led the Crusade ?
Coats of Arms
Coats of arms
Them All ... "
Cathars still exist ?
Cross of Toulouse
Source Documents: Confession of Navarre, widow of Pons Bru of
Navarre made the mistake of visiting a man who claimed to be
able to communicate with the dead - including her dead husband.
The Inquisition immediately took an interest in him as well.
Confession of Navarre, widow of Pons Bru of Pamiers
|The year of the Lord 1319,
the 10th of March, Navarre, widow of Pons Bru of Pamiers,
said, deposed and avowed that which follows:
It must have been about a year ago,
one day, I myself and Touzes, the widow of Arnaud Pascal,
went to the Church of St. Antonin. It was the time of indulgences.
Returning home, we met Raimonde, the daughter of Guillaume
Fauré of Saint Bauzeil and Mengarde, the seamstress, who
told us they were going to see a man who lived in Mas-Saint-Antonin,
who saw the spirits of the dead and travelled with them.
Raimonde said that this man had told her that her mother
was buried in the house of the Friars Minor, and that he
had seen her spirit, which was wearing the cord of the Friars
Minor. Since we had just arrived at the leper hospital and
Mengarde and Raimonde wished to return home, I told them
that I would very much like to see this man; they told me
I could easily see him, if I wished.
After this, during that same year,
before the Feast of St. Andrew the Apostle, I saw this man,
called Arnaud Botelher, who was taking the sun in front
of my house, and I called to him. He came to me and I asked
him straightaway if he could see the dead and travel with
them. At first he told me no, but soon after, without delay,
at my insistence, he said and admitted that he could see
them and travel with them. I then asked him if he had seen
My Lord, wishing to talk to my late husband. He then asked
me who had lived in this house, and when he learned from
me that it had been my husband, he said and affirmed that
he had seen him and he travelled to various churches, doing
his penance, and that the following night he would be keeping
vigil in the church of Saint-Marie de la Salvetat, and the
following in that of Camp. And this Arnaud commanded me,
on the behalf of my husband, to keep clean the room in which
he had slept while alive, because he came there every Saturday,
to give food to three beggars in his name and to put a half
measure (demi-livre) of oil in the lamp of Notre Dame du
I then asked Arnaud: How is it that
my husband, who was a good man and lived almost like a monk
is still doing penance and is not in paradise? He replied
that no soul, no matter how just it had been, would enter
into Paradise nor could enter there until Judgement Day,
but that it was only in visiting churches that they did
penance. When the penance was done, they would go to Repose.
It seems to me, although I do not recall this fully, that
Arnaud told me that the place of this Repose is the earthly
paradise, and that one would experience no evil there, but
that the souls would not see the face of God, and would
not see it until Judgement, and also that no soul would
go to hell, or so it seems to me.
Botelher or Botheler (Arnaud Gélis, "The Drunkard" of Mas-Saint-Antonin)
was brought before the bishop's inquisition within days.
He also told me that the soul of
Brother Pons Bru, my late son, who had been a Friar Minor,
was in Repose.
He told me that souls look like the
bodies of men and women and have hands, feet and all other
members. I did not believe him and wishing to reveal him
to be lying, I asked if it had been a long time since he
had seen my husband. He said yes, some time. I told him
"Ask him about a certain loan which Pierre de Serres made
to him while he was alive, because I have had many difficulties
concerning this debt." Some days later he told me that he
had seen my husband, that he
had asked him about this loan, and he had responded that
I should extract myself from these difficulties as best
as I could and asked that I no longer question him concerning
this matter. He told me that my husband and many others
of the dead, and he, Arnaud, among them, were once in a
wine cellar in Pamiers and had drunk of the best wine that
He told me with certainty that in
a little while, when the masses had been celebrated, the
soul of my husband would go
He told a woman, named na (Dame)
Serres, that he had seen her late husband, and he had told
him to say to this na Serres to be prudent and that she
would find a good husband. I learned this from na Serre
herself and from Arnaud who had said this, which led me
to consider him a liar and a fraud, because no husband wishes
his wife to remarry or find another husband.
|This Arnaud told me that
Master Jean Marty, physician, my late brother would go in
a short while to Repose.
Have you ever believed or do you
believe what this Arnaud told and affirmed to you or that
what he taught in any manner to another person or persons
No, by my word.
And this Navarre said that she was
ready to repent of all that precedes, and declared herself
ready to do and accomplish all penance that my said Lord Bishop might judge to give
her for that which precedes, demanding humbly to be absolved
of the sentence of excommunication that she had incurred
Item, she swore on the four holy
Gospels of God that in the future she would denounce heretics
and their followers if she knew of them and have them apprehended
according to her power, and that especially she would denounce
all and each that she knew to have adhered to the said Arnaud
in the above mentioned points
or similar ones, and to have been acocomplices of his.
And my said Lord Bishop immediately
gave to the said Navarre absolution from the sentence of
excommunication that she had incurred for these facts, if
at least she repented of them from the bottom of her heart
and if she said plainly the truth concerning herself and
others for these same facts, without which, the intention
of My Lord Bishop, as he said, would not be to absolve the
said sentence of excommunication.
And the above said Navarre asked
that if she remembered anything else concerning this affair,
she might be able to make a deposition without danger when
it returned to her memory, and this was granted
to her by My Lord the Bishop.
After which, the same year as abaove,
Saturday the 7th of March the said Navarre appeared in the
cemetery of Saint-Jean-Martyr of Pamiers and was given her
sentence by the said lords bishop
and Inquisitor according to what follows, "Let all know,
etc." See the sentence in this case in the Book of Sentences
of the Inquisition.
It is not clear exectly what her crime
was - all she had admitted to was talking to someone who
imagined himself able to talk to the dead
And I Rainaud Jabbard, cleric of
Toulouse, sworn to the service of the Inquisition,
have, on the order of My Lord the Bishop, faithfully corrected
the above confession against the original.
She was condemned to take some minor pilgrimages along with Raimonde
Fauré, whose confession precedes hers.
Translation by Nancy Stork, San José State University -
to whom many thanks for permission to reproduce this text.