The forgiveness of Bonchamps, dying in Saint-Florent-le-Vieil
Saint Florent came in Mont-Glonne in the 4th century in order to evangelize the area. In the 7th century, saint Mauron founded here a small Benedictine monastery, soon prosperous. But it was burnt by the Breton Nominoé few years later.
They decided to translate saint Florent's relics, safer here. In 1030, they put them in a small chapel, which later became the current church!
The current church dates back to the 18th century. Inside, we can see Charles de Bonchamps' tomb, a Royalist general from Vendée, made by Republican sculptor David d’Angers in 1825!
David was Republican, but the general reprieved his father with 5 000 other prisoners in the abbot church. Our artist never forget that...
He decided to sculpt this statue of Bonchamps, his hand raising in a last jump, with this inscription “pardon to prisoners”.
So, what happened, on this day of October 1793? Battle of Cholet had just ended. They moved Bonchamps in the church. He was wounded to death, with 5 000 Republican prisoners by his side. He knew he was going to die, so the young general decided to reprieve all men here...
Well, Saint-Florent was a real bastion during Vendée wars! Look, another riots started in March 1793: Royalist leader, Cathelineau, fought in Saint-Florent against Republican army. He was wounded and died in the city in July 1793. He was buried in the chapel Saint-Charles...