Rennes-le-Château Tourism & Claudia Procula

Paul Smith

4 May 2017

Following fast in the footsteps of Christian Doumergue, Kris Darquis is pushing the apocryphal stories of Claudia Procula to excite and entertain the tourist industry of Rennes-le-Château.

Now, for the first time, the origin of the story of Claudia Procula in Narbonne can be revealed. It was first published in Sainte Flavie Domitille: Histoire du 1er Siècle de l'Église. Par M. F. (1851, 1854), and later republished under the name Mathilde Froment in 1869.

Her real name was Mathilde Lippens (1817-1888), who also used the pen-name Mathilde Bourdon, a Belgian author who wrote works of pious religious fiction of a moralizing nature, popular during the period of time she was writing.

The story “La Mort du Juste. Claudia Procula a Fulvia Hersilia” was an intended work of religious fiction.

The story by Mathilde Lippens was later translated into Slovenian by Luiza Pesjak, published in the Catholic journal Kmetijske in rokodelske novice (Volume 23, number 15, pages 117-120, 12 April 1865). It was later published as an English rewritten translation by Catherine Van Dyke, “A Letter From Pontius Pilate’s Wife” (Pictorial Review magazine, Special Easter Feature, April 1929). It was also published in La Semaine Religieuse de Carcassonne in 1886.

Therefore, the nineteenth century story of Claudia Procula has no more historical credibility attached to it than the Vindicta Salvatoris – both works were written to instill religious inspiration.

Don’t count on historical facts when travelling to Rennes-le-Château – it’s strictly an amusement park for entertainment only.

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