Comparison of the Stations of the Cross in Sauniere's Mary Magdalene church to those appearing in other Churches in the area.
Stations of the Cross 1
In an attempt to debunk the whole Sauniere Mystery, some researchers have stated that the Stations of the Cross in Sauniere's Church dedicated to Mary Magdalene, are exactly the same as those appearing in some other churches, and so cannot contain any hidden messages. Instead of relying on what others have stated before as fact, in the following pages I compare the Stations of the Cross from the mentioned Stations to see if they are correct.
The list of Churches mentioned and so used for comparison are:
The Mary Magdalene church at Rennes-le-Chateau, Rocamadour, Couiza, Cassaignes, Limoux, Serres.
Rennes-le-Chateau Church Rocamadour Church
Cassaignes Church Limoux Church
Station of the Cross 1 Comparison
Rennes-le-Chateau Station 1 Rocamadour Station 1
Unlike all the other Stations of the Cross used in this comparison, the Rocamadour Stations are not in a church but are outside situated beside the Grand Escalier, a stairway of 216 worn and weathered steps. As you climb you pass the 14 Stations of the Cross culminating in the Cross of Jerusalem at the top. Even today, some devout pilgrims make the climb on their knees in penance. Not something I would try or recommend. For visitors averse to stairs, there is also an elevator from the lower town (Basse Ville) or you can park in the top car-park, walk down past the stations of the Cross and then ride the cable car back to the top, this is by far the easiest option. The size of these Stations are also larger than the others and set behind metal railings. They do though in detail resemble, if not size, those in Saunière's church. I will be ignoring the differences in the colour's in this and all other Stations, instead concentrating on the molded details.
Above, the most obvious changes we can see is that the centurion is completely different in look and posture. Sauniere has also added a cave like opening and a 'R' like hem fold in the cloth covering the steps. With the addition of the negro boy, Saunière could be hinting at Roc Négre, a rock formation close by Chateau Blanchefort. A dotted line runs along the edge of the cloth. This seems similar to the markings on a map that represent a track or pathway. Apart from these differences they are almost identical. Ignoring the different sizes, and looking at an image instead of the real thing, without seeing them side by side, thinking they were identical would be an easy mistake to make.
Couiza Station 1 Limoux Station 1
The Stations of the Cross in the Couiza church, are the ones most often mentioned by some researchers, including Henry Lincoln and also many web sites, as being exactly the same apart from the colour differences. Though at first they do look identical, in fact there are many differences. The most obvious difference in the comparison above the extra person standing between Jesus and Pontius Pilot. Pilot is not washing his hands but pointing at Jesus. There is no jaguar like statue. There are spears and no cloth covering the steps.
As you can see the Limoux station 1, above right, is completely different.
Cassaignes Station 1
When I visited the church at Cassaignes the Stations had been removed while the walls were being painted white. I did find them stored in a back room and so was able to photograph them. Again, the Cassaignes Stations bear no resemblance to those of Sauniere's.
Serres Station 1
I also visited the old Templar church at Serres. Again the stations of the cross had been removed while decoration work was being carried out, again white paint was being used, surprisingly wiping away the past by painting over the old Templar designs. Just like the Cassaignes Stations, these I also discovered, this time stored in the confessional. They were similar in style to the ones at Cassaignes and so no match to the ones in the Mary Magdalene church at Rennes-le-Château.
As the stations of the cross in Limoux, Cassaignes and Serres churches, are so dissimilar, it is pointless to continue using them in this comparison. I will now instead concentrate on the two that bare the most resemblance and so the most mentioned as being the same as the Rennes-le-Chateau Stations - Rocamadour and Couiza.