22 & 17: the Haunting of Rennes-le-Château

22 & 17: the Haunting of Rennes-le-Château

The legend of Rennes-le-Château is haunted by the reoccurrence of two numbers; 22 and 17. Most frequently, they manifest as important dates in the history of the legend, particularly so with the 17th of January, but this is not always the case. No satisfactory explanation has been given for the occurrence of the two numbers. Are they significant, or merely coincidental? You decide!

The following is a condensed summary of the primary occurrence or each:

Primary occurrences of 22:

* The 22nd of July is Mary Magdalene’s feast day.

* Beringer Saunière entered the seminary in Carcassonne at the age of 22.

* Beringer Saunière, the Abbe of Rennes-le-Château who rekindled the legend with his discovery, died on the 22nd of January (in the 17th year of the 20th century, having taken ill on the 17th of January).

* Abbe Saunière’s dramatic creation, the Tour Magdela, and the adjoining garden (also his design) are connected by 22 steps.

* Abbe Saunière’s Tour Magdela has 22 steps leading to the top of the tower.

* The lone window in Abbe Saunières Tour Magdela, which is pointed to by an anomalous floor tile at the base of the Tour Magdela, in turn points unambiguously at a grotto approximately a mile in the distance, which is named ‘The Burial Site of Mary Magdalene’ (remember, her feast day is 22) and is offset from the grotto by 22 degrees (south of west).

* After Saunière’s death, his housekeeper, Marie Dénarnaud, sold his estate on the 22nd of July (the actual feast day of Mary Magdalene) 1946, to a local business man named Noel Corbu.

* Most recently, a cryptic 18th century document was discovered that is divided into 22 quatrains. It’s written in Latin and cites the ancient name of Rennes-le-Château and the nearby village of Bugarach in its quatrains.

* The famous Latin inscription over the door of Abbe Saunière’s church of Saint Mary Magdalene, “Terribilis est locus iste”, (This place is Terrible), has 22 letters. If spelled correctly, it has 23 Latin letters.

* There are many others, but quite quickly you get off the theme of the story, i.e. there are 22 letters in the Hebrew alphabet, etc.

Primary occurrences of 17:

* Nobel Marie de Negre D’Ables died on the 17th of January, 1781. A key figure in the story, she chose Abbe Bigou, the priest of Rennes-le-Château, as her confidant, instructing him to tell two others in order to preserve the great secret.

* The feast day of Saint Sulpice is 17 January. Saint Sulpice is also where Abbe Sauniee sought assistance in deciphering the coded parchments he uncovered in his church. Additionally, Saint Sulpice is associated with the story via ‘Le Serpent Rouge’, the mysterious work that references Rennes-le-Château and St Sulpice church in Paris. Saint Sulpice is also on the Rose Line, and Rennes-le-Château is within 3 miles of it.

* Abbe Saunière positioned the statue of St Antoine, whose feast day is the 17th, across from the statue of Mary Magdalene, whose feast day is the 22nd, in his church of Mary Magdalene in Rennes-le-Château.

* The son of Dagobert II (Sigisbert VI) is purported to have visited Rennes-le-Château on January 17th, 681.

* The lost body of Dagobert II was supposedly rediscovered on 17 January 872.

* The Bishop presiding over the apparitions of Bernadette at Lourdes announced that the sightings were of divine origin on the 17th of January, 1862.

* Saunière’s superior, Bishop Billard, purchased Notre-Dame de Marceille in Limoux on 17 January, 1893. It is believed he was aware of a great treasure in its vaults.

* Nicolas Flamel achieved his breakthrough in alchemy on 17 January, 1381

* Many Priory of Sion related documents and letters are written on the 17th of January.

There are even more examples of each number’s occurrence in the legend, however they are subject to interpretation and upon first hand review, I do not believe they warrant inclusion in this list.


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