For myself the only real evidence that can be found at Rennes le Chateau, that really proves that something of interest happened there are the buildings and structures paid for by Sauniere. Everything else is either a story or papers that can be challenged on their authenticity. As such, the buildings are the only things that are there for all to see, and their factual existence is beyond question.
The most elaborate of them all is his church, with its curious statues and phrases throughout. I know that several websites exist that go into great depths of explaining that although the curiosities are rare, they are not unique. Hence it is concluded that they are not important.
This I do not agree with due to the mathematical balance of reasoning expressed in the quote I use at the bottom of my postings. Indeed one rare feature in a church could be happenstance, two rare features could be coincidence, but to find three or more would make 'enemy action'. Or in this case, more than probable evidence that the designs are there for a reason. A code to be read by a specific person, a Freemason.
I take it you were not raised Catholic, am I right? Because these "curiosities" would hardly evoke the curiosity of a Catholic, nor are they unique or rare.
Take for example the series of statues of Saints Sauniere chose to recievers his church with? I will admit, I am attracted to the notion that they spell out the word GRASP, but if this was the reason, then I am even more curious about the statues chosen.
If a Saint was required to represent the letter G, why use this obscure St. Trumbone? There are many other French saints that start with a G, why choose her? Also, why Saint Roch? Surely, Saint Roseline would be a far better choice. Besides the play on words of Rose-line, her feast day is the 17th January, a date that is meant to be so important?
Saint Germaine "obscure"...? Hardly! She was a French saint, recently canonized (1867) to great fanfare, and was a "local girl", having come originally from Pibrac, just west of Toulouse. Saint Roch was likewise a "local boy", from Montpellier. Not unusual at all that Saunière would have chosen local saints' images for his church, in fact it was quite normal.
Perhaps then the GRAAL spelling is just wishful thinking. Unless the statues actually were meant to represent something as equally important to the right viewer. I believe they do.
Both statues represent there prospective saints by showing the important aspects of their lives. St. Germaine is shown with sheep at her feet, as a Shepherdess (a hint for a later explanation), but her main distinguishing feature is how she holds her apron. This is to represent one of the miracles she is said to have performed - when flowers appeared in her apron. It is how any statue or drawing of her is recognizable. The most recognizable feature of a Freemason is his apron. When he is passed to a Fellowcraft degree, the second degree, two flowers, rosettes appear on his apron. When the mason becomes a Master Mason, a third one appears.
Germaine Cousin was
a shepherdess. How should
she have been portrayed? As concerns the roses in her apron, that is indicative of what Catholics call the Miracle of the Roses and is attributable to several saints - Elisabeth of Hungary, Elisabeth of Portugal, Jadwiga of Poland, Casilda of Toledo, Rita of Cascia, Rose of Viterbo, Didacus (Diego) of Alcala, Roseline de Villeneuve (aka the "far better choice"), etc. Put images of all of the above in a room together and the apron full of roses would be the one feature that wouldn't
distinguish one from the other.
As for St. Roch instead of St. Roseline, I am reluctant to go into detail, but would advise people to research why the figure has his knee and chest exposed, and possibly look up the rituals of how a Masonic candidate appears in the first and second degrees.
According to Roch's hagiography he had been stricken with bubonic plague; the exposed leg shows an enlarged bubo
which the dog he's portrayed with licked clean and cured. I have yet to see an image of St. Roch with his chest exposed.
Shall I go on? Not sure how this is sounding?
You may as well go on, you've come this far.