advantage. The 1152 marriage between Eleanor of Aquitaine and the future King Henry II of England brought a large portion of southwest France under English rule. When Henry's son John inherited the English crown, he sought to curry favor among the Gascons by bestowing upon them many privileges-the most notable of which was an exemption among Bordeaux merchants from the Grand Coutume export tax. With this exemption and favored treatment in London, Bordeaux wine became the cheapest wine in the London market and gained immense popularity among the English, who call it claret. For over the next 300 years much of Gascony, particular Bordeaux, benefited by the close commercial ties with the English allowing this area to grow in prominence among all French wines. In the aftermath of the Hundred Years War, these lands reverted back to French rule but with a lasting imprint of English influence.

    Following the restoration of Charles II to the British crown, several French wines came back into fashion in the London market. One such wine was a fizzy drink from the Champagne region that was disparaged among French wine drinkers for its faulty bubbles. A French expatriate, Charles de Saint-Évremond, introduced this sparkling style of Champagne to the London court and it was met with enthusiastic popularity. The development of stronger, thicker bottles by British glass makers encouraged more Champagne winemakers to actively start producing sparkling wine for the lucrative British market.

    The Dutch

    In the 16th and 17th century, the Dutch (particularly those from Holland and Zeeland) wielded considerable influence over the development of French wine. Their strength was their sizable merchant fleet and trading access across Northern Europe in places like the Baltic and Hanseatic states. When political conflicts between the French and English flared up, it was the Dutch who stepped in to fill the void and serve as a continuing link funneling the wines of Bordeaux and La Rochelle into England. The town of Middelburg earned a reputation across Europe as a center for trade of French wine.

    During the Middle Ages, the Medoc region was a marshy plain more suitable for growing corn than grape vines. The skill of Dutch engineers was put to use in draining the marshes, making the region suitable for planting grape varieties like Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.
    Dutch interest in the wine trade prompted advancement in winemaking styles and technology. One problem that plagued the French wine trade was the perishability of wine which rarely survived longer than the next vintage. French wine during this period was often unbalanced and unstable, being not properly clarified during wine making and lacking the alcohol needed to preserve the wine. This was of concern to the Dutch who would sometimes be delayed in their trading with ports along the Baltic and White Seas when they became impassable in the winter. To ward off spoilage the Dutch developed methods of fortification by adding brandy to the wine to stop fermentation and increase the life expectancy of the wine. The Dutch further introduced to the French a method of sulfuring the wines (known as allumettes hollandaises) which has the effect of stabilizing the wine and preventing some degree of spoilage. The introduction of new Dutch winemaking techniques helped antiquated methods such as the use of lead fall into disuse. Used since the days of Ancient Rome, lead was used in regions such as Poitou to help sweeten and preserve some of their wines leading to various ailments that collectively were known as the "Poitou colic". By the end of the 17th century, most Poitou winemakers had stopped using lead in their wine production.

    The Dutch also promoted the plantings of many white wine varieties that were in fashion through Europe. In regions like Muscadet, in the Loire Valley, the Dutch encouraged the planting of Melon de Bourgogne which produced more reliable harvest than the region's red wine varieties. The practice of blending different grape varieties from different areas was also influenced by the Dutch as a means of improving weaker wines or to adapt wines to changing public tastes. When the English developed tastes for stronger sweeter wines, the Dutch were the first to bulk up the Gascon claret wines with the wines of Cahors. Skilled engineers, the Dutch drained the marshy Medoc (left bank) region in the 17th century and began planting the region with vineyards. Prior to this time, Bordeaux's most sought-after wines came from the well-drained soil of the Graves region including the estate of Chateau Haut-Brion. By the end of the 17th century, with the aid of the Dutch, the future First Growth estates of Chateau Lafite, Latour and Margaux were planted and already starting to get notice abroad.

    The Christian Church

    During the rule of the Merovingian kings, the seeds of monastic influence on French wine were planted as extensive tracts of vineyard lands were given to the church.
    While there have been theories put forth that the Christian Church "saved" viticulture in France following the fall of the Roman Empire, the Germanic tribes that invaded the region were known to be fond of wine themselves leaving little evidence that viticulture and winemaking needed to be "saved" during this period. 

    The Church, however, did become one of the most prominent and influential forces in French winemaking during the medieval period due to their vast holdings of vineyard lands. The Merovingian period of Frankish rule saw the early seeds of monastic influence on French wine when Guntram, Clovis' grandson, gave a vineyard to the abbey of St. Benignus at Dijon. In 630, the abbey of Beze near Gevrey received vineyards in Beaune, Gevrey and Vosnee as a gift from the duke of Lower Burgundy.

    The reign of Charlemagne brought in a period of peace, stability and prosperity that helped foster the growth of the emerging wine regions of France. In 775 he gave the abbey of Saulieu a plot of land that bears his name today in the grand cru vineyard of Corton-Charlemagne. The spread of viticulture during Charlemagne's reign was fueled in part by the expansion of the Christian Church which needed a daily supply of wine for the sacrament of the Eucharist, the monks' personal consumption as well as for hospitality extended to guests. Important guests visiting the monasteries would be more likely to support the Church generously if they were entertained well during their stay. The extent of their holdings of vineyards and the quality of wine they produced became a status symbol for the bishops, putting them on par with the nobility. Some bishoprics even moved to be closer to their vineyard holdings, such as the bishopric of Saint-Quentin which moved to Noyon near Paris and the bishopric of Langres which moved to Dijon just north of the Côte-d'Or in Burgundy. The influence of Christianity helped to create two categories of wine in Medieval France-simple, basic wine meant for daily consumption and more superior, premium wine that was reserved for impressing important guests.

    Various monastic orders became synonymous with certain wine regions due to their ownership of what is today considered some of most prized vineyards lands. The first group of monks to acquire vineyards on a large scale were the Benedictines of Cluny who came to own most of what is now Gevrey-Chambertin by 1273. In 1232, the abbey of St-Vivant received the vineyard lands now known as Romanee-Conti, Romanee-St-Vivant, Richebourg, La Romanee and La Tâche as a gift from the duchess of Burgundy. The Benedictines were also prominent vineyard owners with the wine produced in the abbey of St-Pourcain being one of the most highly regarded wines in medieval France. In the Loire Valley, the Benedictine monasteries in Bourgueil and La Charité extensively cultivated the lands around them while the abbey of St-Nicolas included large vineyards around Anjou. In Bordeaux, the Benedictines owned several properties including what became the modern classified estate of Chateau Prieure in Cantenac as well as the Graves estates of Chateau Carbonnieux. Other regions with Benedictine vineyards include Cornas and St-Peray in the Rhone as well six monastic estates in the Champagne region of Rheims.

    The vineyards owned by the Cisterian monks
    of the Pontigny Abbey is one of the first areas 
    in Chablis to be planted with Chardonnay.
    One of the most famous holdings of the Cistercians was the walled vineyard of Clos de Vougeot but the extent of their lands included holdings in Beaune, Meursault, Pommard as well as Chablis where the Pontigny Abbey was believed to have been the first to plant Chardonnay in the region. Cistercian vineyards produced highly regarded wines in Provence and Sancerre.

    The Cistercian monks applied their ascetic habits, skilled labour and organization philosophy to wine making in a manner unique to French wine. Through their detailed record-keeping and observations, the monks began to notice that certain plots of lands, even those only a few feet apart, produced remarkably different wines. These observation laid the groundwork on the identification of certain "crus" of vineyards and the French understanding of terroir.

    Through their extensive holdings, the monasteries of the Christian Church made many advances in French winemaking and viticulture with the study and observation of key vineyards sites, identifying the grape varieties that grew best in certain regions and discovering new methods of production. In 1531 it was a monk in the Languedoc region of Limoux that discovered the process of turning still wine into sparkling wine. Though the widespread tale of Dom Pérignon "inventing" the sparkling wine known as Champagne is inaccurate, the Benedictine monk nonetheless made several important contributions to the history of French wine. In 1668, Brother Pierre Perignon was appointed treasurer of the abbey of Hautvillers, located north of Épernay with his role including management of the abbey's vineyard holdings and the collection of tithes from the community in the form of grapes and wines. Dom Perignon took the wine from all these sources and blended them to produce a wine that fetched far higher prices than wines from other parts of Champagne. Perignon's practice of blending from several different vineyards was unique and largely unheard of till then. He also pioneered the practice of severe pruning in the vineyard to keep yields low.



    • Medieval France: an encyclopedia, William Westcott Kibler, Routledge Taylor & Francis Group, p.964
    • ^ Patrick, Charles H. Alcohol, Culture, and Society. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1952, pp. 26–27
    • ^ Babor, Thomas. Alcohol: Customs and Rituals. New York: Chelsea House, 1986, p. 11
    • ^ Patrick, Charles H. Alcohol, Culture, and Society. Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press, 1952, p. 27
    • ^ Seward, Desmond. Monks and Wine. London: Mitchell Beazley, Publishers, 1979
    • ^ Dorling Kindersly Wines of the World. Dorling Kindersly, London 2004, p. 49
    • ^ Dorling Kindersly Wines of the World. Dorling Kindersly, London 2004, p. 52
    • ^ Clarke, Oz & Spurrier, Steven Fine Wine Guide. London, Websters International Publishers Ltd., 2001, p. 21
    • J. Robinson (ed) "The Oxford Companion to Wine" Third Edition p. 378 Oxford University Press 2006 ISBN 0-19-860990-6
    • E. McCarthy & M. Ewing-Mulligan "French Wine for Dummies" pg 224–228 Wiley Publishing 2001 ISBN 0-7645-5354-2
    • ^ K. MacNeil The Wine Bible pg 306–311 Workman Publishing 2001 ISBN 1-56305-434-5
    • ^ T. Stevenson "The Sotheby's Wine Encyclopedia" pg 243–247 Dorling Kindersley 2005 ISBN 0-7566-1324-8


    Catechism of the Catholic Church

    Part One: Profession of Faith, Chapter 3:1-I

    Article 1


    I. The Obedience of Faith

    144 To obey (from the Latin ob-audire, to "hear or listen to") in faith is to submit freely to the word that has been heard, because its truth is guaranteed by God, who is Truth itself. Abraham is the model of such obedience offered us by Sacred Scripture. The Virgin Mary is its most perfect embodiment.

    Abraham - "father of all who believe"

    145 The Letter to the Hebrews, in its great eulogy of the faith of Israel's ancestors, lays special emphasis on Abraham's faith: "By faith, Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place which he was to receive as an inheritance; and he went out, not knowing where he was to go."Heb 11:8; cf. Gen 12:1-4 By faith, he lived as a stranger and pilgrim in the promised land.Gen 23:4 By faith, Sarah was given to conceive the son of the promise. and by faith Abraham offered his only son in sacrifice.Heb 11:17

    146 Abraham thus fulfils the definition of faith in Hebrews 11:1: "Faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen":Heb 11:1 "Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness."Rom 4:3; cf. Gen 15:6 Because he was "strong in his faith", Abraham became the "father of all who believe".Rom 4:11, 18; 4:20; cf. Gen 15:5

    147 The Old Testament is rich in witnesses to this faith. the Letter to the Hebrews proclaims its eulogy of the exemplary faith of the ancestors who "received divine approval". Heb 11:2 Yet "God had foreseen something better for us": the grace of believing in his Son Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith".Heb 11:40

    Mary - "Blessed is she who believed"

    148 The Virgin Mary most perfectly embodies the obedience of faith. By faith Mary welcomes the tidings and promise brought by the angel Gabriel, believing that "with God nothing will be impossible" and so giving her assent: "Behold I am the handmaid of the Lord; let it be [done] to me according to your word."Lk 1:37-38; cf. Gen 18:14
    Elizabeth greeted her: "Blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfilment of what was spoken to her from the Lord."Lk 1:45 It is for this faith that all generations have called Mary blessed.Lk 1:48

    149 Throughout her life and until her last ordealLk 2:35 when Jesus her son died on the cross, Mary's faith never wavered. She never ceased to believe in the fulfilment of God's word. and so the Church venerates in Mary the purest realization of faith.