Following on from the post on the Medieval Religion discussion group which I copied about St Denis Theresa Gross-Diaz posted this comment
"That ten kilometers [ the distance St Denis walked carrying his severed head and preaching as he went ] provoked my favorite Enlightenment bon mot:
Upon hearing this story told by Cardinal de Polignac. Mme du Deffand (friend of Voltaire) replied, "en de telles affaires, il n'y a que le premier pas qui coute." "
I think we can all agree with that, be we n'er so Enlightened.
Statue on the left portal of Notre Dame in Paris