Why do they still mention the daily Saint everyday in France?

One thing that’s surprised me living in France is that everyday at the end of the weather report after the news, the meteorologist tells the Saint of the day for the next day. For a country so, well, aware of its predominant aversion to religion, why do they still mention the Saints everyday?

I may be wrong, and you may be able to correct me as you are in France, but I was under the impression that, aside from recent immigrants, France was still culturally Catholic in a lot of ways, even if the populace tended to not actually be believers and be demanding secularism from their government. I had it explained to me that babies are still frequently baptised Catholic even if the parents don’t attend mass, many people still wish to have Catholic weddings despite not considering themselves seriously such, and so on. It could simply be one more nod to tradition.

So you can “fête” it with any of your colleagues, family etc. who have that name - time was it was a more important celebration than your birthday. Also don’t confuse an aversion to religion with the belief that the place for religion is in churches, synagogues, mosques, temples etc. NOT in politics, places of work, schools etc.

Sabatobello -he’s referring to the fact that chruch and state are strictly distinct one from the other. France has no official religion, religion is a private matter. The law ‘banning muslim headscarves’ was in fact a law banning the wearing of ‘ostentacious’ religious symbols in state schools and also covered non-muslim symbols.

Sorry I see you knew about the law about state and religion but I disagree with your impression, in Paris our local church had just 10 weddings from Jan to Sept. 05. The town hall regularly has that many in a single morning.

Hey, I’m glad to know- while I adored studying France all through school, I’ve yet to be able visit, and my primary French instructors were all relaying impressions of a country they had left quite some years ago. Still, I’m glad I spoke up to get set straight.

Last time I was in Paris, we came in on a Sunday which happened to be, I think, the Feast of the Assumption, and everything was closed. We could barely eat. Some “secular nation”, indeed. I was very surprised, having been told in all those French classes about French secularity and such, although I suppose private and public are very different matters.

Me? Not really. I figured that debates over laïcité didn’t apply to television. What I’m referencing when I mentionned French people’s regard of religion was my everyday experiences with French people and from reading French newspapers. I don’t think I would be very far off the mark by saying a substantial portion of the French population is wary (even fearful) of religion.

That’s why I thought it was bizarre for them to mention the saints on the news. Now, I understand what your saying about the feast day/birthday correlation.

The true test, though, would be to see what percentage of French people actually go to church on those days.

Those who only express thier religious beliefs in church are called hypocrites. ;j I wouldn’t even call a person who does that religious.
Those who believe that religious beliefs should not be expressed throughout all aspects of a persons life are called . . . oh wait, this is GQ, can’t say that here. :wink:

Are they mentioning the daily Saint on public or state run TV? If not then they should be allowed to express thier opinions. Thats what freedom is. It’s not the freedom to lock God up in a temple.

Can you say what they call someone who presumes to stand in judgement on the soul of another man?


It’s called playing god. Definitly frowned upon in most religions.

This isn’t a religious debate. Mentioning the saint’s feast day is not a religious opinion. Nor, am I saying they are violating any laws by doing so. I’m simply asking why they do it and why they always do it with the weather in France, where it seems out of place (not unlawful).

Actually, doubt that many people perceive mentionning the saint of the day as having something to do with religion. It’s done out of habbit, I assume, and, as mentionned by a previous poster, so that you’ll remember to “souhaiter une bonne fete” to your friends and relatives going by this name. Whether or not you/they are religious. Though it became much less common than it used to be.

By the way, a lot of people marry in a church even when they never go, to church otherwise. And even, like in the case of two of my brothers and theirs wiwes, when they don’t believa at all. So, many marriages in churches doesn’t mean much. A lot of people go to church only for marriages and burials.

Finally, someone mentionned the assumption. Most public holydays in France are religious holydays. That’s the case of the assumption.

The French will take any excuse for a day off work. My great aunt traveled to the “godless” Soviet Union several times. She said that everything seemed to shut down on Sundays.

Similarly they also tell us the times of sunrise and sunset yet we don’t make use of the information, it’s a throwback to a simpler time :wink:

Sorry to continue the hijack but just quickly. Si Amigo I’m not expressing an opinion but trying to explain the French mindset here. I should have said “state institutions” rather than “places of work” in general. The idea is that if no one knows what religion you are they can neither favour nor discriminate against you because of it. Politicians, policemen, teachers etc; do not mention their religious veiws unless they are busy not being politicians, teachers etc. It is a wee bit strange but it does mean that no religion is given preference and no religion is dismissed as inferior. Parents who wish their kids to have religious education do so on their own time.

Sabatobello I live in Paris which is obviously a bit more cosmopolitan but on the one hand you have the linguistic “prejudice” which asks “Are you a Christain or an anglican?” and refers to non-catholc churches as “temples” and on the other you have churches performing blessings for Christian/Muslim marriages; marrying expectant mothers to the fathers, marrying couples who are already parents etc. Then there are some old prejudices, Lionel Jospin I was told (altho’ Clairobscur often disagrees with my “sources”) was never really liked as he was a bit of a dour old Protestant. Hijack over.

Slight hijack, but wikipedia states that in France prohibits divorce because, “it is not condoned by the Catholic church.” Is this indeed the case, no divorces in France?

It states France prohibitED divorce… Though must admit the sentence isn’t very clear.

France legalized divorce after the Revolution. Napoleon had the first divorce under the Napoleonic Code. After the Bourbons were restored divorce was outlawed again and remained illegal until the Third Republic.

The cost of a big wedding in a church compared to the cost of going to the clerks office in the town hall may be a big factor in this.

You don’t go to a clerk’s office in France. You’re married in the city hall by the mayor or one of his deputies, generally in a hall large enough to accomodate the guests.

Of course, you can get married without any atteandance (apart from two witnesses and the aforementionned mayor/ deputy mayor) but you can do the same in a church. Whether or not you’re married religiously doesn’t have much bearing on the cost of a marriage. There’s a small fee (in the catholic church at least), but it’s certainly not the largest part of a marriage’s budget.
Also, I would add that it’s not an either/or situation in France. A religious marriage has zero legal value, contrarily to the USA. So, the city hall is a required step anyway, while the church is optional.