The story of Rennes le Chateau started when Henry Lincoln read a thriller by a French author. In the story the treasure of the title had been found around 1891 by the priest after he deciphered some old documents hidden in the local church. That priest was Berenger Sauniere who had been the priest since 1885. The church sits on top of a hill about 40 kilometers from Carcassonne in France.
Crumbling Church Mysteriously Resurrected
The church dedicated to Mary Magdalene was almost in ruins when Sauniere arrived. Having raised some money the priest started restoration around 1887. By moving a heavy stone that served as the altar Sauniere found that one stone pillar supporting the slab was hollow and contained four parchments. Two of them detailed a genealogy while the other two presented enigmatic writings that, once deciphered by experts in Paris, allowed Sauniere to obtain some very strange messages.
Priest Becomes Art Collector In Paris
While in Paris the priest bought reproductions of a few paintings including The Shepards Of Arcadia. The painting from shows some people standing close to a sarcophagus. It was said that the sarcophagus really existed near Rennes le Chateau and was identified by matching the mountain profile on the painting with the real one. Work at the church continued. Another stone slab was found under the floor but only Sauniere had access to it and could see what was behind it.
Secret Only Church Priest Was Privvy To
The priest then began long and secretive searches of the surrounding area. The restorations started once again. This time funds were limitless. Sauniere used them to buy land and to build a number of constructions around his parish church including a bizarre Tower of Magdala honoring Mary Magdalene. He also filled the church with mysterious statues and had various Latin inscriptions written all around the place.
What Was Source Of Unexplained Wealth
Sauniere found a treasure that included much more than valuable antiquities. Buried in Rennes le Châaeau were documents confirming that Jesus Christ had come to live in France with his family and that his child initiated a dynasty which eventually became known as the Merovingian Kings of France. One of the secret messages stated that the treasure belonged to Meroingian King Dagobert II and to the Priory of Sion.
Is Tomb Of Jesus Christ Shown In Painting?
And he is dead there indicates the presence of a sepulchre containing the body of Jesus Christ. Such a tomb was the one painted by Poussin since the phrase could be anagrammatized to mean Go away! I hold the secrets of God. With such notions in hand Sauniere could have turned Christianity on its head and inspired a whole new interpretation of world history. So why would the priest not use it to blackmail the Vatican and obtain virtually unlimited wealth?