Les protestants français et la Saint-Barthélemy (1972-2022). Mémoires contemporaines d’un massacre du XVIe siècle

In 1972 and in 2002, the Protestants assembled at Mialet for the assemblée du Musée du Désert commemorated the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre, a sixteenth-century event that occupies a central place in the historical narratives of the Reformation’s heirs. This article investigates the commemoration of 1572 among French Protestants during the past half century, in order to understand the extent to which the changes in the religious, historiographical, and geopolitical contexts transformed the image and use of the Massacre. This examination of the commemoration of the Massacre throughout the years shows that the recollection of this episode has remained a vivid one among French Protestants. The analysis of the historical discourse used by the Huguenots’ successors reveals that it only partially reflects the historiographical evolution that has taken place. In the end, the event has served multiple uses, resonating with the present actuality.