Patrick Mensior
Stèle of Countess of Blanchefort

Paul Smith  

1 February 2018

Put Online at 19:00 GMT
Updated & Corrected 12 February 2018

According to the believers:

Some years ago Patrick Mensior wrote that he knows that lawyer who's got the stèle (of the Countess of Blanchefort) in his garden in Carcassonne and that he will provide a photo of it but as far as I know sadly he never came up with it. That pic would be a real break through.

Several points:

1) The notary, botanist and member of the Society for Scientific Study of the Aude, Léonce Marty, who lived in Carcassonne in 1927, could not have been the same “Marty” who deposited the brochure-version of Elie Tisseyre’s 1906 article in the Bibliothèque Municipale of Carcassonne in 1931, since he died in 1930. Although it could have been deposited by a relative.

2) Philippe de Chérisey first introduced the story that the stèle of the Countess of Blanchefort was in the possession of “Monsieur Marty in Carcassonne ” – in his 1978 document “L’Énigme de Rennes” (Received a letter from a correspondent, Monsieur MARTY of Carcassonne, the owner since 1956 of the tombstone said to be that of the Marquise de BLANCHEFORT of Rennes) – but Philippe de Chérisey interacted with imaginary phantoms in that document (eg, Henri Lobineau) and it is full of nonsense. Philippe de Chérisey also later claimed to have an infra-red photograph of the stèle.

3) In 2007, Gérard Jean of the l’Académie des Arts et des Sciences de Carcassonne validated the existence of the stèle of the Countess of Blanchefort – adding that it was taken away by “Marty” during the 1905 Elie Tisseyre excursion to Rennes-le-Château. His family wanted to donate the stèle first to the Musée Lapidaire de Carcassonne – then to the Academy – but it was rejected on both occasions due to it not meeting the requirement type of relic accepted. (Patrick Mensior, Parle-Moi de Rennes-le-Chateau! Number 4, “Quelques mots sur Antoine Fages”, pages 108-109, 2007; Philippe Marlin, “La tombe de Vals (Ariège)”, pages 47-67 (transcript of discussion, pages 61-67; Actes du Colloque – LIMOUX, 2007); Pierre Jarnac, “Réflexion à propos d’Une Pierre Tombale”, in Michel Azens, Rennes-le-Château, Rennes-les-Bains: Voyage au Centre de L’Affaire, page 148, footnote 80, 2014).

4) Even if the stèle of the Countess of Blanchefort still exists somewhere – so what? It has no bearing on the story of Bérenger Saunière, whose activities and expenditure are no “mystery”. The only notability of the stèle lies in its inscription and how it was lifted by Philippe de Chérisey as part of his fabrication process of the Large Parchment.

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