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The massacre in Languedoc
Data 27/01/2013 16:42  Autor Magdalena Struska  Klikniêæ 2780  Jêzyk Global

  The massacre in Languedoc


At the Gulf of Lion in the north-western direction, beginning from Marseilles stretches itself the old province of Languedoc.


Languedoc in the XIIIth century although it was a part of France politically was an independent region – a princedom, of which the culture, language, different institutions  had more common features with Spain – the kingdoms of Aragon, Castile and León than with France itself.

This princedom was governed by noble houses from which the biggest part played the earls of Toulouse and the great house of  Trencavells. 

Within the borders of the princedom flourished the culture of the highest degree of development in the whole Christian world at that time with the exception of the Byzantine Empire which was in regard to many aspects very similar to Languedoc at that time.

This area was very energetic as regards the economy, it was rich and stable as regards the trade.

Contrary to the rest of Europe science was of great value here. In the princedom there were many colleges in which literature was taught, poetry was praised, also maths, mental disciplines, classical languages were taught there – Arabian, Greek, Hebrew were studied there, philosophy flourished there.

In Narbonne and Lunel there came into being the schools which taught the old esoteric tradition of the Jewish Kabbalah.

The majority of the aristocracy of that place was broadly  educated, most of all they could read and write, whereas the majority of the aristocracy of the rest of Europe could not even sign themselves.

Languedoc at that time attained such high cultural development which was not seen in Europe again, up to the period of the Renaissance and in contrary to the fanatic Europe a civilised rule was in force here: the rule of the religious tolerance, where also the heresy of medieval Christianity developed.



The doctrine of the Cathars


The Cathars ( Greek - katharos - meaning “pure”) were very spiritual people, they believed that the spirit was pure and the physical world was defiled.

The Cathars believed in the doctrine about reincarnation and accepted the female element in religion. In Cathar communities there were preacher men of both sexes called parfait – that is the perfect ones.

Practically, the Cathars were preaching the sermons without the permission for the ordination of the priests, without the richly decorated churches as it was in the Catholic church usually they were simple nonconformists.

They usually practiced their ceremonies in the open outdoors, they also practiced meditation.

They led the  life full of exceptional godliness and simplicity, they used the regulation of births and they strictly prohibited  homosexual relations.

They were vegetarians, they ate the fish.


They rejected the Catholic church, they were denying all church authorities and the consecrated intermediaries between a man and God.

They introduced individual knowledge and experience of mystical and religious character as the personal experience into the place of the “faith” understood “at second hand”.

Such an experience was called gnosis from Greek – meaning knowledge.

For Cathars gnosis was a primary value which eliminated the intermediaries on the way to the knowledge of God.

The Cathars were dualists, they believed not in one God but in two – one of them was the God of love – in the bodiless form, the source of pure spirit not defiled by matter.


They believed that the whole material world comes from the evil god – the rebellious god.

They rejected such sacraments as baptism and holy communion.

Rome – Roma wallowing in riches and luxuries was the embodiment of the rule – of the god of evil on earth.

The Cathars a threat for the Catholic Church?


Their gnostic doctrine and beliefs remained  unorthodox in comparison to the views of Rome.

In this region the Roman Church did not have authority the cause of it was among other things the moral decline of the clergy.

The Cathars were mostly the people who found an escape from the orthodox catholicism – the severity of penance, groundless dogmas, continuous signs of the domination of the roman Church and the rest from the endless tithes.

Catharism not only dominated the terrains of  Languedoc but also most of the nearby provinces in such a big extent that it started to force out catholicism.

According to the highest church authorities the whole Languedoc was “infected by the Albigenian heresy”.


For this reason in 1145 St. Bernard who was supposed to preach the sermons against the heretics was sent to Languedoc. When he arrived it turned out that he was more terrified by the moral decline of his own church than by the heresy. The heretics made a very good impression upon him, what he clearly expressed in his words: “No sermons are more Christian than theirs – he said – and their customs are clean.”.



What was the pope afraid of?

Why were all those destructions and ravages made?



But the Pope's fear of the Cathars resulted from something totally different as it was said that they are the guardians of the great holy Treasure connected with the ancient and fantastic knowledge. It is here in Languedoc were the Jewish Kingdom of Septimania came into being in the VIIIth century and there the old tradition of Lazarus (Simon Zelotes)  was cultivated, both the Cathars and the Templars alike showed a great tolerance for the Jewish and Islamic cultures.

They also observed the rule of the equality of sexes and the papal inquisition persecuted them especially for this reason ( Formally established in 1233).

Looking back the Cathar cult was the least dangerous from amongst other sects of Europe. And in spite of this the pope directed his armies against these people under the pretext of the holy mission in order to do the purges.

The pope's edict of annihilation had a deeper implication as it referred not only to the Cathars but also to the people who were supporting them and to the ordinary people who lived in those terrains.


The church had finally found the pretext on the 14th of January in 1208 one of papal legates was killed in Languedoc (probably the killers had nothing in common with the Cathars).


In 1208 the pope Innocent III reprimanded the inhabitants of Languedoc, saying their behaviour is not Christian. One year later under the sway of  Simon I de Montfort the pope's army of 30 000 soldiers entered the terrains of Languedoc.


Pope declared the Crusade


Although the robes of the pope's army were decorated with the red cross their aim was to destroy the ascetic sect of the Cathars  (the so called clean ones) ; who according to the King of France Philip II and his supporter the pope were the heretics.

In this holy “purge” the pope was succoured by a fanatic from Spain Dominic de Guzmán who was so much filled with hatred and anger to heresy that in  1216 he established an order called Dominican. And they in 1233 established a disgraceful institution called the “Holy Inquisition”.  In 1218 during the siege of Tolouse Simon de Monfort who was controlling the  military activities on Pope's behalf died.


The massacre lasted for over 35 years and there were tens of thousands of victims. The genocide at the Pope's command affected not only the Cathars themselves but also all the people who were supporting them or those who were living in the terrains of Languedoc. There was an order to withdraw help and support to the Jews who were also murdered.


Up to the year 1243 the invaders conquered almost all strongholds and points of resistance, the people living in towns and villages were killed, in the town of  Beziers: ” at least 15 thousand of men, women and CHILDREN were slaughtered. Many people were murdered in the sanctuary of the Church”.


Fanatism and cruelty of the Vatican will illustrate the words quoted then of the pope Innocent III 's legate quote.: “…an officer asked the pope's legate how to know the heretics from the believers of the true faith, what he heard were the words - Kill them all, God will recognise His own -


The massacre in Languedoc also called the Crusade against the  Albigenses – seemingly from the nearby town  Albi.

Albi is a variation of the Old European word ylbi (female elf).

One should mention here that the Cathars called the Messianic sangreal – Albi gens – what meant „The house of Elves”.


The crusade was the more atrocious as the pope himself was calling to it, the prize for taking part in it was a plenary indulgence, a place in paradise, and the whole booty that one was able to take.




The culminating point of the slaughter in Languedoc took place in the stronghold of  Montsegur when in year 1244 over 200 hostages were burned alive at the stakes. All this was done at the command of the pope who thought that he was acting in the name of God.


The capture of the citadel took the invaders 10 months.

There were over 10 000 thousand of the besiegers, they tried to surround the mountain and to cut the defenders off  any help so that they would starve. However those who supported  Montsegur were able to send reinforcements for the people to survive and to defend the stronghold.


Three months before the fall of  Montsegur in January of 1244 two  “Perfects” were able to run away from it – according to the relation of reliable witnesses they took with them the main part of the Cathars' possessions in the form of – the coins, silver and gold. The treasures were first transported to the mountainous cave, and next to a fortified Castle,  and then they disappeared without trace...


On the 1st of March 1244 the stronghold of Montsegur capitulated. At that time there were about 400 defenders – incl about 150-200 „Perfects” , the rest were armour-bearers, knights, soldiers and their families. The invaders proposed them remarkably mild conditions of capitulation – the permission to leave the stronghold with all their possessions, a light penance, pardon of the former murders.

It was an extremely refined and tricky plan as the Vatican suspected  (because of legends, because of what it heard) that there was hidden in the stronghold something important, something what could shake the foundations of the Roman Church.



The defenders of the citadel asked for  two week long armistice with no war activities to consider the conditions  and the  invaders agreed to it, in return for it the defenders of their own free will proposed the hostages. It was also agreed that any attempt to run away from the fortrees will end in the execution of the hostages.


On the 15th  of March 1244 the armistice ended.

Next day at dawn over two hundred of the “Perfects” were brutally dragged out of the Stronghold.

None of them rejected their faith.

All of them were burned alive at the stake at the foot of the mountain.

All the others that were imprisoned in the walls of Montsegur had to look at it.

In spite of such a big risk some people of  the defenders were able to hide in the fortrees   „Four Perfects”, who at night from 16 to 17th March 1244 accompanied by a guide run away. They came down by a western vertical wall hanging on ropes going down on each one of the faults over 100 meters.


A question: What did they want to achieve by such a risky and venturesome escape? That was a big danger to the life of the people who stayed in the stronghold and for the hostages.


A legend says that four runaways from the Stronghold  Montsegur took with themselves the “exceptional” treasure of the Cathars. It could not have been gold or valuables as they were carried out three months earlier.





A clue; one day before the armistice ended on the 14th of March 1244 in Montsegur some feast took place.


A question: Was the treasure that was carried out at night from 16th -17th  necessary for the feast on the  14th of March? And why it was not carried out earlier?


Was it a proof of it that Jesus survived the crucifixion?

Was it a relic or manuscripts?

Anyway, it was something that was so important that it was possible for it to change completely the point of view of the people and to destroy the foundations of the Roman Catholic Church.


The trouble spot


The reliable sources say that the Cathars had connections with a specific ancient knowledge and that they kept unfailing treasure which dated further then the roots of Christianity, these pieces of information led Rome to one conclusion:


The tables of the Testimony, the Ark, Jerusalem manuscripts, or the proof that Jesus survived the crucifixion, that Mary Magdalene was the mother of Jesus' children, and that the house of the Desposyni did not die out but is alive – must be hidden in Languedoc.




Quote  „It was enough for the destruction of the fundamental concepts of the orthodox roman Church. Desperate and fanatic regime saw only one solution – thus the words:




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The text was collected and compiled on the basis of the sources {bibliography below} own material and Internet sources [photo] MMagdalenaS.


 © MMagdalenaS

All Rights Reserved. Copying, distribution only by the permission of the author of the text and giving the link to the original site of the authors. 


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