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A Royal House (7)

Jeanne d’Albret finally returned to her royal

house, the castle at Pau in the kingdom of Navarre.

The queen was home!

The people of Navarre were glad. Not only did

they have their queen safely back from the perils of

the battle at La Rochelle, she brought back with her

a gift—an amazing gift that would not have been

possible to possess before. Jeanne had been busy

for the many months she had stayed in La

Rochelle. She had paid for the work

to translate the New Testament into

the Basque language, one of the languages

spoken in Navarre. She took

copies along with her now. She also

saw to the translation and publication

of the Genevan Catechism, written

by John Calvin as he was in Geneva.

Jeanne understood the Reformed principles

that made reading the Scriptures in one’s own

tongue of utmost importance. She wanted that for all

the people in her realm, no matter what language

they spoke. She also saw the importance of growing

in the knowledge of Reformed doctrine and truth.

The Catechism was written in the form of questions

and answers so that the doctrines taught in it could

be more easily learned. Yes, the kingdom of Navarre

was glad. With the return of their queen, the walls

of the royal house at Pau rang once more with the

truths of the Reformed faith, and they echoed that

joy and gladness.

God used the life of Jeanne d’Albret in a remarkable

way, as he did the life of her mother, and as he

would the life of her son. Her mother, Marguerite of

Navarre, had helped many a Protestant prisoner

and exile. Jeanne took up that work,

and continued in it with all her heart and

means. Her son would go on to reign

in France as King Henry IV, and though

his rule was not always favorable to

the Reformed faith, he later signed

the Edict of Nantes that would finally

allow the Huguenots some measure

of freedom to worship in France. The

generations of the royal house were in

God’s providence and control.

But dangerous days still lay ahead for the queen,

for Navarre…and for France. After the queen’s return

to Pau, the walls of the royal house there would not

hear her voice for long. As soon as she returned,

she was urged to go to Paris. She saw the danger

and refused to go, but, finally, the reasons to go

would become too overwhelming. She would leave

for Paris, and she would suddenly and suspiciously

die there in June of 1572. This would be only weeks

before the most terrible event yet to afflict the Huguenots

in France—the Saint Bartholomew’s Day

Massacre of 1572.

But all these persecutions were in God’s sovereign

control. That was the faith of the French

Huguenots. They embraced the truths that God so

graciously revealed to them, and that Calvin so ably

set forth to them. Always, always, God uses kings, or

queens, or peace, or war, or persecutions, or fiery

trials—or anything—for the good of his people and

the coming of his kingdom. They knew that, for he

is God. He is sovereign. He alone saves his people.

That was what they believed.