History books often look at the question of France's identity from philosophical, ideological, and cultural perspectives, in terms of principles, human rights, greatness, influence, or other things, but in our opinion the reality lies on a different, more important level. Let us first think about what Vladimir Sergueïevitch Soloviev (1) once said:
"A nation is not what it thinks of itself in time, but what God thinks about it in eternity."
Cardinal Pacelli, the future Pope Pius XII, said from the pulpit of Notre Dame of Paris in 1937: "Nations, like individuals, have their providential vocation; like individuals, they are prosperous or miserable, they radiate or remain obscurely sterile depending on whether they are docile or rebellious to their vocation."
Whatever the beliefs, errors, or denials of the French today, France’s fundamental vocation is Christian. We know this from all the divine interventions on her behalf throughout her history. We recall “the Apostle of Love” Marcel Van’s prayer for France and the testimony of the contemporary French mystic Marthe Robin, because at the root, "France is God’s idea" (Father de Monteynard, at the launching of the Pilgrim Virgins in France in 1995).
(1) Vladimir Sergueïevitch Soloviev, b. 1853 – d. 1900, was a Russian philosopher and poet.