Rose Croix Veritas

Les Bergere d'Arcadie John the Baptist SamHain Line


A list of the odd activities of Abbé Beranger Saunière

It is now known that Saunière used an address 12 Rue de la Juiverie, Lyon to have letters sent to that he didn't want sent to Rennes le Chateau. One letter was from someone known as Montepellierain. The subject of these letters is Maguelonne , an island off the coast of Montpellier. This place has been regarded as the Southern Mont St Michel.

The name may well be a corruption of Magdalene (or vice versa) and is associated with the cult of Isis.



The island with the church within the perfect circle

Island withthe church

Abbot Suger of Saint-Denis who visited the site in the twelfth century described it as

“A narrow island, uninhabited but for the bishop, his priests and a small retinue. It is simple, isolated and impoverished but well fortified against the attacks of the Saracens, who do not cease to infest the seas.”


Incidentally, it is said that Saunière also had a monkey he named Mela. Guy Patton & Robin Mackness in their book 'Web of Gold' suggest it may be more than "mere coincidence that a first century Spanish geographer and writer, called Pomponius Mela, refers to an ancient treasure deposited in the mines of Pyrene, located exactly south of Carcassonne? Could Sauniere have known of both these writings and have had access to the treasure?"

Read Web of Gold excepts - Introduction by Robin Mackness and Guy Patton and Chapter 1.

My grandfather Charles, legitimate successor of the counts of Rhedae, yielding to the invitation addressed to him by the Abbé Bérenger Saunière, parish priest of Rennes-Le-Château (Aude), visited him June 6, 1892. Among those present were the Abbé Henri Boudet and M. Elie Bot. In his notes my grandfather recounts his passage:

"... A monkey, called Mela, a gift from a great singer, playing with a puppy called pomponette enlivened lunch. Boudet, the priest of Rennes-les-Bains, neighboring parish, seemed a man so anxious to go out that Saunière was the light. Both Saunière, burly brown with black eyes, of near 1.80 m, seemed as much Boudet, with 1.70 m, his thinness and lavender eyes, disappeared. In between, Mr.. Elie Bot [see below], right arm Saunière, stocky and strong, was the adviser and the of contractor work. But as an essay on the merits of the Corbières wine and wine of Malvasia, one of his intestines made him fragile and to drink only water ... "

This scholarly yet emanated from the humble parish priest that his brother seemed to have been invited by Christian charity that my grandfather, Charles found himself that evening in the presbytery of Rennes-les-Bains and spent the night.

Pierre Plantard in his introduction to reprint of La Vraie Langue Celtique et le Cromlech de Rennes-les-Bains

Elie Bot
Elie Bot
The builder of the Villa Bethania

Clearly the monkey and puppy owned by Saunière (and given by Emma Calve) was named after Pomponius Mela

Pomponius Mela, who wrote around the time of Jesus, was the earliest Roman geographer. He was born in Tingentera (Algeciras).

Algeciras has the earliest known remains of the Neanderthal.

File:Europa by Pomponiusz Mela 1st century.jpg

Here is his map of Europe from 43AD

Showing the island of Thule.

POMPONIUS MELA - wikipedia



So it appears that Saunière was interested in ancient geography


The priest François Bérenger Saunière was born in the nearby village of Montazels on the 11th April 1852, apparently (we’re told) at exactly midday. His father had once been the mayor of Montazels where he had also managed a flourmill and had also been the steward of the Marquis de Cazemajou’s Castle. One of Saunière’s brothers Alfred was also to become a priest with a reputation for high living and he too was eventually to also take a role in this story, albeit less obvious. 

Reports say that academically he was not a particularly bright child but did appear to display extraordinary leadership qualities and could often be seen wandering the plateau of Rennes le Chateau leading the other children. On the advice of the priest from nearby Esperaza it was suggested that it would be a good idea for him to enter a seminary to study for the priesthood. This he did in 1874 and despite financial problems was ordained as a priest and took his first parish at Alet-les-Bains, just north of Rennes le Chateau, on 16th July 1879. Alet-les-Bains is a most pretty village on the river Aude that was is the former domain of the enigmatic Abbé Pavillon[I1]  and, it is said, had once been the home of Nostradamus. On 16th June 1882 he was given the title of curate of the church in the village of Clat and finally on 1st June 1885 he took office at the church of Sainte Marie-Madeleine at Rennes le Chateau, replacing the previous incumbent Antoine Croc who had only been in the position three years. Saunière’s appointment more or less coincided with the run up to the French State elections and to the astonishment of his new parishioners he began campaigning very vigorously against the Republicans on the side of the Royalists and making sermons against “keen enemies of Religion and the Fatherland”. Unfortunately for Saunière the Republicans won the election and the authorities in the region promptly denounced him and three other priests in the area[I A2]  for inciting public disorder and trying to influence the electorate. The church authorities ordered that his meagre salary of 75F per month be withheld and the edict was imposed in December 1885 as punishment. Saunière approached his Bishop Monsignor Billard at Carcasonne who, seeing his difficulty, gave him 200 Francs and appointed him to the ‘Petit Seminaire de Narbonne’ where he remained until July 1886 when his suspension was lifted and he returned to Rennes le Chateau.  

Saunière expanded his activities and in May 1890 when he also said mass in Autugnac Church on Sundays. Eventually and contrary to popular belief although the authorities had suspended him as a priest he had already resigned as curé on February 1st 1909 but by 1911 he was officially no longer a priest in the eyes of the church.      

 The reason for his suspension was that in 1909 he was accused by his church masters for trafficking in masses (the saying of masses for money) this had been bought by the church authorities because his sudden lavish expenditure had drawn their attention. The Bishop of Carcassonne had tolerated his activities but when he died the new Bishop had realised that Saunière was up to something and desperately tried to intimidate him into a confession as from where he was getting his money. The direct charges of trafficking in masses were dropped[I A3]  against him after he presented evidence to support his case; however the other charges of disobedience of the Bishop and failure to keep proper records were upheld and the latter two of these charges he was undoubtedly guilty. The church gave him some punishment but as he had already effectively resigned the punishment was ineffective. We are told that he lived the last part of his life penniless, selling religious medals and rosaries to wounded WWI soldiers who were recovering at the nearby village of Campagne les Bains. The loss of income due to the First World War and perhaps the death of some of his benefactors was curtailing his trips abroad where he seemed to have acquired much of his wealth, for it seems he had left the organisation of his affairs to his devoted housemaid Marie Denarnaud, she apparently sent out standard letters that Saunière had written before he had left. He was also accused at this time of taking in German Spies, no doubt an attempt to degrade his character in the eyes of his ever faithful congregation.


my20-0031The reports of his personal poverty seem to have some substance however paradoxically he is on record that in 1909 he spent over 12000 francs on furniture alone. This is two and half times the estimate he was given to rebuild the entire church. The story surrounding his apparent sudden wealth goes that whilst he had been suspended for his anti-republican activities and shortly after his appointment at Rennes le Chateau in 1885 he had made the acquaintance of the Countess of Chambord[I A4] , widow to the former pretender to the French throne Henry V. In 1887 she gave him 1000 Francs[i5]  that equated to almost a years salary. This loan was to prove useful for this indefatigable curé and then at the age of 35 years old he decided that the church, which had been first consecrated to Saint Mary Magdalene in 1059, had not been renovated for over century and was badly in need of repair and he had received an estimate of 2797.97F for these essential repairs. Encouraged by his friend the Abbé Henry Boudet, curate of the church of Rennes les Bains down in the River Sals valley, he used this money to make some repairs although the architect, a man named Cals had given him a quote to build a brand new building at the cost of 4500F. 


The stories later related by Noel Corbu told that during these repairs the altar stone cracked and the inside was stuffed with dry bracken and there was found three wooden tubes sealed with wax. Inside these tubes were apparently documents. Corbu’s story continues that these documents consisted of genealogy of the bloodline one dated 14th March 1244[I6]  and the other from 1200 to 1644 giving six lines of descent related to the 17th century priest Saint Vincent de Paul[I A7]  and another was a testament from 1695 invoking five saints that caused Saunière to erect statues dedicated to them in his church. A later disclosure revealed that there were other documents that contained some passages from the bible written in Latin and these carried coded messages[I8] . It has been alleged that a previous Rennes le Chateau priest, Abbé Antoine Bigou, composed these last two encoded passages, in the 1780s. Another suggestion is that they were written by Jean-Paul de Nègre de Fondargent around 1753. Bigou had been the personal chaplain of the noble Blanchefort family and the confidant of Marie de Nègre d'Ables dame d'Hautpoul Countess of Blanchefort. On the death of the noble lady, Bigou appeared to take an inordinate length of time to compose the gravestone of Marie de Blanchefort producing at the end of it a headstone full of errors. The words on this headstone (errors et al) were actually recorded in 1905 during a visit by a member of the local scientific society. The Blanchefort family, on the eve of the French Revolution, had been the most prominent local landowners in the area. Indeed previous members of the Blanchefort family had been associated with some secret that was apparently too dangerous to even share with siblings. Bertrand de Blanchefort had been a Knight’s Templar Grand Master and a local mountain that bears the name Blanchefort can be seen from Rennes le Chateau towards the east. Bigou had fled to Spain (possibly Girona) during the French revolution and died there but rumours have it that a priest from the nearby village of Brenac had fled along with Bigou. Another curiosity is that Bigou didn’t take the shortest route to Spain but went via a place very close to Névian, a place mentioned by Saunière in his enigmatic diary entry.


asmodeus-michaelWhatever the source of his wealth the next thing Saunière began to spend money as if there was no limit.  He built a water tower to supply the villagers with piped water; he also initiated the building of a four and a half kilometre road from the nearby town of Couiza. He built his luxury Villa Bethania; he built his library tower, La Tour Magdala perhaps echoing the name of the village patron Saint, Mary Magdalene, but perhaps echoing something that both this tower and Mary Magdalene had taken both their names. This tower was perched on top of an esplanade made of fine stone, at the other end was a glasshouse containing exotic birds and plants. Saunière through the Countess of Chambord was able to draw the attention of royalty to Rennes le Chateau and VIP visitors were clearly expected to walk this esplanade between his library tower and this glasshouse. These special visitors would be able to admire the view of the Haut valleé d’Aude to one side as I did their promenade and admire the shaded gardens on the other side after enjoying a fine meal in the Villa Bethania, what was so special about this place that could rank the attention of these people? Though curiously less opulent, Saunière kept his most enigmatic creations for his church, which he decorated in the style of the late nineteenth century and where as we shall see he left some strange icons and puzzles that are largely overlooked by visitors but probably more significantly it’s what he didn’t put in his church that’s more intriguing.

 [I A2]Tailhan curate of Roullens, Jean curate of Bourriege and Delmas vicar of Alet.

 [I A3]Saunière was accused of trafficking in masses the judgement was given on November 5, 1910. For his disobedience to the Bishop he was condemned to go for one sacerdotal to an old people's home or monastery of his choice to make the spiritual exercises there for the duration of 10 days; within 2 month. For the charge of traffic of mass, the court did not have sufficient evidence and was unconvinced that Saunière had made money by mass trafficking. However for his unexplained expenditure, Saunière was ordered to communicate his accounts to the bishop within a time of one month and given a 10 days deadline to appeal. However Saunière did not present his accounts to the bishop and on the council of the Abbé Huguet, he lets the time pass to present his case in front the Congregation of the Council in Rome in the beginning of February 1911.

 [I A4]Madame Cavailhé de Cousan

 [i5]He may also have had a visit from Archduke Johann Salvator of Austria who also gave him money and who later disappeared. More on this later

 [I6]It is worth noting that the massacre at Montsegur took place two days after this.

 [I A7]Founder of the Lazarists

 [I8]These were probably not found by Sauniere although they do exist and are relevant.



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