Rennes-le-Château & Notre Dame de Marceille
1 December 2017
Put online at: 5:30 PM GMT
Hundreds of devout Roman Catholics belonging to the Society of St Pius X go on pilgrimages to the basilica of Notre Dame Marceille by Limoux – to worship the Shrine of the Miraculous Statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Marian shrines similar to this were carved out of black wood in the past just like out of any other wood: there is no occult connotation relating to this – this occult “pedigree” is strictly a recent phenomenon (possibly originating in articles by Michael Baigent and Richard Leigh published in The Unexplained magazine in 1980).
None of the pilgrims are aware of the existence of any genuine mystery at Notre Dame de Marceille – yet the existence of a fake mystery was undeniably responsible for the vandalism of the Miraculous Statue of the Blessed Virgin in 2007 – just like the statue of the devil in Rennes-le-Château was vandalised twice (1996 and 2017) for identical reasons – the existence of fake mysteries.
Nobody resident in Notre Dame de Marceille during the 1990s was aware of any mystery associated with the basilica – their only source of information at the time was Gérard de Sède’s 1967 book, L’Or de Rennes!
The mystical connection between Notre Dame de Marceille and Rennes-le-Château was kick-started by the late Jos Bertaulet in his 1991 Boys’ Own-type adventure story, De Verloren Koning en de Bronnen van de Graallegende: Speurtocht in Notre-Dame-de-Marceille, een Geheim oord in de Geschiedenis van Frankrijk – Filip Coppens, Clive Prince and André Douzet all followed suit. The basilica is now firmly entrenched in Rennes-le-Château Fantasy Treasure Land.
There were genuine historical connections between Bérenger Saunière and Notre Dame de Marceille – involving prosaic explanations.
On 21 June 1891, Abbé Saunière installed the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in Rennes-le-Château, presided over by Reverend Father Ferrafiat of the Lazarist Order (also known as the Congregation of the Mission), resident at Notre Dame de Marceille. The Lourdes Cult had just been recently established in France on a regional level; on 14 September 1887 was celebrated the 25th Anniversary of the Coronation of the Miraculous Statue of the Blessed Virgin of Notre Dame Marceille. Saunière’s sermons reveal he was devoted to the Blessed Virgin Mary.
On 6 June 1897 during the feast of Pentecost was celebrated the consecration of the Calvary (installed on 6 February), by Monsignor Billard, Bishop of Carcassonne. This was done in the presence of Lazarist priest Reverend Father Mercier from Notre Dame de Marceille. This was supplemental to the installation of the statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1891, which the Calvary faces. Mgr Billard had purchased the basilica of Notre Dame de Marceille during the struggle between Church and State in France (on 19 and 20 May 1893).
The reasons why Lazarist priests from Notre Dame de Marceille were presiding over the installation ceremonies of the Statue of Our Lady of Lourdes in 1891 and the consecration of the Calvary in 1897 are self-explanatory and do not form any mystery.
The link between Abbé Saunière and the basilica of Notre Dame Marceille was to do with the veneration of the Blessed Virgin Mary.