Archive for December, 2010


Emile Zola writes:

“When will they stop feeding us this rubbish!  These so-called clairvoyancy phenomena are only traps for the gullible, just good enough to impress illiterate bigots.”

Henriette Couedon

Mademoiselle Couedon’s star begins to dim.  Parisians are fickle and are always ready to burn their idols.

And then, one evening in May 1896, the Countess de Maille receives the cream of French aristocracy in her Paris salon.  There are more than one hundred guests bearing prestigious names.  Mme de Maille tells them:

“I have a surprise for you.  The famous clairvoyant, Mlle Couedon, is here…”

A bit shy, the young lady enters to applause and goes to sit in the centre of the salon.  Everyone considers her with amused curiosity.  As she is slow to start prophetising, they stamp their feet, chanting:

“Ecstasy!  Ecstacy!  Ecstasy!”

Then, the young clairvoyant suddenly falls back in her armchair and half-closes her eyes.  Her cheeks flush and she chants:

Near the Champs-Elysees

I see a place not raised

Which is not for piety,

But which approaches it

In a sound of charity

Which is not the truth.

She stops for an instant.  Her face contracts:

I see the fire rise

And the people scream,

Burnt flesh,

Calcinated bodies;

I see like heaps of them.

The clairvoyant sways.  She has to be supported.  When her weakness passes, Henriette says that all of the people who are listening to her will be spared.  Then she turns toward Count de Maille and announces to him that he will be touched, but “distantly”.   Before retiring, the young clairvoyant adds that after this fire, she sees the death of a great lord…

Ten minutes afterwards, all of Mme de Maille’s guests have gone back to their worldly chatting.

And one year later, almost to the day, on 4 May 1897, the Bazar de la Charite, installed Rue Jean-Goujon, near the Champs-Elysees, takes fire.  The crowd, panicked, runs screaming towards the too-narrow exits.  Some are crushed, others fight, and everything burns, everything is consumed, everything is calcinated.  There are more than one hundred dead, including the Duchess d’Alencon.

And, as Henriette predicted, none of Mme de Maille’s guests were among the victims.  As for the Count, he is in mourning for a distant cousin.

Then, on 7 May, three days after the catastrophe, the Duke d’Aumale dies in Sicily upon learning of the death of his niece, the Duchess d’Alencon…

***

Gaston Mery, a journalist, had been present at Mme de Maille’s reception, and had noted Mlle Couedon’s words immediately.  Count de Maille, himself, confirmed their exactitude in an article published by the newspaper Le Temps.

***

Mlle Couedon correctly predicted cyclones, railway catastrophes, duels between famous people, the disappearance of Felix Faure, the Russian Revolution…

***

She also made mistakes, for example, in announcing the return of a King in France.

***

In everyday life, Henriette Couedon was a happy, joyful, laughing, pious young girl, but in no way mystical.  She read a lot and her favourite author was not Saint John of the Cross or Nostradamus, but Jules Verne…  She had never been interested in occultism.  She was in very good health and had never suffered from any nervous troubles.  In other words, she was a wholesome, well-balanced young lady.  Then, one day, her parents went with her to visit a friend, the famous Mme O., whom we have mentioned.  This lady said that she was inspired by the Archangel Gabriel and had clairvoyancy gifts.  However, for some time, her gift seemed to be diminishing.  It is true that she made her clients pay her…

It is well-known that, very often, clairvoyants lose their gifts when they charge people money for using them…

On this particular day, Henriette was at Mme O.’s when, suddenly, she fell into an ecstasy which lasted several hours.  Afterwards, she recounted that the Archangel Gabriel, disgusted by seeing Mme O. commercialising her clairvoyance, had come to announce to her that she had been chosen as the Angel’s spokesperson.

***

Guy Breton does not believe in the intervention of the Archangel Gabriel in this story;  but he says that it is uncontestable that one day, for reasons which remain mysterious, Mlle Couedon’s comportment was completely transformed and she seemed to have acquired a certain clairvoyancy gift.

Mr Breton also thinks that anyone can predict that, in the weeks to come, there will be an earthquake somewhere, or a rail accident, the death of a famous man or social unrest…  Which is why he attaches no importance to anything that she may have predicted before and after the evening of May 1896.  But there is the extraordinary vision of the Bazar de la Charite fire.  If this had been the only thing that she had “seen”, her case would still have been intriguing.  For, at the time when she speaks about it, no project concerning a charity sale near the Champs-Elysees yet existed…

***

In the present state of our knowledge, it is impossible to explain how we are able to see a vision of a future event.  However, there is one explanation given by parapsychologists:  imagine a train turning around a mountain on its way to meet another train which is on the same line.  Neither of these two trains knows of the other’s existence.  They receive no alarm signal and their collision is certain.  However, their destiny is unknown to them.  While the catastrophe which is about to occur is absolutely obvious to an observer placed, for example, in an aeroplane, a few hundred metres above them.  The clairvoyant is perhaps a person who is situated on a superior level.

***

Some scholars have seriously studied these problems.  Among them, there is one of the greatest biologists of our time, Dr Alexis Carrel, Nobel prize-winner and author of L’Homme, cet inconnu.  Here are his conclusions:

“Certain individuals appear susceptible to travelling in time.  Clairvoyants perceive not only events which happen far away, but also past and future events.  It could be said that their conscience projects its tentacles just as easily into time as into space.  Or that, escaping physical continuum, they contemplate the past and the future, like a fly could contemplate a painting if, instead of walking on its surface, it flew a slight distance from it.  The facts of prediction of the future lead us to the brink of an unknown world.  They seem to indicate the existence of a principle capable of evolving outside our body’s limits.”

***

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Henriette Couedon

It is April 1896.  The weather is bright and sunny outside.  On the fourth floor of 40 rue de Paradis, Monsieur and Madame Couedon, who usually live a quiet life with their twenty-four year old daughter Henriette, have suddenly started receiving twenty to thirty people each day.  Henriette Couedon, a tall, dark-haired young lady with gentle eyes, is the medium through whom the Archangel Gabriel answers questions addressed to her.

[The Archangel Gabriel, unlike the other Archangels whose names we know, is considered to be oriented toward the feminine polarity, in the energetic sense.  Angels do not have reproductive sexes but, like everything else which exists, they have more positive (masculine) energy or negative (feminine) energy, according to the individual.  Gabriel is seen in all religions, except, curiously, christianism, as female.  So I shall refer to her as such.]

The number of daily visits gradually grows to one hundred.  The whole of Paris is talking about the clairvoyant of the Rue de Paradis.  Every day, she enters into ecstasy and prophetises.  She announces political events, railway catastrophes, the evolution of a case of smallpox or the birth of twins.  Henriette does not take payment for her work.  She considers that she has been chosen by Heaven and is accomplishing a mission.

Finally, journalists come to interview Henriette Couedon.  She explains to them in a joyful voice that she has been chosen by God to warn her contemporaries about the great events to come, and that she is inspired by Archangel Gabriel.

“When the Archangel speaks by my mouth, I hear nothing.  I don’t even hear the questions that she is asked and answers.  I am an instrument, nothing more.  At that moment, my personality disappears.  It is through my mother, and other witnesses, that I am informed of the diverse prophecies spoken through me, a lot of which have already come true.”

After these articles are printed, the Parisians literally rush to 40 rue de Paradis.  They squeeze into the minuscule entry to the Couedon’s residence;  they are on the landing, on the stairs, and overflow onto the footpath.  Small groups of them are introduced into a modest salon whose furniture has dust-covers and is decorated with a few statuettes and pious images.  They wait in silence, as if they are in church.  Some kneel on the rug.  Then, the young clairvoyant appears, smiling;  she greets the company with a few kind words and explains how things will happen:

“If you have questions to ask, address them to the Angel, not to me.  It is she who will answer you.  Do not be surprised if she uses [the familiar] “tu”. She doesn’t use “vous.  But you, out of respect, must not say “tu”…” 

[In French, the familiar second person singular is still used.  In English, it corresponds to “thee” and “thou”, etc. which has died out of everyday English, except in some country places in Great Britain, in certain religious communities in the United States, and of course, in church, where we still use rather elderly texts which include these words when we talk to God.  The French also use the familiar “tu” when talking to God, so Henriette’s recommendation seems a bit strange.]

After which, Mlle Couedon sits in an armchair and remains motionless.  Her hands grip the arms and, suddenly, her eyelids half-close, her irises disappear “as if her eyes turned to read inside herself”, as a witness puts it, and she speaks, or rather she chants rhythmed sentences of little, phonetically rhyming verses.  [I will translate without trying to make them rhyme]:

A cyclone will tremble,

It’s not far away.

Vesuvius will rise,

Then another nearby;

Volcanoes will explode,

I see some as if buried.

Then, after a short silence:

In a high house

Filled with rich people,

A little girl aged

Less than twelve

Will no longer have sore feet.

These sentences continue for a long time, in a monotonous voice.  When she has finished, the visitors ask questions and the Archangel Gabriel replies by the young girl’s mouth.  Sometimes, the Angel eliminates certain subjects.  For example, one day, a lady having asked if she will find her budgerigar, the Angel, very angry, declares that she will not answer such a frivolous question.

Soon, doctors, priests, scholars, politicians, and the famous Papus come to interrogate Mlle Couedon.  She announces to them the return of a king in France:

“He will be called Henri and will reign under the name of Henri V.”

All of the newspapers of course print this prediction and the whole country talks about it.  Then, we witness an extraordinary scene at 40 rue de Paradis:  Prince Henri d’Orleans, in person, comes to interrogate Henriette Couedon.  He mingles with the other visitors, waits an hour in the corridor, even opens the door to people who ring.  At last, he is received.  He wants to know if he is the one who will mount the French throne.  Gabriel, with angelic frankness replies “Not at all!” and the pretender to the throne leaves, with bowed head.

Two days later, it is a Naundorff, the brother of Henri de Bourbon, who presents himself at Mlle Couedon’s.  (The descendants of Naundorff took the name of Bourbon and created the branch known as “de la Survivance”.  They are pretenders to the French throne.)  He wants to know if his brother will be king.  The Angel replies:

I don’t see mounting

On the gilded throne

Your beloved brother;

The envied crown

Will not be his.

Naundorff goes away, very disappointed.

Then, France becomes passionately interested.  Edouard Drumont, Jules Claretie, Emile Zola get involved.  People want to know more about Mlle Couedon, and a journalist goes to visit a mysterious Mme O, clairvoyant herself, at whose home Mlle Couedon is supposed to have had her first ecstasy.  She says:

“Yes, it’s true, but you know that the Angel also speaks through my mouth every Wednesday.  Even better, Sir:  I see souls.  A person died the other day.  I knew, without leaving my home, the hour of his death – for I saw his soul pass…”

The reporter wants to know what a soul looks like.  He is told that it is like a little punch flame, flickering white and  blue…

This soul like a blue punch flame makes the journalists laugh.  Some think that Mlle Couedon, like Mme O., is crazy.

To be continued.

The following story has been very carefully studied for it happened to a writer, John W. Dunnes.  In Spring 1902, during the Transvaal War, Dunnes, affected to the 6th Regiment of Mounted Infantry, is camped near the ruins of Lindley.  One night, he has a dream that is rather unpleasant and of extraordinary intensity.  Here is his account:

“I was on a rise, in the proximity of the crest of a hill or mountain.  The ground was of singular whiteness.  Here and there were fine fissures and I could see jets of steam coming from them.  I recognized the place:  it was an island about which I had already dreamed, an island exposed to imminent peril because of a volcano.  Before these jets of steam rising from the ground :  “But it’s my island,” I cried, seized with fear;  it is going to explode, good God!”  And there I was seized with the frantic wish to save the 4,000 inhabitants (I knew the number), who were unaware of the danger.  Only one means of doing it:  evacuate them by sea.  But this was a frightful nightmare during which I saw myself on a neighbouring island, doing my best to requisition, through incredulous French authorities, all available embarcations to transport the inhabitants of the endangered island.  Sent from public servant to public servant, I was thrashing around so much that I woke myself – while still seeing myself clinging to the Mayor’s car as he was going to dine in town, asking me to come back the next day during working hours.  In this dream, the number of the menaced population was a constant obsession for me.  I repeated it to everyone and called to the Mayor, just as I was waking, this supreme appeal:  “Four thousand people will die if you don’t listen to me!”…

“About a week later, we received the newspapers, one week old.  The “Daily Telegraph” was amongst them and, having opened it, I found this:

“Great disaster in Martinique

Saint-Pierre swallowed by a volcanic eruption

Avalanche of fire makes more than 40,000 victims

English liner in flames.”

“In another column, I noticed the following title:  “A mountain explodes!”  then followed the report from the captain of a schooner forced to leave Saint-Vincent by a hail of sand coming from the volcano.  The article contained this sentence:  “Mount Pele exploded while we were sailing about one mile from the coast.”

“The narrator mentioned the spectacle of this mountain as it split, as it were, from its base to its summit.

“Here, I must make a remark.  The number of victims was, according to the communiques, not 4,000 as I kept saying in my dream, but 40,000.  I made the mistake of a zero.”

Later, Dunnes was to learn that the Mount Pele catastrophe had really made 12,517 victims, a number different to both the one in his dream and the one announced by the Daily Telegraph.  After that, we must ask ourselves the question, which he also asks, himself:  instead of having a vision, in his dream, of the volcanic eruption itself, didn’t he rather have a vision of the newspaper which had just appeared in London and contained all the details of the cataclysm?  This would explain why he spoke of 4,000 victims, the number which, except for a zero, was the figure which was printed on the first page of the Daily Telegraph

The assassination of the Archduke Ferdinand and the Archduchess of Austria

Finally, here is the last example of a particularly troubling premonitory dream:  in the night of 27 to 28 June 1914, Monsieur Joseph de Lanyi, Bishop of Grosswardein, dreamed that he saw on his work desk a letter bordered in black, bearing the arms of the Archduke Ferdinand of Austria.  (The prelate had been the Archduke’s Hungarian teacher.)  The next day he recounted:

“I opened this letter and at the top of the paper, I noticed a street into which an alley opened.  The Archduke was sitting in an automobile, with his wife.  Opposite him was a general and, on the seat beside the chauffeur, an officer.  Suddenly, two young people came out of the crowd and shot the couple.  I saw the Archduke collapse and the image disappeared.  Then, I read the letter:  “Dear Doctor Lanyi, I announce to you that I have just been, with my wife, in Sarajevo, the victim of a political crime.  We recommend ourselves to your prayers.”

“And it was dated from:  “Sarajevo, 28 June, 4 o’clock in the morning…””

Exactly nine hours later, the Archduke and the Archduchess were assassinated by Gavrilo Princip…

***

Monsieur Berard does not believe in premonitory dreams and has never been interested in what we call today paranormal phenomena.  However, it seems to him that his nightmare is connected to the drama in which Maitre Arnaud is the victim.  Finally, he talks about it to a friend to whom, three years before, he had recounted his bad night at the inn.  He tells him that he has the impression that he had witnessed an assassination – three years in advance.

His friend just shrugs his shoulders.  So, Mr Berard, who wants to find out if it is true, goes to find the judge who is in charge of the enquiry into the lawyer’s disappearance.  He knows this magistrate well.  He tells him that, for reasons which he will explain later, he is greatly interested in Me Arnaud’s disappearance, and he would like his authorisation to be present at the interrogation of the “Rendez-vous des amis” innkeepers.  The judge tells him that he is in luck.  The woman is to be heard a little later.  He invites his fellow magistrate to remain in his chambers.

Half an hour later, a guard ushers in the inn-keeper’s wife who sits down without recognizing Mr Berard.  Interrogated by the judge, she says that a traveller whose description corresponds to that of Me Arnaud – he had big side-whiskers – came to her inn on the evening of 24 August, but that he hadn’t spent the night there.  She adds:

“Anyway, there are only two chambers;  they are above the main room, and, that night, both of them were occupied by carters.”

The judge asks her if that is all that she has to declare.  She replies that that is all.

The clerk is about to read her statement back to her, when, suddenly, Mr Berard intervenes:

“And the third chamber?”

The woman gives him a nasty look.

“What chamber?”

“The one above the stable!”

The woman pales and the young magistrate continues:

“I am going to tell you how it all happened:  Me Arnaud slept in this third chamber.  During the night, you came with your husband, you, holding a lantern, he, holding a long knife.  You climbed the outside staircase, you opened the door which is hidden by a curtain;  your husband plunged his knife into the lawyer’s throat, then he stole his watch and his purse…”

The judge, thunderstruck, looks from his colleague to the woman, who seems terrified.  Mr Berard continues:

“Then, you took the cadaver, your husband holding the feet, you the shoulders, and you descended it to the courtyard.  To light you, your husband held the lantern’s ring with his teeth.  After which, you hid your victim’s body under a pile of dung…”

The innkeeper’s wife is livid, her hands are trembling.  She murmurs:

“You saw everything!”

Mr Berard agrees:

“Everything!”

Then the woman falls to her knees and confesses.

The next day, Me Arnaud’s body is found hidden under a pile of dung…

***

There are two sources for this story:  Mr Berard, himself, who published it in Revue des Revues of 15 September 1895;  and the Chief of the Surete, Goron, who related it in his Memoires.

***

This is a very exceptional case of premonition, for it is not just a vague impression, or one of those dreams whose symbols have to be interpreted by a Key to Dreams.  Mr Berard saw, in all its details, an assassination which would only be committed three years later…  This is more than a premonition:  it is a real vision of the future.

***

Many physicists emit the hypothesis of the co-existence of a past-present-future.  And time has been compared to a street down which we are travelling.  When we are at No 1, we cannot yet see the house at No 100.  But it already exists…  And when we are at No 100, No 1, which we have passed a long time ago, still exists…  It is a good image.

***

Our spirit often circulates in time while we are asleep.  This phenomenon happens more often than we think.  People often say “It’s never happened to me”,  but how do they know that?  Imagine, for example, that you have seen your own death in a childhood dream.  You were not struck by it at the time.  How could you have guessed that this old man or woman who is dying, was yourself seventy years later?

Doctor Richet says:  “Most of our dreams have a documentary value that we don’t even suspect.”

***

All premonitory dreams unfortunately do not have the precision of that of Mr Berard.  But they still remain troubling, even when they need to be interpreted.  Here are a few examples:

On 29 July 1589, Henri III dreams that the royal ornaments:  crown, tunics, blue satin mantel, sceptre and Hand of Justice, all bloody, are trampled by monks.  Three days later, on 1 August, he is assassinated by the monk Jacques Clement.

In the night of 13 to 14 May 1610, Henri IV dreams that he sees a rainbow over his head.  When he wakes, he talks about it to those around him.  Someone says that it is a very bad sign.  Throughout the ages, this dream has always meant violent death.  The King was advised not to leave the palace that day…

Henri IV shrugs his shoulders and, at ten minutes past four, he passes through the Rue de la Ferronnerie where he is assassinated by Ravaillac…

In the night of 17 to 18 June 1815, Napoleon dreams that a black cat twice runs from one army to the other, and sees his regiments torn to pieces.  He wakes, panting, thinking that this dream announces treason and defeat.  A few hours later, the Grand Army is annihilated in the plain of Waterloo…

In April 1865, a few days before being assassinated, Abraham Lincoln tells his wife and one of his friends about a dream that he had had.  He is walking through all of the rooms of the White House without meeting anyone;  but while walking, he can hear the sound of sobbing.  When he penetrates the East Room, he sees a great gathering, in mourning.  At the centre of the room there is a catafalque, on which reposes a dead person in ceremonial costume.   Soldiers are mounting guard around it.  He approaches and asks who, in the White House, has died.  One of the soldiers tells him that it is the President, who has been assassinated.  Then, he hears the crowd moan, which wakes him.  He doesn’t sleep any more that night.  He knows that it is only a dream, but the vision obsesses him.

Three days later, The President is shot by Booth…

To be continued.

Judge Berard’s nightmare

At the beginning of August 1885, a young magistrate from Privas, Monsieur Berard, who is later elected Deputy for Ardeche, comes for a week’s rest to Vals, which is then a quiet little town, where a few people with drawn faces walk in the cool shade of the trees, after having drunk or bathed in the mineral waters.  Every morning, the magistrate leaves his hotel, a map of the region under his arm, and goes for a long walk in the surrounding forests.  He is a good walker and can cover twenty-five to thirty kilometres in one day.

One evening, he gets lost in the woods and ends up, at nightfall, on a deserted road where a sign indicates that he is ten kilometres away from Vals.  He is tired – he has just walked for six hours – he is hungry, he is thirsty, he feels a bit discouraged.  After a short pause, he sets off anyway.

He has walked less than a kilometre when, to his relief, he sees an inn.  A very modest inn, rather miserable even, a sort of stop-over for carters, which bears the sign “Au rendez-vous des amis” (Friends’ Meeting Place).  He enters.  The room is dark and smells of smoke and greasy food.  The inn-keeper, built like Hercules, has an evil face and a yellow complexion.  His wife, a little prune with greasy hair, completes the picture with dirty hands, black fingernails and shifty eyes.

Neither of them greets Mr Berard.

After this rather bad impression, the magistrate goes to sit at a table and tries to look amiable.  He asks if he can dine and sleep there that night.  The inn-keeper growls that it might be possible, if he has money.  The magistrate assures him that he has a little money on him, pulls a few coins from his pocket and puts them on the table.

The inn-keeper takes them, telling him that, in his inn, people pay in advance.  He counts the coins and decides that there is enough money.

Dinner, served in chipped, badly-washed plates, is disgusting.  When he has finished, Mr Berard sees his hostess approaching, a candle in her hand.  She studies him suspiciously.  He has no luggage.  The magistrate explains that he is on foot.

The woman leads him down a long corridor, then up a steep staircase to a shabby, smelly chamber, situated above the stable.  As soon as he is alone, he locks the door, lies down and, tired from his long walk, falls into a deep sleep.

During the night, he has an appalling nightmare.  He is standing with his back against the wardrobe, in the same inn chamber.  An unknown man, with side-whiskers, is in his place in the bed and is sleeping peacefully.  Suddenly, still in his nightmare, the magistrate hears creaking coming from outside.  Anguished, he rushes to put a table in front of the door and pushes against it.  But the creaking gets louder and Mr Berard watches in horror as a curtain on the other side of the room slowly moves aside, revealing a second door, open onto the night.

This door, whose existence he had not even suspected, permits communication with the courtyard by an outside staircase.  The curtain slides farther and the magistrate sees the inn-keeper appear, a long knife in his hand.  Behind him, his wife veils the light of the lantern with her black fingers.  They both approach the bed on tip-toe, then the inn-keeper plunges his knife into the throat of his victim and takes his watch and well-filled purse.  He then returns to the bed and grabs the cadaver by the feet.  He tells his wife to take the shoulders.

The woman is going to obey but she is encumbered by the lantern.  Her husband says that he will hold it with his teeth.

Finally, both of them, carrying the dead man, descend the staircase, by the light of the lantern dangling under the assassin’s chin.

Horrified, the magistrate sees them cross the courtyard and go towards a pile of dung, under which they bury their victim.

Then he cries out, and this cry wakes him with a start.  He is perspiring, panting.  He looks around him.  It is daylight, the August sun inundates the chamber.  All is calm.  However, his nightmare is still very much present.  He rises and, to reassure himself completely, goes to pull aside the curtain at the other end of the room.  He then discovers, with a fluttering heart, that behind the curtain, there really is a door.  He opens this door and sees that there is a staircase and that this staircase is the exact one that he had seen in his nightmare.

Very nervous, Mr Berard dresses, descends for a cup of coffee in the inn’s main room and takes off towards Vals.

Three years pass.  And one morning, the magistrate reads the following brief article in his newspaper:

“The bathers and population of Vals are greatly affected by the sudden, incomprehensible disappearance of Maitre Victor Arnaud, the lawyer whose eloquence and famous side-whiskers are well-known to those who frequent our courts.  Eight days ago, Me Arnaud left for a walk of a few kilometres in the mountains;  he has not returned to his hotel.”

These lines trouble the magistrate who cannot refrain from connecting it to his fabulous nightmare.  So, three days later, his emotion is even stronger when he reads this in his newspaper:

“Partial traces have been found of Maitre Victor Arnaud.  On the evening of 24 August, he was seen by a carter in an isolated inn “Au rendez-vous des amis”.  He was preparing to spend the night there.  The inn-keeper who, until now, had not mentioned his traveller, has been interrogated.  He says that the man left the same evening and did not sleep at his inn.”

To be continued.

The little girl, looking into the glass of water to see Louis XIV’s death, does not see either his son, the Dauphin, or his grandson, the Duke de Bourgogne, near him.  As well as the other people whom she has already described, she sees only a little boy around five years old, whom a lady is holding by the hand…

Philippe, Duke d'Orleans

When Philippe, Duke d’Orleans, recounts this to his friend, the Duke de Saint-Simon, he asks his opinion of it.  The Duke replies that it is all a lot of rot and

“What is this little boy doing at the King’s bedside, when neither his son nor his grandson are there?”

Philippe explains that they had insisted a great deal…  But that she definitely did not see them.  Saint-Simon wants to know whether she saw the Duke d’Orleans.  Philippe replies that of course she did, but that there was one other thing… 

He asks the magician what would happen to himself after the King’s death…  The wise man asks him if he isn’t afraid to see himself.  Philippe replies that he isn’t…  So, the magician then places himself in front of a wall and delivers himself to new incantations.  After ten or fifteen minutes, Philippe sees his own face on the wall.  Dressed in unknown clothes.

All those around him are able to surmount their fear and recognize the Duke d’Orleans in this vision…  But the strangest part is that he is wearing a crown.  It is neither the crown of France, nor that of Spain, nor of England.  It has four circles and is open-cut at the summit.  The Duke has never seen a crown like it before.  Saint-Simon tells him:

“Be careful that this crown does not go to your head…  and leave this satanical trickery alone!”

This surprising vision took place in 1706.  And the little girl saw exactly what would happen, nine years later at the King’s death.  In 1715, in Louis XIV’s mortuary chamber, neither his son, the Grand Dauphin, nor his grandson, Louis de France, Duke de Bourgogne, the eldest son of the Grand Dauphin, were present.  This memorable reign ended in the sadness of mourning, bankruptcy and wars continually restarting.

And a hecatomb without precedent of all the Princes of the Blood.  The Grand Dauphin, Louis XIV’s elder son, is a mediocre prince whom his father removes from the kingdom’s business.  He dies in 1711, a victim of smallpox.  His younger son, the Duke de Bourgogne, dies the following year from malignant measles a few days after his wife, Adelaide de Savoie.

Dreadfully saddened, Louis XIV then declares his great-grandson, Louis, Duke de Bretagne, aged five, Dauphin de France.  The next day, the child falls ill and dies almost immediately.  Charles, Duke de Berry, the Grand Dauphin’s third son, having become the heir, succumbs, probably from the consequences of a fall from a horse, in 1714.  There remains Philippe, the second son of the Grand Dauphin;  but he is King of Spain since 1700 and “although there are no longer any Pyrenees”, he cannot mount the French throne…

As for the little boy holding his governess’ hand, he is a little orphan, the Duke d’Anjou, the son of the Duke de Bourgogne, therefore Louis XIV’s great-grandson, and future Louis XV, known as the Bien-Aime (Well-Loved).

The famous crown, which is only an abstraction of a real crown, is soon to be worn, we could say, by the Duke d’Orleans when he becomes the Kingdom’s Regent, at the death of the Sun King in 1715.

It is therefore understandable that he is troubled in 1706, and that Saint-Simon is sceptical.  The great memorialist, faithful to his reputation for being a sincere man, concludes this case of clairvoyancy by saying that he is the last one to approve of occult practices.  But that this story appeared so extraordinary to him that he feels that he should tell us about it…

***

The Duke d’Orleans’ contemporaries suspected him of having eliminated family members closer to the throne than himself, so as to approach his own family to it.  The Grand Century was shaken by terrible stories of sorcery, poisons and black masses.  The memory of Madame de Montespan, compromised in 1680 in the Case of the Poisons beside the sinister Voisin, is still in everyone’s minds.  But it seems that it was only gossip and that these insinuations were not supported by any proof.  Such acts did not in any way correspond, either, to the Duke d’Orleans’ character.

Of course, Philippe had no morality.  But his immorality, which was deep-seated, his intelligence, were ever only put at the service of his pleasures.  The opposite of his uncle, the Sun King, he was absolutely without a purposeful mind or any real ambition.  He was however a courageous Prince (he showed that at the Battle of Neerwinden), courteous and generous, and it is difficult to see him in the role of a Nero…

***

It was Louis XIV’s will that the Duke d’Orleans become Regent.  He decides it five days before he dies.  This excludes even more the hypothesis of any responsibility on Philippe’s part in these deaths…

***

Saint-Simon, who reports this vision, is only a second degree witness.  But he is also the most precise and the most conscientious witness of Louis XIV’s century.

***

Saint-Simon does not believe in magic.  Magic even horrifies him.  He is a recalcitrant witness, very little disposed to bring grist to the occultists’ mill.  He is the best witness that can be found.  If he reports this story in his Memoires it is because it has made a profound impression of truth on him.  It is in fact the uncomfortable feeling that this story gives him, that makes him want to exorcise it…

***

Louis XIV is unable to believe in magic because he is very pious.  He had been raised by his mother and his preceptors with very strict Christian principles.  And the Church forbids people to believe in it.  Louis XIV’s century is the century of the triumphant Church.  In its eyes, clairvoyancy is a pagan practice…  Throughout the whole of Antiquity, it was normal to consult oracles and soothsayers.  Then the Church assimilated these practices to diabolism.  But of course paganism did not disappear altogether.  This is why there are still soothsayers.

***

During the XVIIth Century, magic and sorcery lived beside the most fanatical bigotry.  There were about 300 deviners in Paris whom the nobles and city-dwellers often went to consult.

***

Saint-Simon does not give the name of the soothsayer in this story.  He is not a professional and he goes beyond clairvoyancy.  He projects images onto a wall…

***

Parapsychology is making great progress today.  People are seeking to explain clairvoyancy through physics.  There is some research being done on the structure of time….

There is an attempt to find out if time does not have two senses…  In other words, if instead of only flowing from the past to the future, it can also flow the opposite way…  Clairvoyancy could therefore just be information which comes to us, not from the past , but from the future.  Louis Pauwels proposes the following formula to speak about this notion:  in clairvoyancy or in premonitions, we have waves of memory.  But they are very particular memories:  they are memories of the future

***

Philippe, Duke d'Orleans

One evening in 1706, the Duke d’Orleans gives a supper for his friends.  Underneath his windows, in the Palais-Royal gardens, an orchestra attacks a gavotte.  This is the signal for the arrival of stuffed eels, chapons en croute and largely “ripened” game – the Duke likes it like that for its tonic virtues – onto the future Regent’s table.  The queen of the evening is an actress, Mademoiselle Adrienne Lecouvreur, whose last play is a triumph.  Mostly because of the Duke’s debauched friends who went to applaud her very loudly…

Once again, the Duke begins a war story in which he was the hero in Italy a few years before.

The ladies, in low-cut dresses of the fashionable sky-blue, have moved nearer.  Lovingly, Philippe d’Orleans’ mistress, the ardent Marie-Louise de Siry, drapes herself over his shoulder.

As for his debauched friends, flanked by their catamites and their demi-mondaines, they are thinking only of leaving for the Opera ball…

Monsieur de Saint-Simon, whose piety is offended by the end-of-meal conversation, discretely leaves.

The supper crowd is having a lot of fun at the Duke d’Orleans’ Palais-Royal home.  Far from Versailles where the Sun King is declining under the influence of that nightcap called Madame de Maintenon…

Darkness has now completely descended on the palace.  The Duke has retired to his mistress’ boudoir with a few of his inner circle.  Through a hidden door, a strange-looking man is shown in.  His breeches are very worn and he stinks of tobacco.  This man passes himself off as a magician capable of reading the past, the present and the future.  His only instrument is a glass filled with water…

For a long moment, the man remains bent over the glass, doing strange things…  Perspiration trickles down his pallid face.  He says in a raucous voice:

“A child, I need a child”.

In spite of the late hour, they send for the daughter of one of the domestics, woken anyway, by the noise of the supper.  She is eight years old and does not seem very bright.  She was born in the palace and has never left it.

The magician strokes her chin and places his hand on her head.  He then pronounces confused incantations.  The little girl leans over the glass…  The magician says:

“Let us try to begin with the present.  Tell us what is happening right at this moment at the home of Madame de Nancre.  Come along!  Tell us, child!…”

The little girl then tells what she sees…

The Duke loves occult sciences.  It is the only thing that he takes seriously…  But, as he has often been tricked, he remains sceptical, at first.  He discretely sends one of his valets to Madame de Nancre’s, which is close by.  He tells him:

“Run over there and have a good look around.  Examine in detail how the furniture is disposed and all that is happening right now.  Then come back and whisper in my ear what you have seen…”

The valet rushes out, registers as much as he can and, as he is very alert, comes back to Philippe and gives him a whispered detailed description.  The Duke then says:

“Right…  I want the little girl to watch what is happening right now at Madame de Nancre’s, in the glass.”

The child, who has never set foot inside this lady’s home, describes the salon with the precision of someone who is there.  She enumerates all of the furniture, even indicating how it is placed, and what people are walking through the rooms.  She describes everything as she would if she were hiding in a corner of the grand salon, this person’s face, this other one’s gestures, the clothes that the guests are wearing, whether they are seated or standing.  She indicates in particular that there are two gaming tables well-separated and she recounts in length the comportment of the players and that of the spectators.

The next day, Philippe d’Orleans reports this prodigy to the Duke de Saint-Simon.  The author of the famous Memoires is very religious.  It is not rare for him to lock himself up with the Trappist monks for a retreat.  Magicians horrify him.  He doesn’t hide his opinion and asks the Duke, who is also his confidant and friend:

“Why do you amuse yourself with these mysteries?  You should occupy yourself with more serious things!…”

Philippe replies:

“Wait!  I’ve only told you the beginning of my story.  Now, it becomes really interesting!”

And Philippe recounts the end of his evening.

The strange man says:

“Now this little girl is going to see things of the future in the glass of water.  What do you want her to see, Excellency?”

Philippe does not hesitate.  He wants her to see what will happen at the King’s death.  The magician says that she will not be able to reveal the date, but that she will show them all of the circumstances.

Louis XIV's death-bed

The little girl, who has never seen Versailles, describes the details of Louis XIV’s chamber.  She then shows the Sun King stretched out on his death-bed, enumerates the high-ranking people who are keeping watch over the body and she paints their portraits.  They recognise Madame de Maintenon, Madame, the King’s sister, the Duchess d’Orleans and even a little child whom she describes with more vivacity because she has already seen him in the apartments of Mademoiselle de Siry.

When one of them moves, she follows him or her with her eyes and describes it…  With such precision and naturalness that the people present are fascinated.

They are listening with extreme attention because there, in front of the eyes of this innocent little girl, the kingdom of the greatest King of all time is hovering.

And they are astonished.  Because nowhere around the dead King, does the little girl distinguish the Princes of the Blood.  She speaks of neither My Lord, the King’s son, Grand Dauphin de France, nor of his grandson Monsieur, the Duke de Bourgogne.  Philippe d’Orleans presses her to look again.

To be continued.

[Pope John-Paul II was still on Saint Peter’s throne when Guy Breton wrote this text, so his comments on the Pope’s then unknown successor do not take Benedict’s XVI’s election into account.]

After John-Paul II, the Saint Malachie prophecy mentions only two more Popes.  And only the first has been given a motto.  He is designated by these words:  De gloria olivae (The glory of the olive tree).  It can be inferred, the olive tree being the symbol of peace, that this Pope, coming after a very agitated period filled with wars, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and possibly atomic explosions, will be a Pope of peace.

However, his pontificate will doubtless only correspond, for Humanity, to a last moment of respite before the final catastrophe…

The last Pope will close the cycle, for he will take the name of Saint Peter.  The Saint Malachie prophecy calls him Petrus Romanus…  So, if Saint Malachie is to be believed, Humanity appears to be nearing its end, for the prediction closes with this grandiose but frightening vision:

“At the time of the supreme persecution of the Holy Roman Church, Peter of Rome will be seated on the pontifical throne.  He will lead the flock through multiple tribulations.  After which, the City of the Seven Hills (Rome) will be destroyed and the redoubtable judge will come to judge men…”

[Guy Breton then proceeds to calculate when this will occur.]

If we admit that the average length of a pontificate is ten years, the calculation is easy.  John-Paul II was elected in 1978, so we can situate Peter of Rome’s reign – and therefore the end of the world – around the year 2000… which would rather curiously correspond to other predictions.  The chronology of the Great Pyramid does not go beyond 2001 and Nostradamus situates a terrible war in 1999 and – among other things – the destruction of Paris by a people from the East…

***

It might not be the end of the world, but only that of a world:  the world of christianism…

We know that christianism has corresponded, for around two thousand years, to the Pisces era which we have just left.  We are now in the Aquarius era;  it is probable that a new religion will appear.  But the change will not take place without upheaval…

***

The fact that the prophecy was unknown to Saint Malachie’s contemporaries does not in any way prove that he was not its author.  He could very well have not wanted to divulge it during his lifetime.

***

Arnold de Wyon does not say where he found the prophecy.  And this rather pleads in his favour.  For, as Andre Maury wrote in an excellent study on our subject, “it would have been easy to say that he had found it in Flanders, in some convent library which had since been destroyed by the Protestants”…  As for the mixture of Popes and antipopes…

An antipope is a Pope who is irregularly elected by an ecclesiastical faction or by a political party and is not recognized by the Church.  Between the IIIrd and the XVth Centuries, there were thirty-five of them…  But in the Saint Malachie prophecy, which concerns the pontiffs having reigned since 1143, there are only ten mottos applying to these antipopes.

This does not prove that the prophecy is a fake.  On the contrary.  For if Arnold de Wyon had written the prophecy, he would not have committed this confusion, knowing pertinently which were the real and false popes.

***

There remains the Pope who was elected instead of Arnold de Wyon’s friend, and supposedly gratified with a name which didn’t suit him.  Let us say that De antiquitate urbis (Of the antiquity of the town) suited him less well than it suited Cardinal Simoncelli.  For the Pope elected in his place, Gregoire XIV, had been Archbishop of Milan, a city founded six centuries before the present era.  As Andre Maury says:

“If it isn’t the ancient town, it is at least an ancient town…”

There is one important fact which pleads in favour of Wyon.  He didn’t publish the prophecy in 1590, at the moment when it could have served Simoncelli, but five years later, in 1595, that is to say, at an epoch when this text, if it were a fake, would have been of no use and even risked, as Andre Maury says, “making his dishonesty explode in the sight of the whole of Christendom!”

***

The Saint Malachie prophecy is probaby real.  If not, we must then admit that, if Arnold de Wyon is its author, this Benedictine had a gift of prophecy.  How can the extraordinary concordance of the mottos with each of the Popes be otherwise explained?

***

The Jesuit Father Menestrier’s categoric tone begins to trouble Christendom.  It is suddenly found to be bizarre that Saint Malachie’s prophecy had only been known four hundred and fifty years after his death and that the Irishman’s contemporaries – among them, Saint Bernard who is so prolix about his friend’s life – never mentioned it.  And many people begin to consider Malachie’s text as a fake created for political purposes by Arnold de Wyon.

Then, two years after the publication of Father Menestrier’s fulminant brochure, Pope Alexander VIII dies.  The Jesuit’s friends, who know that the deceased Pope’s successor is designated in the prophecy by the motto Rostrum in porta (The rake of the doors) sneeringly await the results of the papal election.  Their laughter freezes when they discover that the Conclave has elected Cardinal Pignatelli del Restello (rake), whose castle is situated at Naples’ town gates (doors)…

… And ever since, each new Pope continues to exactly justify the surname given to him in the “prophecy”.

We cite only a few examples:  Flores circum dati (The circled flowers):  Clement XI, whose arms are a floral crown;  Rosa Umbriae (The Rose of Umbria);  Clement XIII, who had been Governor of Rieti, in Umbria, whose symbol is the rose;  Ursus velox (Rapid bear):  Clement XIV, whose paternal House bore the sign of a running bear;  Peregrinus apostolicus (The apostolic pilgrim);  Pius VI, who distinguished himself by many European trips;  Aquila rapax (The rapacious eagle);  Pius VII, whom we know had problems with Napoleon I;  De balneis Etruriae (Of the Etrurian baths):  Gregoire XVI, who belonged to the Camaldules Order, founded in the XIIth Century by Saint Romuald in Balneo (which means “baths”), in Etruria, today’s Tuscany;  Crux de cruce (The cross of the cross):  Pius IX, who was stripped of his temporal patrimony by the House of Savoie whose arms bear a cross;  Lumen in caelo (A light in the sky):  Leon XIII, who had in his family’s coat of arms a comet on an azur background;  Religio depopulata (Religion depopulated):  Benoit XV, who was the Pope of the Great War of which it can be said that it depopulated Christendom;  Fides intrepidita (The intrepid Faith):  Pius XI, who was the Pope of the missions, sorted out the Roman question and condemned National Socialism, racism and atheist Communism.

The mottos which concern the contemporary Popes are also troubling.  Pastor angelicus (The angelical Pastor)  applies perfectly to Pius XII, born in Rome right next to the famous Saint Angelo Bridge.  Pastor et nauta (Pastor and nautical man) designates John XXIII who had been Archbishop of Venice (a very nautical city) and possessed nautical attributes in his arms.  It is to be noted, as well, that with the Vatican II Council, he takes control of Saint Peter’s boat and changes the Church’s direction…

The successor to John XXIII is designated as Flos Florum (The flower of flowers), that is to say, in heraldic language, the fleur de lys.  On 12 June 1963, the Conclave elects Cardinal Montini, Archbishop of Milan, who takes the name Paul VI.  It is then noticed that the arms of the Archbishop of Milan bear three fleurs de lys

The following Pope is attributed, in the Saint Malachie prophecy, the motto:  De medietate Lunae (Of half of the Moon).  This is John-Paul I of whom it is noted that he was born in the dioscese of Belluno, a word close to belluna which in Italian means “beautiful moon”, and that he is called Albino Luciano, a name which can be translated by “white light man”…

But certain exegetes, notably Joelle de Gravelaine, propose another interpretation.  For them, “Of half of the moon” signifies the Islamic Crescent Moon whose growing importance risks constituting a menace for the Western World.

And, an extremely important thing happened one week after John-Paul I’s election:  Iran, under pressure from the Shi’ites, led in France by Ayatollah Khomeiny, abandoned the Darius calendar for that of Islam, the first step toward a revolution which would soon cause the upheaval of the whole of the Middle-East and shake the world…

Then, when John-Paul I dies one evening in the last quarter of the moon, it is noticed that his reign, from 3 to 28 September, had lasted exactly one half-moon…

[I was very slightly acquainted with John-Paul I’s first cousin who lives in France and has had French nationality since the age of twelve.  This remarkable man, Celino, shares his paternal grandfather and his surname (which can be translated as “man of light”) with his cousin the Pope, but received his own healing powers through his maternal grandfather in Italy.  Celino works as a healer in France, using only his first name.  He is officially known as a parapsychotherapist and is considered by some to be a saint.  (Which makes “the saint” very angry – bright red-faced angry.)  He has been feeling other people’s physical pain in his own body since around the age of ten.  His life has been dedicated to helping others to heal.  Some enlightened doctors even consult him about difficult cases because he knows all about healing foods and plants.  A documentary film entitled La main d’or (The golden hand) was made about him a few years ago.  It took the film’s director five years to convince his subject to accept that it be made.  Celino and all of the rest of John-Paul I’s family are convinced that the Pope’s sudden death was due to poison.  The Vatican has of course denied this.]

The two hundred and seventy-fourth successor to Saint Peter has for motto in Saint Malachie’s prophecy:  De labore Solis (Of the work of the Sun).  On 16 October 1978, the Conclave elects Cardinal Karol Wojtyla who takes the name John-Paul II.  Immediately, it is noted that the new Pontiff comes from Poland, that is to say from Eastern Europe, which for Western Europeans is the point where the sun rises…  To this rather simplistic explanation, can be preferred the one proposed by certain authors who see in De labore Solis the ideal motto for this Pope who arrives at an epoch when, petrol resources becoming exhausted, the West turns to other energy sources, notably solar energy…

To be continued.

The Saint Malachie Prophecy

Kings and emperors only receive a “surname”, or nickname, after having reigned sufficiently to be known – which is logical.  How else could it have been known that Louis X would be “hutin”, or angry, Jean II good, Louis XIV great, etc.?…  It is not the same for Popes who were “labelled” once and for all, almost nine centuries ago, in a curious prophecy attributed to the Irish monk Saint Malachie.

Experience has proven that each of the surnames proposed by the author of the prophecy corresponds admirably to the character of its bearer and marvellously resumes his pontificate.

Who is this Saint Malachie whose mysterious text intrigues theologians and of whom there is no trace in the calendar of the saints?  History tells us that he lived in the XIIth Century, in Ireland, where he was a monk, and that his great intelligence had him noticed by his superiors.  At the age of thirty-two, he is Bishop, at thirty-nine, Archbishop, at forty-eight Pontifical Legate.

In 1138, he goes to Rome where Pope Innocent II offers him his own mitre to show in what high estime he holds him.  On his way home, he stops at Clairvaux and meets one of the greatest men of this time, and perhaps of all time:  Saint Bernard.  The two monks get along so well that, when the Irishman goes back to France, a few years later, he stops again at Clairvaux.  But a strong fever seizes him and, after a few days, he expires in the arms of Saint Bernard.  He is fifty-four years old.

This is all that History tells us, if we keep to what is said by Saint Malachie’s contemporaries.  As we can see, at no moment is any prophecy mentioned.

***

However, four and a half centuries later, in 1590, a Benedictine in the Mount Cassin Abbey, Arnold de Wyon, reveals to the world the existence of a prophetic text by the Irish saint, concerning the Popes.  He says:

“Saint Malachie composed a list of surnames suiting the one hundred and eleven Popes succeeding each other from 1143 to the end of the world.  These surnames define them so well that it is a true prophecy, written under divine inspiration.”

This revelation is greatly discussed, particularly as Pope Urbain VII has just died and his successor is about to be chosen.  Arnold de Wyon exhorts the members of the Conclave not to bother searching because

“the one whom you should elect according to God’s will is clearly designated in this text”.

Intrigued, the cardinals read the “prophecy” and notice that the surnames given by Saint Malachie correspond perfectly to what is known of the Popes who succeeded each other from 1143 to 1590.

The first, Celestin II, Malachie’s contemporary, is designated by these words :  Ex castro Tiberis (From the Tiber castle).  And he is called Guy du Chatel (castle) and was born in Titerna, on the Tiber.  His successor, Lucius II, is surnamed Inimicus expulsus (enemy expulsed), and his family name, Caccia Nemici, signifies “chases the enemy”.  The following, Eugene III, is designated by Ex magnitudine montis (From the mountain’s grandeur), and he was born in Montemagno (the great mountain), near Pisa.  Adrien IV has the label De rure Albo (From the Albe field).  Not only was he English, that is to say a child of Albion, but he was born of farmer parents in the little town of Saint-Alban and was named Cardinal Albano by Eugene III…  Innocent III has for sign Comes signatus (the signed count), which suits him perfectly as he belonged to the line of the Counts of Signy and, according to certain documents in the Avignon archives, he had a dream revealing to him his future as Pope, that is to say a “sign”.  Gregoire IX is called Avis Ostiensis (the bird of Ostie) and we know that, as Cardinal-Bishop of Ostie, he had an eagle on his arms.  Etc.

The Benedictine shows the members of the conclave how Saint Malachie designates Urbain VII’s successor, the one that they should choose:  De antiquitate urbis (From the antiquity of the town)…

There just happens to be someone to whom this surname exactly applies for he was born at Orvieto – whose etymology is:  urbs vetus (the old town).  It is Cardinal Simoncelli…  Who just happens to be a close friend of Arnold de Wyon.

Does this troubling fact make the cardinals wary?  We don’t know.  But one fact is certain:  Cardinal Simoncelli is not elected.  This failure does not stop Arnold de Wyon from publishing Saint Malachie’s text five years later, accompanied by a commentary.

***

For a century, no-one questions the authenticity of the document discovered by the Mount Cassin Benedictine.  On the contrary, it is considered sacred, and the surnames continue to perfectly fit the pontiffs who succeed each other.

But, in 1689, a real bomb explodes.  A Jesuit, Father Menestrier, in a work entitled:  Refutation de la prophetie des papes, clearly declares that the list of surnames attributed to Saint Malachie is a fake created by Arnold de Wyon with the aim of having his friend, Cardinal Simoncelli, elected.

On what does he found such an affirmation?  On four reflections.  To wit.:

1.  That no-one had mentioned this prophecy before Arnold de Wyon.

2.  That the list attributed by the Benedictine to Saint Malachie comports errors in dates and a dreadful mixture of Popes and antipopes.

3.  That, if the surnames perfectly apply to the Popes who reigned from 1143 to 1590, the year in which Arnold de Wyon revealed the existence of the prophecy, it must be recognized that the motto De antiquitate urbis, which is perfect for Cardinal Simoncelli, does not at all suit Pope Gregoire XIV who had been preferred by the conclave.

4.  That, if the following surnames seem to be right, it is because they are so vague that they can apply to any pontiff…

A few monks defend Arnold de Wyon and point out, with reason, that since 1590, most of the mottos exactly correspond to the Popes who bear them, notably Lilium et rosa (The lily and the rose) for Urbain VIII whose pontificate is marked by the alliance of England’s rose with France’s lily during the Thirty Years War;  Jucunditas crucis (The joys of the cross) for Innocent X, elected Pope on the day of the Exaltation of the Cross;  Sidus olurum (The star of the swans) for Clement IX, born near the river Stellata (star) and who occupies the Swan Chamber at the Conclave where he is elected, and many others;  but Father Menestrier shuts them up by saying that it is all pure coincidence…

To be continued.

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