We now know that St. Bartholomew’s Massacre was the fulcrum. The tolling of the bell at Saint-Germain-l’Auxerrois on the morning of August 24th, 1572 signalled the culmination of simmering tensions that both irreparably shattered protestant-catholic relations forever, and revived lastingly effective biases and hatred on both sides of the Christian spectrum. In the aftermath of the massacre, thousands of dead Huguenots polluted the Seine, while thousands more littered the Parisian streets. Death counts ranged in estimates from 3,000 to an apocryphal 70,000. Founding itself on the antithesis of all christian values, this vile massacre was allegedly perpetrated to ensure Catholic superiority, while crippling the Huguenot Protestant party. Both of these tasks failed miserably, and in the aftermath the Catholic church reaped the seeds of unflinching revenge, bloodlust, and baleful persecution. The reaction and status that both parties evolved and developed after the “Red Wedding” were both similar and inherently different, coming to epitomize the attitudes and tendencies of Catholics and Protestants in the generations to come.
Backgrounded by the “Wars of Religion”, the Red Wedding was jointly orchestrated by Catherine de Médicis and the house of Guise in an attempt to eliminate their threatening political and religious rivalries. Catherine was the mother of Charles IX, the French King whose reign relied on the tactical and political advice of Admiral Gaspard II de Coligny, a