gratuitous image
9 April 1996


It was a scene of horrid brutality, even for the seventeenth century France: during communion, Father M. attempted to rape Mrs. C., who was some eight months pregnant. Her pleas for help were ignored by the dumbstruck faithful as well as the insane Father M., who screamed hysterically that "the seed of God would triumph over the spawn of the devil." He did not stop his frenzied attack until Mrs. C. smashed his skull with a heavy silver chalice. For what seemed an eternity, Ms. C.'s quiet sobs were the only sound in the cathedral; Father M.'s blood mixed with the communion wine at the base of the alter. Then, one by one, the parishioners crept silently from the dark cathedral into the midday sun.

The nuns from the convent buried Father M. later that day; and the incident was never discussed until the Cardinal's inquisitors arrived several weeks later.

The cardinal's men interrogated the villagers to find Father M's murderer. When no one acknowledged seeing anything, the inquisitors interrogated the alter boy, who would have to have seen the murder. The inquisitors became angrier and angrier as the boy maintained he could not remember the events of that day because he had been lost in a religious trance. In frustration, the chief inquisitor ordered the boy to be taken away to be tortured.

No one ever spoke about the event until many decades later. Even today, the cemetery gardener maintains an opaque cloak of vines over the statue of Father M. that was toppled almost immediately after it was erected.

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©1996 David Glenn Rinehart