From Der dunkle Gott: Satanskult und Schwarze Messe, by Gerhard Zacharias, 1964
Translated from the German by Christine Trollope, 1980
Bastille Archives, Interrogation of Lesage, Vincennes, 28 November 1679.
(Ravaisson VI, pp. 55ff)
He met the priest Davot for the first time at the house of La Voisin….
When Madame de Vivien was at the house of La Voisin, and asked him to pass a note in which she demanded the death of her husband and the friendship of a certain abbé, Davot promised the lady that when he said Mass he would put the note under the corporal and under the chalice; but he [Lesage] kept the note in his hands and did not give it to Davot. The lady gave Davot a gold crown or gold louis….Davot and La Voisin both told him that he had said Mass in La Voisin’s private room on the belly of a girl or woman whom he would be able to remember in the course of time, and Davot also said that he had had carnal knowledge of her, and that while saying Mass he had kissed her private parts, and that he was not the only one to do such things, and that Gérard, priest of Saint-Sauveur, Davot’s friend, with whom he [Lesage] had eaten and drunk at Davot’s house, had also said Mass on the belly of a shopkeeper’s daughter from the Rue Saint-Denis, in the parish of Saint-Sauveur, whom he had debauched and whom he had persuaded that when he performed the ceremony and some conjurations on her belly, she would not become pregnant, but the girl, after remaining hidden for some time at Gérard’s in a garret, did become pregnant, and Gérard was worried about it, and disappeared after remaining hidden for a time in Davot’s house at Saint-Benoit….
(Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal)
Interrogation of La Voisin’s daughter, Vincennes, 28 March 1680.
Marie-Marguerite Montvoisin, aged twenty-one.
ibid., p. 194
Lesage and her mother sent her one day, she could not say whether it was in Lent, to buy a live white pigeon, which she did with a 15-sou piece; after she had done this, and brought it to them, they cut its throat and collected its blood in a glass goblet. They kept this blood, and sent her out of the garden-house where this was going on, so that she does not know what they did with it….
She does not know whether the blood and heart of the pigeon were mixed with holy water; but it is true that he [Lesage] in these ceremonies used incense, salt, sulphur and holy water which he mixed together; and it is also true that a cross which was at her [her mother's] house, and in which there is some of the True Cross of Jerusalem, was used in the ceremonies carried out by Lesage and her mother; and she does not know if it was used that time – this was after Lesage came back from the galleys – and this was done for the marriage of the Desmarets woman, for Madame Brisard’s affairs, and for other affairs which they had….
(Bibliothèque de l’Arsenal)
Interrogation of La Filaster, Vincennes, 26 May 1680
ibid., pp. 211ff
…-Was it not true that suffering the pains of childbirth, she placed herself in a circle around which there were candles lit, holding in her hand a black candle, also lit?
-Simon made her sit down on the edge of the circle, telling her that the spirits were within, and that one of the candles was for Lucifer, and another for another devil, whose name she does not remember, and so on with the other candles, and she did not hold the candle of black pitch in her hand, although it was lit. Simon made her say among other things, that Briziol [God of dream interpretation and soothsaying] was to come in the name of Picart and Simon, and made her renounce the chrism, baptism, and the Church; after that she said some more words which she does no remember. And the conjuration was written by the hand of Picart….
-Did Simon not make her say some other words as well, and, among others: in the name of the great living God and of the Holy Trinity, by St Peter and by St Paul, and that the Devil must appear?
-Yes, but she does not remember that these words St Peter and St Paul were written down in the conjuration; and there were many other more disgusting words, and, among others, renunciations of the Holy Sacrament, the Mass, the sacred host, holy water, and her baptism; Simon made her learn these words by heart, and then burnt the paper; and after teaching them to her, Simon made her say them three and a half months after her confinement, in a church to which she took her, near the Louvre on the side nearest the river; and this went on for nine days, and when she said them, she made her turn towards the holy water basin, and enter and leave the church several times….
-Is it not true that she attended some Masses which were said at night in Maître Jean’s house?
-It is true that Cotton, priest of St Paul’s and schoolmaster, came about five or six years ago, on a Maundy Thursday, to the house of Maître Jean, who was then porter at the Quinze-Vingts [hospital in Paris]; and in the night between Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, at midnight, Cotton, dressed in priest’s robes, said Mass in a little room over the porter’s room. Present at the Mass were herself and Lalande, who said the responses, while Lecourt, who had brought Cotton, was outside with Maître Jean, who had brought the vestments and the altar furniture to his room for use at the Mass, at which Cotton consecrated a host, performed the elevation and invoked the three princes of the demons in unintelligible words; and Cotton had the invocation, which consisted of few words, in writing on the altar, which had been set up for the purpose, and after the invocation he finished the Mass in this place, and wrapped the consecrated host in a corporal-cloth he had brought. And she had never since asked him what he had done with the host….
She has heard tell that the Dufayet woman had had some strange things done by Lepreux, and that while celebrating Mass he had consecrated snakes for use in secret love-potions, and that Duplessis was present at the time….
Declaration by Voisin’s daughter, 20 August 1680.
ibid., pp. 294ff
…She saw Guibourg celebrate two Masses in the room where her mother slept, and one at Delaporte’s house, where she, Montvoisin, arrived at the moment when he was finishing; she saw the altar set up, with a cross and lighted candles. The three Masses were said for the same affair, this last one between two and three in the afternoon, two months before her mother was arrested. Guibourg said Masses on ladies’ bellies at her mother’s house. The first to her knowledge was more than six years ago; she helped her mother to prepare the things necessary for it – a mattress on chairs, two stools, one at each side, where the candlesticks with candles stood; when this was done, Guibourg came out of the little side room dressed in his chasuble, and after that La Voisin brought into the room the woman on whose belly Mass was to be celebrated, and sent her, Montvoisin, out.
When she was older her mother was no longer cautious with her, and she was present at this sort of Mass, and saw that the lady was placed completely naked on the mattress, with her head hanging back supported on a pillow on an overturned chair, her legs hanging down, a towel on her belly, and on the towel a cross at the level of her lower ribs, and the chalice on her belly.
Madame de Montespan had a Mass of this sort said for her by Guibourg at La Voisin’s house about three years ago. She came at about ten at night and did not leave until midnight.
And when La Voisin told the lady that she must fix a time for the other two Masses that had to be said if her affair was to succeed, the lady said that she could not find the time, and that she would have to do without her whatever had to be done for the success of her affair; she [La Voisin] promised this, and that she would have the two Masses celebrated on herself, on behalf of her Madame de Montespan.
Some time later she attended a Mass which Guibourg celebrated in the same way on her mother’s belly, and at the elevation he spoke the name of Louis de Bourbon and that of the lady, which consisted of two or three names, and he did not say that of Montespan.
The woman Laporte attended the first [Mass] with her and her mother, and spoke the responses; she slept at her house and knew very well who the lady was, although she bore witness that she did not know her.
Laporte, for the same purpose, made a conjuration to the soul of a hanged man; her mother had given her the names in writing in order to do it, and when she had done it she came to give an account in the presence of her father and brothers. The father silenced Laporte.
And the second [Mass], celebrated by proxy, Laporte and the Pelletier woman attended with her.
The third was celebrated at Delaporte’s house and in her presence; she [Voisin's daughter] did not arrive until it was all over. The candles were of new yellow wax, fat from a hanged man, and a note was put into them, the invention of Papillon, and at both Masses at her [Delaporte's] house, Guibourg put powders under the chalice, and said they were for love, and afterwards gave them to her mother.
La Voisin had other priests working for the same business, as well as Guibourg….
Interrogation of Voisin’s daughter, Vincennes, 9 October 1680
ibid., p. 333f
…She remembered that Pelletier brought two afterbirths to Saint-Denis, on two different occasions, to Guibourg, priest, one of which was later distilled by Pelletier and the other by Dumesnil. It is also true that a midwife who lived at the corner of the Rue des Deux-Portes, also distilled the entrails of a child which the mother had borne there, brought by Voisin, her mother, for an abortion. Before the distillation, the child’s entrails and the mother’s afterbirth had been taken to Saint-Denis, to Guibourg, by her mother, the midwife, and the child’s mother, on whose belly her mother on her return said Guibourg had celebrated Mass, and that the woman was then still all covered with blood….
Guibourg baptised at her mother’s a child of a girl whom Lepère aborted. She saw three or four children burnt up in the oven. A child that appeared to have been prematurely born was presented at Madame de Montespan’s Mass by order of her mother, and Guibourg put it into a basin, cut its throat, poured the blood into a chalice and consecrated it with the host, finished his Mass, then took out the child’s entrails; the next day mother Voisin took to Dumesnil, to be distilled, the blood and the host in a glass phial which Madame de Montespan took away. The child’s body was burnt in the stove by mother Voisin….
…She believes that Dumesnil had brought the child for Madame de Montespan’s Mass.
At the consecration, Guibourg said the names of the King and those of Madame de Montespan.
Extract from the interrogation of the Abbé Guibourg, Vincennes, 10 October 1680.
ibid., p. 335f
Leroy, governor of the pages of the petite écurie, first spoke to him about working for Madame de (Montespan) and promised him 50 pistoles and a benefice of 2,000 pounds. The first Mass he said with this intention was at Le Ménil near Monthlhéry, on the belly of a woman who had come with another great personage; at the consecration he recited the conjuration:
(Bibliothèque du Corps Législatif)
‘Astaroth, Asmodeus, princes of friendship, I conjure you to accept the sacrifice I offer you of this child for the things I ask of you, which are that the friendship of the King and Mgr le Dauphin may continue towards me, and that I may be honoured by the princes and princesse of the court, and that nothing I ask of the King may be denied me, either for my relatives or servants.’
And he named the names of the King and those of Madame de Montespan, which were in the conjuration.
He had bought for a crown the child that was sacrificed at this Mass; it was presented to him by a grown girl. Having drawn blood from the child, whose throat he pierced with a penknife, he poured some into the chalice, after which the child was removed and taken to another place, and its heart and entrails were brought back to him for a second [Mass]; according to what Leroy and the noble lord said, they would serve to make powders for the (King) and Madame de (Montespan). The lady for whom he said Mass always had the veils of her headdress pulled low, covering her face and half her breast. He said the second Mass in a hovel on the ramparts of Saint-Denis, on the same woman with the same ceremonies and Pelletier was there. He celebrated the third in Paris, at La Voisin’s house, on the same woman, perhaps eight or nine years ago; later he said thirteen or fourteen years. He also declares that five years ago he said a similar Mass at La Voisin’s on the same person, who, he was always told, was (Madame de Montespan), for the same intention, and Laporte was present; and after it was al over he went to pick up his cloak from a chair and found on the chair a document which must have been a copy of a pact – since it was only on paper, and pacts must be written on virgin parchment – where he read these words:
(Bibliothèque du Corps Législatif)
‘I…daughter of…I ask for the King’s friendship and that of Mgr le Dauphin, and that I may continue to have it, that the Queen may be barren, that the King may leave her bed and table for me, that I may obtain from him all I ask for myself and my relatives, that my servants and my household may please him [that I may be] loved and respected by great lords, that I may be summoned to the King’s council and know what happens there, and that this friendship may increase more than in the past, so that the King leaves La Vallière and pays no more attention to her, and that the Queen may be repudiated so that I can marry the King….
And when he got to this point in his reading this paper was snatched from his hands; he always left the host and the consecrated blood of the children in vessels that were given him, the host being cut into small pieces.
At La Voisin’s, dressed in alb, stole and maniple, he made a conjuration in the presence of Des Œillets, who wanted to make a charm for the (King) and who was accompanied by a man who gave him the conjuration, and, as it was necessary to have sperm from both sexes, Des Œillets who was menstruating could not give any, but she poured some of her menstrual blood into the chalice, and the man accompanying her passing into the alcove behind the bed with him, Guibourg, dropped some of his sperm into the chalice, On top of all this, Des Œillets and the man each put a powder of bat’s blood and flour to give a firmer consistency to the whole compound, and after reciting the conjuration he took it all out of the chalice and it was put into a little vessel which Des Œillets or the man took away.
(Bibliothèque du Corps Législatif)
Notes for a report from M. de la Reynie to the King (November 1680).
ibid., pp. 371f
…La Voisin’s daughter, questioned again on the further Mass which, as she said, Madame de Montespan had celebrated by this same Guibourg at her mother’s only three or four years ago, declared all the circumstances:
That it was she who had presented the child to Guibourg, that the woman Delaporte was present, and that after the oblation, when the blood had been put into the chalice, Guibourg had gone into another room and opened the breast and torn out the heart and entrails.
Guibourg, who had denied opening the child’s body, agreed that he had torn out the heart and entrails and had cut open the child’s heart after the Mass to take out the clotted blood that was inside the heart and put it into a vessel prepared for that purpose; and with it he also put fragments of the consecrated host, and what was in the chalice, and it was taken away by the lady on whose belly he had celebrated Mass, whom he believed to be Madame de Montespan, as La Voisin told him…
Autograph notes by M. d’Argenson (1665).
ibid., VII, pp. 172f
Marianne Charmillon, aged 22, daughter of Charmillon, practician [assistant to an advocate] in Paris, and of Mme Quenneville, at present a voluntary penitent at Sainte-Pélagie, said, in the presence of the Mother Superior and a commissioner at the Châtelet, that she had been seduced and corrupted by J. B. Sebault, subdeacon of the diocese of Bourges, who lodged at her father’s house, and by whom she has had two children, still alive; that two years ago this same Sebault proposed that she should make a pact with the Devil, and took her for that purpose into the cellar of a house on the outskirts of Paris, where the invocation, the apparition and the conclusion were to take place; that she had been in this same cellar on six different occasions and that Mass was said there between midnight and one o’clock; that the first time a beggar girl aged 13 was brought there and died of fright, and was buried with her clothes by the said Guignard, vicar of Notre-Dame de Bourges, and another private individual; that Guignard said Mass in priest’s vestments; that he celebrated it once on the body of the penitent, naked, without a shift, and that the subdeacon Sebault, who was naked as she was, said the responses to the Mass, As often as the altar had to be kissed, Guignard kissed Charmillon’s body, and consecrated the host on her private parts, into which he inserted a fragment of the host; when the Mass was at last ended, the subdeacon Sebault entered into her, and meanwhile Guignard and his friend also copulated with a woman called Lefebvre. When the Mass was over, Sebault plunged his hands into the chalice and washed his private parts and the woman’s. Guignard, this other individual and Lefebvre did the same. After this Guignard put what remained in the chalice into a little phial which he carried away carefully….