By l'Abbé Bérenger Saunière, priest of Rennes-le-Château 1885-1909

Saturday May 10.
Translation of the relics of St. Nazaire and St. Celestine
Celebration of the feast of the Finding of the True Cross
(May 3)


Departure from Antugnac in procession, chanting the litanies of the Saints, at 9.30 a.m. Strong breeze off the sea – climb steep and difficult, makes us sweat – Lots of noise and little silence - We finally arrive, large crowd, people from everywhere, just Bedlam! - I hear confession from an old woman who needs to receive Communion. I prepare some holy water. I put on my vestments. People are talking too much. – High Mass. – We go to dine with Adelina in a splendid house. A little walk in the meadows – Gathering together of the children. – Distribution of medals – At 2.00 p.m. we sing Vespers – Departure for the parish chanting the litanies for the morning, while the churchwarden carries the ornaments, etc., along with the children of the choir, the books, etc. – We leave by one side of Antugnac and return by the other.

The chapel of the Holy Cross is old, with lots of cracks and fissures, is too small and is short of seats. It needs enlarging and restoring. One would also need to buy an altar and redo the paving.

(Fee for the mass: 4 francs)
Congratulations extended to the churchwardens on the decoration of the altar -

2nd Instruction:

Origin of the feast – Importance of continuing the traditions –
Power of prayer – The cause our our misfortunes – Our Lady of la Salette.

Several years ago, following the terrible hailstorms that devastated the country for seven consecutive years and the famine that followed them, our pious ancestors, whose faith was greater and whose piety was keener than ours, in a desire to divert the anger of the sky and assuage divine wrath, made a vow to go every year in procession on this day to this small chapel, erected by their own efforts, there to celebrate the sacred mysteries and through their prayers and penitence attract celestial blessings to them, their families, their flocks and their harvests.

Ever since then, our ancestors have made it a duty to walk in the steps of their fathers and follow their example by fulfilling this vow. In our turn, for many years, we have come here on the same day to successively call upon the Blessed Virgin, the Angels and the Saints to ask for divine mercy, to earn their favours and thus avert from our heads the various plagues that are ready to strike us. Every year we undertake this beautiful demonstration, this act of faith by which we demonstrate our belief in the power and effectiveness of prayer.

Let us therefore enter into the spirit of those who have fulfilled this vow. May our faith be keen and ardent! Let us pray with piety, enthusiasm and perseverance. Let us pray above all with faith, with the firm confidence that God will listen to us. The power of God has not diminished, His arm has not been shortened. If He listened to the voices of our ancestors, then He can listen to ours. If He allowed Himself to be moved by their prayers and their tears, then let us pray and weep and we ourselves shall be listened to.

To turn aside the wrath of God and mollify His judgement, persistent prayer and the sanctification of work are not enough. We must also respect His Holy Name, obey the commandments of God and the Church, and remove sin, but above all we must keep the Sabbath holy, in order to sanctify the day on which the Lord sacrificed himself.

Sin and the profanation of the Sabbath are the two great causes of all the evils that overwhelm us.

Adam and Eve were happy as long as sin did not enter their hearts, but as soon as they disobeyed the whole of nature revolted against them: evils of all kinds, diseases as many as they were varied; violent storms, tempests, drought, hail, frost, floods, earthquakes – everything combined to destroy them.

As long as the Israelites obeyed the Ten Commandments, as long as they hearkened unto the voice of Moses their leader, they thrived and had the world at their feet. But as soon as they revolted, as soon as they profaned the Sabbath, the sky became of bronze and the earth of fire; frosts, worms and insects destroyed their harvests; and death struck down the guilty.

The story of Adam and Eve, the story of the Jewish people, is the history of our own poor humanity. Every time man forgets his God and His holy law, God's arm weighs down upon him and he is visited by all sorts of plagues.

Why today are there so many crimes and misfortunes? Why so many storms and floods? Why does the ground tremble and bury alive so many victims? Why so much hail and frost, why so many insects, why so many enemies of the vine and the other harvests? Why so much disease, so much misery? It is because man forgot his God, because he wanted to dispense with Him. It is because man does not pray any more, because he no longer respects his thrice-holy name, because he sins, because he works on a Sunday and because no longer obeys the holy law.

The story of Maximin and Melanie. – Our Lady of La Salette.

Conclusion. Pray, sanctify your work, respect the sacred name of God, flee from sin, practice virtue, keep the Sabbath holy, and God will listen to us, will bless us and we will succeed.

Bérenger Saunière's Sermons