Amzer-lenn / Temps de lecture : 10 min
Following the desecration of the tomb of Father Yann-Vari Perrot (Brittany), here is an English version of articles broadcast on Ar Gedour on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of his death. We propose them in English so as to make known the life of this abbot beyond Brittany and France. 

This is a first part and we will publish the others later.

December 12th will be commemorated the sad 70th anniversary of the assassination of a priest who worked hard for the Breton cause: Father Yann-Vari Perrot. The opportunity for some to approach his life, either in a wrong way, or in a militant way (for or against). AR GEDOUR wished to publish here a vision which is little or not touched on: its priestly dimension, which allows to better apprehend its life and its choices, which sometimes give a terrible impression of topicality. Beyond the propaganda carried out by some about it, it is important for us to enlighten the Bretons on a subject that is not well known. Let us quote one of the passages in this chronicle: « Historians, with rare exceptions, who have looked into his life have become more interested in Breton activist (confining him in a politico-historical context) than in » the man of God. The time has come to read his life, to understand his work, his apostolate, his patriotism with a Christian reading to put the priest, the « soldier of Christ » in the foreground. Similarly, claiming to honor Father Perrot by taking only the « Breiz » of his motto, and ignoring « Feiz », amounts to not understanding the meaning of his struggles, to distort his work, his patriotism, to betray him. «  To avoid publication among others in December, we suggest you to follow this column in several parts that will be published over several days from today. This article was produced by one of our collaborators from the personal archives of Father Perrot, including many private correspondence. Among all the documents to which we had access, we propose some unpublished exclusively on AR GEDOUR. If you can – and we thank you – obviously mention the articles (mentioning the AR GEDOUR source) in a partial way (corresponding to a paragraph of each article) on your own blogs and sites, we specify here that no use of this Text and iconographic material may not be made without the written permission of the author and the site « Ar Gedour ».


Photo Ronan Caerleon – Archives Ar Gedour – Tous droits réservés.

When we talk about Father Perrot, whether it is the work of historians or people who honor him, it is more to talk about the militant nationalist Breton than for the dimension of priest who, it seems to be forgotten. Brandie as a « political icon », his cause is served. But one can understand one’s life, one’s priesthood, one’s work, one’s struggles, one’s sacrifice, only if one has a Christian reading of it. It is therefore important to put the priest in the foreground, that he was above all, in the same order as the two key words of his motto « Feiz ha Breiz », and the inscription engraved on the Celtic cross of his tomb « Doue Breiz « .

70 years ago, on December 12, 1943, Father Yann-Vari Perrot, rector of Scrignac (Monts d’Arrée) was assassinated. An extraordinary priest with an intense charisma, he is undeniably the greatest Breton figure of the 20th century.

He was ordained a priest on July 25, 1903 in Saint Corentin cathedral of Quimper. For this occasion, he will compose the hymn « Beleg da Viken » (Priest forever) which will be sung for all ordinations until the 1950s. Father Perrot has a particular devotion to Saint Corentin; his priesthood begins under his protection, and forty years later ends on the day of his feast.

Immediately after his ordination, he fought on two fronts: the defense of the faith and the defense of the Breton identity that embodied so well his motto « Feiz ha Breiz ». At the beginning of the 20th century, governments are deeply anticlerical, and intend to dispossess again the Church of its goods, its social works, its right to teach. These governments are ultra-Jacobin and open war on all expressions of Breton identity.

In his childhood, this little Leonard was deeply bruised to be banned from speaking Breton at school. This injury will direct all his fight for the language of his country. In 1905, he founded the association « Bleun-Brug » (Flower of Bruyère) annual festive event, which we can consider as the ancestor of our current festivals and festivals in Brittany. But Bleun-Brug wants to be more than a party: to be the « backbone » of a spiritual and cultural revival breton, to prepare on solid bases the future of Brittany in a changing society . The magazine « Feiz ha Breiz » with Bleun-Brug will be the « tools » of what already at the time corresponded to the needs of a « new evangelization ». Its statutes define well its objectives, however it does not escape the abbot Perrot that the defense of the « Historical Rights » of Brittany can not be ignored. Some of his colleagues reproached him for « playing politics » by mixing religion, linguistics, culture and nationalism, and neglecting his ministry. These unfounded and uncharitable accusations revolt him, because he defines himself as « the soldier of Christ first and foremost ». As for his Breton militancy, he justifies it as follows :

« I try to orient all my Breton activity according to the Luminous Pontifical Encyclicals. Because if as a priest I have to defend the rights and liberties of the Church, like Breton, I must defend with no less bitterness the rights and freedoms of Brittany « …

He had great joy when he received, in May 1920, for him and his collaborators, the blessing of Pope Benedict XV for his work of Bleun-Brug.


« May you see the recoil of this plague of religious indifference and secularism, of which I see the appalling ravages every day. May you see the little Britons brought up, not according to the plan of an atheist minister of public instruction, but according to the plan of God. « 

Father Perrot is one of those who perceive the perversity of communist ideology, and denounces it as the enemy of souls and homelands. Similarly, the Freemasons, the Free-thinkers who rage in governments and inspire anti-Christian, anti-Breton laws, do not find favor in his eyes. He sees in it the continuity of revolutionary ideology. He never ceases to warn the Bretons against what he calls « two poisons: francization and secularism » which have their source in this ideology :

« Defy the plague of secularism that has killed France and has already poisoned much of Brittany. All ways other than the Christian way can only lead to perdition « (Letter to a Breton nationalist leader.1941).

In his homilies of the marriage masses of young Bretons who invest in the defense of the Breton identity, he tells them :

« May you see the decline of this plague of religious indifference and secularism, whose terrible ravages I see. everyday. May you see the little Britons brought up, not according to the plan of an atheist minister of public instruction, but according to the plan of God « (3/9/1942).

Looks like it was written in … 2013! In fact, he was very worried about the future of youth, hence his continual recommendation:

« Be careful, watch out, you are fathers and mothers and you are the future of Brittany ».

Father Perrot was ahead of our time when secularism called « à la française » appears in a new religion that excludes God from society and denies the Christian roots of Europe, to replace it with others. The popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI, in the continuity of their predecessors, denounce this secularity which is, yesterday as today, a weapon of war against the Catholic Church. Denouncing and fighting the destructive doctrines of the Christian order, that is to say, the divine law, attracts many enemies, who will one day remember it … As for francization, it is now completed. Certainly, the Breton identity exists, but more through the ephemeral of the festive or the cultural, but a cultural too often overused …


croix celtique
Photo GL / Ar Gedour (Droits réservés)

Its motto « Feiz ha Breiz » (Faith and Brittany) summarizes its concern to defend the two identities of Brittany, the Christian and the Breton. For him, they are « like sisters ». Thus, to pretend to build the future of Brittany by amputating its Christian roots is treason. He says it with the affection of a father to certain nationalist leaders who, without however denying these roots, refuse to take them into account, display a neo-paganism unearthed in the « Celtic-Germanic Pantheon ». This irritates Father Perrot, because he discredits the « Breton Movement » and its own action, hence his warnings against the excesses of a form of nationalism that he himself disapproves: « Want to make Brittany a nation without faith is a crime against the Light.  » To those who protest that we can very well work for Brittany, without believing or belonging to the Catholic Church – which Father Perrot does not deny – he replies « that the works without faith, returned to building on sand, making these works ephemeral and subject to all the compromises of circumstance, it was better to « build the Brittany House on a solid rock like the hard granite breton » and add: « From all time to » Feiz ha Breiz  » our program was double as the Tables of the Law: our religious claims on the first, but our Breton claims on the second, because we thought that the Celestial Motherland should not make us forget the earthly homeland « . Taking France as an example, he has this severe judgment :

« If France has fallen so low, for perhaps not getting up again, it is because in her all the Christian virtues have been extinguished one after the other. If we want to restore Brittany, build it on the cornerstone that is Christ: nothing sustainable will be done otherwise « Or again, » Do not you believe, Bretons, that your Brittany would be totally different from the Brittany of your Fathers if the light of faith no longer shone like a solar star above its cities and its countryside? « 

Today, such a statement, given the state of decay of France (and all of Europe), is terribly relevant. But the question is: is such an ideal still audible in a Brittany that does not escape the destructive consumerism, the leveling of peoples and thoughts, the ideology of « all is worth » and the fact that it There is no truth?

À propos du rédacteur Youenn Caouissin

Auteur de nombreux articles dans la presse bretonne, il dresse pour Ar Gedour les portraits de hauts personnages de l'histoire religieuse bretonne, ou encore des articles sur l'aspect culturel et spirituel breton.

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