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The St. Bartholomew’s Day massacre … was a wave of Roman Catholic mob violence against the Huguenots (French Calvinist Protestants), during the French Wars of Religion. Traditionally believed to have been instigated by Catherine de’ Medici, the mother of King Charles IX, the massacre took place six days after the wedding of the king’s sister to the Protestant Henry III of Navarre (the future Henry IV). This was an occasion for which many of the most wealthy and prominent Huguenots had gathered in largely Catholic Paris…Starting on 24 August 1572 (the feast of Bartholomew the Apostle) … the massacres spread throughout Paris, and later to other cities and the countryside, lasting for several months. The exact number of fatalities is not known, but it has been estimated that over 2,000 Huguenots were killed in Paris and over 3,000 in the French provinces…The Huguenot political movement was crippled by the loss of many of its prominent aristocratic leaders, and those who remained were increasingly radicalized." [Wikipedia]

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