O tempora! O mores!
Such a penitent death might seem unexpected for a man like Jean-François Sarasin who, until then, had eschewed religion and was called by Cosnac “a refined hypocrite of a feigned and far from exemplary devotion”. Yet, such were the morals of the “amorous century” where faith was judged good enough for the “underdogs”, where churches served as gallant meeting places, where priests, from the most modest to the highest dignitaries, lead lives of dissolution setting bad example to the nobles who, in turn, “offered” their physically or mentally handicapped sons and daughters to God, endowed with considerable donations. By the way, this was also the case of the hunchback Armand de Conti.
In the XVIIth century, religion was neither the purpose of living, nor a vocation. It was a way of life without any spiritual aim. Thus can be understood the unexpected, miraculous conversions which occurred at the end of a Godless life, its logical conclusion, as even atheism was a mere attitude and not a deeply felt assumption.
Who would be foolish enough to waste one’s breath defending a mere pose when dying?