Letter from Abbé Pierre Louis Gazel, curé of Floure, to Bérenger Saunière

25 July 2015

12 September 1910

My dear friend,

I think that the advice given to you by the curé of Amélie [Amélie-les-Bains-Palalda] is excellent. To defend your cause a thorough knowledge of theology and canon law is indispensable. Maitre Mis may be an expert in civil law but would meet insurmountable difficulties and would never obtain the result you want. Amélie's curé did even more in suggesting someone to take your defence. You must accept the help of this man and dismiss M. Mis. This is not easy to do and I would be very embarrassed to tell him he is not competent to deal with your case, This is, in a few words, what I would write to him. If this does not suit you, burn this letter:

Dear Maitre,

I recently had the visit of one of my best friends, a curé of an important parish near Perpignan. We had a long talk about my case and its two aspects: theology and canon law. Because these two sciences will be the bases of my trial. To deal with these subjects the defender must know them thoroughly. Only a doctor of theology and canon law could successfully defend in this case. I know, Maitre, how eloquent you are and how wide is your knowledge. However, I hope that you will agree that it is preferable to mandate a doctor in theology and in canon law to deal with such a delicate affair.

I want to thank you for the help you were ready to give me. Useless to mention that you are still my lawyer and if something connected with civil law comes up –which I think will happen – I will ask for your help.

Please permit me to contact this priest who is so knowledgeable about theology and canon law.

I hope that you are not angry with me and that you will understand my reasons without altering the great consideration I have for you.

B. Saunière

The Abbé Gachen will also have sent something. You will choose what suits you. If you capitulate I don't see what could prevent you from living in Lourdes. The rules are applied to the priests of the diocese of Tarbes but foreign priests are free to go where they want. The Abbé Santez wanted to go there but finally gave up on the idea as the rents were much too high.

As we cannot go to Lourdes this week I am dropping the idea for this year. We will make savings and realize our projects if God keeps us alive. Best regards to all of you.

Signed: Gazel

Marie Dénarnaud – Big Borrower