On our stroll under the shady trees of the Saint-Véran d'Avignon Cemetery, we came across "the grave of Marie-Maurille Virot de Sombreuil (1774-1823), known as Mademoiselle de Sombreuil, who saved her father from the guillotine in September 1792. As the death sentence was about to be carried out, she climbed on the scaffold, called the crowd to witness and begged the executioner to spare her father. He offered to pardon the condemned man if she agreed to drink a glass of blood from the previous beheading. Which is what she did. Her epitaph on the tomb: Victim of filial love she only lived to console and succour the unfortunate. Her wounded heart could only be healed by death. Her reward was in Heaven."1 While Mademoiselle Sombreuil's body rests in peace in Avignon, her heart resides in an urn at Les Invalides in Paris, where her father had previously served as governor.
1 Secret Provence, 2006, by Jean-Pierre Cassely.
The Grave of Mademoiselle de Sombreuil