sexta-feira, 10 de outubro de 2008

Beranger Sauniere: The Parish Priest, the Royal Storehouse, and the Secret Society

October 11, 2008
Mary Alice Bennett

In 1915 the prosecuting Bishop had finally won a judgment against the Abbe Sauniere for the non-disclosure of his abundant funding. Sauniere would not reveal his source and lost his parish over the secret. Despite losing his position, Sauniere had no intention of leaving his estate on the mountain, he had ordered 8 million francs worth of further construction to his properties including a pool and paved roads - the mysterious funds were back in abundance. Two and a half weeks later he was dead.

In the famous letter from Fouquet concerning the painter Poussin, he states that Poussin had mysteries to convey that even kings could not get out of him. The problem was that Poussin had just been called back to France to give an account to the king concerning this privileged information, which Poussin kept from His Majesty. Who was behind Sauniere and Poussin that gave them such bravado in the face of higher authority?

After the French Revolution, Catholic clergymen were warned against royalist sentiments. Before the days of the media, the priests were the formers of public opinion and they were told that, "The days of kings are gone!" When the priest Sauniere gave his anti-Republican (anti-Revolutionary) speech, he was reprimanded and sent to the monastery in Narbonne. After his time there, the Countess of Chambord donated money to him for the renovations of his parish at Rennes-le-Chateau. She was living in exile in Austria. Theobald Hautpoul was the tutor of her children. Her motives were two-fold, she was after the parchment documents hidden somewhere in his church that concerned her Merovingian genealogy. When Sauniere went from clue to clue and found the pages she was looking for, his life changed and he became a wealthy man. There was a line of communication between Sauniere and the Countess through her doctor. This exiled royal line was not only the first source, but the major source of his funding all along. It was at the behest of the Countess that Sauniere began to "remodel" the church graveyard, the famous Hautpoul tombstone was defaced at that time. Did he do this at her request? The Hautpouls and de Negres were Masonic families. Freemasons were known to have requested burials accompanied by Masonic ornaments (called "Masonic Jewels") and documents, a graveyard could be a treasure trove of information. On the other hand, the trigonomic map on the Marie de Negre - Hautpoul tombstone could point treasure hunters directly to the secret royal storehouse and was perhaps too obvious.

There has been so much speculation as to the source of Sauniere`s wealth. In an area where Templar ingots of Arab gold coins weighing 50 kg were being plowed up by local farmers, the Abbe Sauniere could have made such a discovery himself. It is more likely that Sauniere`s disguised Hapsburg visitor continued to bankroll the priest and since this royal Hapsburg relative planned to fake his own death, Sauniere had to keep his benefactor a secret. The Serbians were plotting against the Hapsburg family and had trailed Sauniere`s visitor up to the Languedoc. There are further clues that these assassins were the ones who killed Abbe Gelis. The police determined from his multiple head wounds that the murder of the 70 yr. old priest was the work of a gang and not a lone murderer. Also, the "note" that was left behind was written on a "Tsar" brand pack of cigarettes. It proclaimed "Viva Angelina!" a Serbian saint in the Russian Orthodox Church. The killers did not recognize the Catholic Church in France or Austria and they eventually assassinated the Hapsburg heir to the Austrian throne triggering World War I.

Just because the source of Sauniere`s wealth has been discovered to be from the royal line that had been expelled from France, it does not mean that the famous secret treasures of the Languedoc were not an important part of his life. Indeed, his mentor was a member of the secret society that protected the royal storehouse from generation to generation.

The relics of the church in southern France have survived much turmoil from the invasion of the Moors to the French Revolution. Through the centuries, this organization of mostly priests has protected the relics and statues until it was safe to display them in the cathedrals once again. Many priests took the secret of the whereabouts of these treasures to the grave with them in times of war. In 1892 Bernard Ponges wrote that, "Boudet and Billard were eminent members of an underground religious fraternity." It was Boudet who had written a book about the Megalithic and Celtic ruins in the area and Sauniere was his protégé.

The legends of the fortress and the fortified keep in the area are true, but the identification of Rhedae of the Razes, the capital of the Visigoths, as Rennes le Chateau is in error, perhaps a deliberate error considering the element of secrecy that abounds in this place. In the Archives of Malta there is a reference to the district of the Aude, a Templar parchment referring to "Reddas" mysteriously disappeared from there along with the Chalice of Malta. An article by Mgr. Georges Boyer, Vicar-General covers the Visigothic past of the Rennes-le-Chateau area and the treasure hunting activity going on there, "We affirm without any hesitation that a treasure is hidden in an ancient necropolis, the existence of which is known to the bishopric of Carcassone, but about which she refuses to unveil the secret." In 1870 the author Firmin Jaffus wrote that "The Treasure of Solomon is buried either in Limoux or in Carcasonne." There were rumors that the Templars possessed vast underground complexes in the region. The Archives of Malta also mention the Templar occupation of Notre Dame de Marceille by 1269. Notre Dame de Marceille crowns a hill just outside Limoux which is north of Rennes-le-Chateau in the district of the Aude. The Aude River flows through the Rennes-le-Chateau area in the foothills of the Pyranees Mountians close to the Spanish border. The village of Limoux is 2000 years old and was built on 7 hills in imitation of Rome. The priests of Mars were the Roman forerunners of the Lazarist order which resides there now. These Lazarists were invited to Rennes-le-Chateau for the rededication of Sauniere`s remodeled parish church. The Countess of Chambord and her husband Henry V were interested in Notre Dame de Marceille despite being in exile. She donated to that church a Byzantine icon of the Madonna and child "engraved or corrugated in silver and gold, filled with precious stones" which was placed above the famous statue of the Black Madonna. Was the famous "secret" of the 17th century society of cognocenti the mysterious underground complex of Notre Dame de Marceille kept hidden by the Lazarists and the resident hermit who kept visitors and pilgrims away from the vaults near the river?

Theophile Lasserre, priest of Alet-les-Bains and co-owner of Notre Dame de Marceille which he had inherited through his family, relates an episode from the conflicts in southern France. "Thus undergoing the rage of the Muslims, the knowledge of this rich deposit and its whereabouts was carried into exile by faithful ministers, or went with them to the grave. The Moorish invasions would last for more than a century. The historian Marca states that to avoid persecution, the archbishops of Narbonne were obliged to take refuge in the stronghold of Redda - believed to be the modern Rennes-le-Chateau. This city was the capital of the Razes for more than a century, when the invasions continued." According to Lasserre, the treasure mentioned is that of Notre Dame de Marceille. Also, Rennes-le-Chateau is not really a stronghold, but Notre Dame de Marceille is. It was originally a Roman fort with a well inside and was later a Visigothic and then a Templar fortress. It is perfectly situated, being on a hill near a river. The nave was added to the original fort in the 16th century and the tile work on the floor displays the Star of David pattern used in the Languedoc, denoting the royal Jewish heritage of the area. Jean-Luc Chaumeil writes that the Bibliotheque Mazarin contains a document listing all the ancient places and their communities. On page 122 and 123, one Monsieur Roux has written on Limoux: "Limoux is mentioned for the first time in 854, in a document of Charles of Chauve, in favor of Ana, abbot of St. Hilaire, in the diocese of Carcassonne. As a result, certain authors have stated that this city existed in the time of Julius Caesar and that it was defended by a castle named Rhedae." "From the side of the mountain, where in the past the city of Rhedae stood, Limoux presents a more picturesque view."

This suggests that the Visigothic capital of Rhedae was not Rennes-le-Chateau, but Limoux and that the most important aspect of the town was the castle, not the castle of Rennes-le-Chateau, but instead a castle over-looking Limoux: perhaps Notre Dame de Marceille? This site had both a religious and military purpose.

Poussin, Sauniere, and the Secret Society

At the time of the famous Fouquet letter concerning Poussin, the complex of Notre Dame de Marceille was owned by Fouquet`s brother, this area was the secret that the secret society had kept hidden for centuries. Poussin was also a member of this society, an honor usually reserved for priests. The letter about him referred to something hidden that could be used to make money. Two centuries later, Marie Denaurnaud, companion to Beranger Sauniere, hinted to the buyer of the Villa Bethania after Sauniere`s death that she would relate to him her secret which he could employ to make himself a fortune. She hinted that he was walking upon hidden wealth.

Both of these inferences imply an ancient craft, the ability to turn lead into gold - the art of Alchemy! Some authors credit Sauniere with knowing magic which is essentially of an alchemical nature. Pierre Plantard once said that Saint Vincent de Paul was never really kidnapped by Arab pirates but was really at Marceille learning alchemy with "Jean the Alchemist" in the castle of Barbarie known as "The Occult Bastion of France." Louis XIV had that castle dismantled in 1659 on an order from Cardinal Mazarin.

References to alchemy abound in the mystery of Rennes-le-Chateau Was Marie covering the source of Sauniere`s income by making a reference to alchemy? It would seem so.

As a footnote, Fouquet was arrested and sequestered by King Louis soon after he wrote his infamous letter. Some say that it was because Fouquet knew another secret, the rumor that the father of Louis XIV was not Louis XIII. Fouquet and the mother of King Louis were said to be confederate against the king, this would account for Fouquet`s imprisonment for life by Louis not long after.

Reference: "Berenger Sauniere and the Secret Vault - Notre Dame de Marceille" by Philip Coppens and Andre Douzet. Frontier Press 2006.

Mary Alice Bennett is an archaeological restoration artist who lives in the Sonoran desert near the border with Mexico. As an art history student, she has had a life-long fascination with Leonardo DaVinci and also with studying the ancient mysteries. Since her church has a long tradition about Jesus and Mary Magdalene, the Dan Brown book was not new information to her. "The DaVinci Code" aside, here are more clues in the work of Leonardo to ponder. Email Mary Alice Bennett.


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