Rennes-le-Château and Paschal Full Moon (Station XIV)

Evidence that Saunìère's Stations of the Cross were not unique

Paul Smith

Revised 27 July 2017

Bérenger Saunière purchased religious ornamentation for his church from Maison Giscard of Toulouse. Maison Giscard always seems to have manufactured Station of the Cross XIV that showed the Paschal Full Moon. There are some examples that do not show the Full Moon (in Seuillet, Allier; Saint Lubin, Muides-sur-Loire, Loir-et-Cher, etc), but these represent a minority of examples and sometimes involve Station XIV that underwent renovation whereby the deteriorated condition of the Moon could have been painted over.

The timing of Easter Sunday (Pascha) is determined by whenever the night of the Full Moon occurs during the Vernal Equinox, which varies from year to year (Pascha is celebrated on the first Sunday after).

Here are a few examples

Paschal Full Moon

Rennes-le-Château (Aude)
Photo Credit © Paul Smith, 1990

Saint-Félix-de-Sorgues (Aveyron)
Photo Credit © Pierre Jarnac

Ségur-le-Château (Corrèze)
Photo Credit © Pierre Jarnac

Saint Julien Sainte Basilisse (Mouthoumet, Aude)
Photo Credit © Ben Hammott

St Saturnin (Cher)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Labécède-Lauragais (Languedoc-Roussillon)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Dommartin-le-Saint-Père (Champagne-Ardenne)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Saint Pierre-ès-Liens (Cirey-sur-Blaise, Haute-Marne)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Saint Jean-Baptiste (Naussannes, Dordogne)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Saint Hilaire (Vouécourt, Haute-Marne)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior

Saint-Aubin-de-Lanquais (Dordogne, Aquitaine)
Photo Credit © Patrick Mensior