Rose Croix Veritas

Les Bergere d'Arcadie John the Baptist SamHain Line

“The Republic is the work of the devil; the republicans have the blood of our kings on the hands. They want to cut down the Catholic Church and be-in-sure, if we leave them in place they will forward to their very ends”. 

Abbé Bérenger Saunière to his congregation October 1885.

One day Béranger Saunière's friend Antoine Beaux, curé of nearby Campagne-sur-Aude said to Saunière half jokingly-

"To see you living in such a style, old chap, one would think you'd found a treasure"

Saunière looked him straight in the eye and replied in the local language Occitan -

"Me l'han donat, l'hay panat, l'hay parat é bé le téni"

"I was shown it, I laid hands on it, I've put it somewhere safe and I'm holding on to it"

That statement was found in Béranger Saunière's personal papers.


It was preaching to his newly acquired congregation at Rennes le Chateau that put Bérenger Saunière into serious trouble with the church authorities. On the 30th October 1885 his bishop at Carcassonne received a complaint from the Minister of Religion René Goblet relating to “reprehensible behaviour” of four clerics in the Rennes le Chateau region during the electoral period. These other priests were the Abbé Tailhan curate of Roullens, Abbé Jean curate of Bourriège and the Abbé Delmas vicar of Alet and the suspension of all four priests came into force on the 2nd December 1885. In an article written on the 13th December 1885 the publication La Semaine Religieuse de Carcassone critised the suspension of these four clerics saying that the Prefect of the Aude had notified them of a Ministerial decision to suspend their salaries from the 1st December 1885. The decision for the French Catholic Church to suspend these four priests is odd when you consider what they did in light of the Papal Encyclical of Pope Leo XIII made the previous year on 8th February called Nobilissima Gallorum. The Papal letter was addressed to Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops of France saying that France was alienating itself from its past Catholic Traditions. The four wayward priests had been in fact merely been doing what they had been instructed to do by the Pope and the length of suspension is particularly harsh in this regard.   


It is not known what happened to the other priests but Saunière was sent to the Seminary at Narbonne in the early part of 1886 and Bishop Billard had given 200 francs to help him over this period in which he received no pay. During his exile in Narbonne however he found himself close to his brother Alfred who was then the tutor to the children of the Marquis de Chefdebien. The Marquis de Chefdebien had been a close friend of the recently deceased Count de Chambord, hereditary heir to the throne of France and with this chance meeting through his brother Bérenger Saunière life was to change. Count de Chambord was the grandson of Charles X of France; his real name was Henri-Dieudonne d’Artois, Duc de Bordeaux. It was his widow, the Countess de Chambord, formerly Maria-Theresa von Habsburg who gave Saunière the money to renovate the church at Rennes le Chateau and is said to have instructed Saunière to look for something in the environs of his church and the land on the western side of the village and she dispatched her relative Johann Stefan von Habsburg to Rennes le Chateau to monitor the progress. It was Charles X who expounded the Divine Right of royalty principle which was out of step with the new era of post revolutionary France. In October 1873 the Count de Chambord was in a fact offered the throne of France but only on the principle of the acceptance of the Tricolour flag and the dictates of the revolution. He refused and the offer was withdrawn in February 1875 and the Third Republic was officially proclaimed. It was into this situation that Saunière would find himself growing up and probably promoted his strong anti-republic views. After a long illness Count de Chambord died on 24th August 1883 and two years after Saunière made his speech condemning the Republic to his congregation as the work of the devil after taking office at Rennes le Chateau on the 1st June 1885. 

 Subnote: Maria Theresa von Habsburg (she gave money to Saunière) was a Dame of the Order of the Starry Cross

An all female pseudo-masonic Order exclusive to the Habsburgs.

The Order was started by Eleonora Gonzaga in 1668, she was a Holy Roman Empress. 

As we see from her name she was from the House of GONZAGA.

Her Great Grandfather Louis was listed as the 15th Grand Master of the Priory of Sion.

Her Great Great Grandfather Ferrante was the 14th Grand Master. He was a patron of Leonardo da Vinci.

There is some controversy over the death of Louis de Gonzaga who is buried in Mantua Cathedral.

Louis (also known as Louis de Nevers) was deeply associated with Giordano Bruno. who, according to Frances Yates, was involved in certain secret Hermetic societies which anticipated the ‘Rosicrucians’. In 1582, for example, Louis was in England, consorting with Sir Philip Sidney (author of Arcadia) and John Dee, the foremost English esotericist of his age. A year later Bruno visited Oxford and consorted with the same people, and, Frances Yates maintains, furthered the activities of their clandestine organisation.

The Chefdebien family have very strong Masonic connections and it was one of their number who created the Société de Philadelphes (also called THE OLYMPIANS “La Société Olympique” ) which dominated the occult scene around Narbonne. The story goes that whilst Bérenger Saunière’s brother Alfred was in their employ he stole a document from the Chefdebien household. This is not confirmed but what is definitely true is that Alfred was sacked from his job for some unspecified reason.


All of this occurred six years before things changed for Bérenger Saunière and perhaps all of these meetings and experiences were to alter his view regarding the specifics of his faith and his church, fuelled by a change in the dictates of the Papacy of Leo XIII, who received the Holy See in 1878 and who immediately came out in favour of the French Republic.


Indeed it does appear, as a few people have said, that Saunière found himself being used and handled by various networks to seek deposits”, the general view being that something of importance was secreted in or around Rennes le Chateau; important enough to warrant even Monasteries and Nunneries sending money and who would hardly need masses said for them by this back-woods village priest.


Much of the imagery in his church can be found repeated throughout this part of France but his lavish expenditure of what was known as the Belvedere is unique to Saunière. The likes of the Tour Magdala is not repeated anywhere neither is open greenhouse at the northern end of the magnificent walkway with gardens one side and a stunning view the other.


Grotte de la MadelieneAs one climbs up the spiral staircase of the Tour Magdala from Saunière’s library to the observation platform you get the view through that opening half way up the stairs. If one stops you can find the view shown above and in the foreground (arrowed) you will find the Grotte de la Madeleine also called the Grotte du Fournet (cave of the little oven). Is this looking back down the line of the scene shown by Saunière to the left of the frieze under the altar in the church? Would one looking back down this angle from that cave see the sun rise over Rennes le Chateau at the winter Solstice?


La Tour Magdala was Saunière's observation tower on the floor of the library within the tower he has taken upon himself to place precisely 64 tiles, this is repeated in the Villa Bethania and in his church. Once could be an accident, twice is a pattern, but three times is a program. To Saunière the placing of 64 tiles is clearly important and is shouting out some kind of Masonic symbolism which resembles a first degree tracing board borrowed from the Royal Arch degree. In Le Serpent Rouge these 64 tiles are mentioned the fourth verse called Taurus[I A1] . In Le Serpent Rouge[I A2]  it says that we must piece together these 64 cubes to find the looked for solution.


Saunière’s new construction throughout the last two decades of the 19th century and the first decade of the 20th century had been built exclusively on the western side of the village over what we are told had been formerly the site of the tombs of the ‘Seigneurs of Rennes’[I A3]  . In a letter written by the uncle of the Abbé Bigou, who had been the cure of Rennes le Chateau forty years before his nephew, it described a chamber beneath the chapel containing “tombs of the ancient kings and documents which must not fall into unintended hands”. As a consequence access to this chamber was sealed and probably resealed by Saunière. It is thought that stairs to some underground chamber may well exist immediately behind the pulpit under the very thick walls of the church.


Evidence for something being under the village is strong because shortly after the French President Francσis Mitterrand visited Rennes le Chateau he ordered the banning of the use of metal detectors in the village. Speculation is that he did this in order to forestall a comprehensive search by the Roman Catholic Church in the village and as we have seen all digging in the village is banned.

However it may be that the cellar has already been excavated and anything found has been removed.


There's a lot of smoke here and not a little fire too.  

 [I A1]Mentioned in association with Charles Perrault’s Sleeping Beauty.

 [I A2]Le Serpent Rouge is authored by three men who were later found hanged. It was published one month after the death of Fakhar al Islam

 [I A3]It has been suggested by some that, similar to St Sulpice in Paris, this was a Temple to Isis but there is no proof nor even evidence for this whatsoever


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