Late XVII Century : Stupendous Manuscript on Demonoloy/Exorcism


Discours historique et theologique de la possession des religieuses dittes de Saincte Elizabeth de Louviers.

400 pages. Big 4to format (30 cm). Handwritten between 1650-1700 in a good calligraphy. Almost similar to an other manuscript found in the French National Library that seems to be earlier. Sadefully the half-vellum binding is in very bad condition (the leather in itself is good but the two paper sides are badly torn and would need to be replaced), morover it lacks 38 leaves, but we could copy the text from the French Library manuscript (what took quite a long time) so that the text is complete.

4 500 Euros

More details :

Here is an real piece of history, written by one of the exorcists that was involved in the greatest case of possession in France, in the Louviers Convent in 1647 where several devils contended with the exorcists (among them Beelzebuth and Dagon) . The author gives every detail on the possession and exorcisms, makes a case to defend that the possession was real, and gives a great number of details on how sorcerers managed to cast that curse on the Convent, their presence at the Sabat, as well as the historic transcription of their confessions and trial. No need to say that here is a real TREASURE.

The french used is a bit old (sometimes "i" becomes "y", additional "s" in the words , there is repetition of some letters, and other small orthographic differences, as well as old meanings that may be slightly different from modern french but is still really understandable.


Table des chapitres

Livre premier

Ou se découvre l'Audace de la Magie contre Dieu, et les Ames, qui lui appartiennent.

I - De l'envie et rage des diables contre les Elus, domptée par la puissance de Dieu, qui a ruiné leurs superbes effots.

II - S'il y a vraiement et reellement quelque Magie.

IV - De l'erreur et de la fausse spiritualite que les diables, et la Magie, ont taché d'introduire dans cette maison

V - Continuation du Discours precedent, ou se voit l'injustice que commettent ceux qui scandalisent un grand nombre de vertueuses filles pour le défaut de quelques particulieres.

VI - Des faux spirituels, et du moyen de discerner entre la vraye et la fausse spiritualité

VII - Des charmes, que les Diables et les Magiciens ont chaché dans ce monastere pour le ruiner entierement.

VIII - De plusieurs charmes découvers, et comme en les tirant de la terre on a procedé avec toute la prudence requise en une affaire de telle importance.

IX - D'un charme levé mal à propos, duquel on a formé de sinistres jugemens et semé de faux bruits

X - Des Visions, Apparitions et Obsessions.

XI - Apparitions et formes differentes, trompeuses et horribles qui se sont présentés à soeur Marie du Saint Sacrement au temps de son Obsession.

XII - Apparitions d'un démon transformé en Ange de lumiere, consolantes et charmantes pour tromper subtilement cette fille en lui offrant une conduite extraordinaire.

XIII - Reflexions sur les diverses apparitions de faux Ange de Lumiere

XIV - Conclusion de tout ce livre, et resolution de certaines questions necessaires en cette matiere.


Ou il est traitté pleinement de plusieurs réelles et horribles possessions causées par la Magie, dans le Monastere de Louviers, et rendues externes et visibles par la bonté de Dieu et de leurs plus certaines preuves.

I- Effort de la Magie, secours de la Providence. Premier raisonnement convaincant et prouvant la possession des religieuses de Louviers, par les mouvemens corporels au dessus de leurs forces naturelles

II - Second raisonnement convaincant et prouvant la possession des filles de Louviers, par les qualités et les impressions ou produittes ou empechées par dessus la nature, ensuite des mouvements corporels.

III - Toisieme raisonnement convaincant, & prouvant la possession des filles de Louviers, par les actions spirituelles & premierement par la revelation & la decouverte des choses cachées.

IV - Suitte du raisonnement precedent, qui prouve la possession des Religieuses de Louviers par les actions spirituelles, comme par l'intelligence des langues inconnues & par la subtilité de la science qu'on a remarqué en ces filles.

V - Continuation du mesme raisonnement precedent qui pronne la possession des Religieuses de Louviers par les actions spirituelles, & particulierement par certaines opérations comme miraculeuses qui surpassent l'ordinaire de la nature.

VI - Confrontatis de Leviathan avec Madelene Bavan du 27 de May. Exorcisme de Ramonds du Jour precdent, feste du tres-saint Sacrement, le 26 de May, 16--

VII - Quatrieme & dernier raisonnement convaincant & prouvant la possession des Religieuses de Louviers par des raisons morales.

VIII- Jugement de Messieurs les Commissaires envoyés par la reyne pour connoitre la possession des filles Religieuses de Louviers.

IX - Conclusion de tout ce que dessus, & breve conviction de la possession reelle desdittes religieuses, avec leur triomphe parmi tant d'horreurs.


Où se declare le desseint de Dieu, et la fin propre & speciale pour laquelle il a ordonné cette possession, qui n'est autre que la manifestation & la ruine de la Magie & des Magiciens.

I - Comme quoy Dieu a reduit toute cette affaire à un procés criminel fait & parfait.

II - Charges & confessions de Madelene Bavan grande Magicienne durant son interrogatoir fait par Monsieur Reutier Lieutenant Criminel du Pont de Larche, commissaire du conseil.

III - Charges & confession de Madelene Bavan insigne Magicienne, extraittes de son interrogatoire, & des registres de la Cour de Parlement de Rouen.

IV - Charges & accusations contre Mathurin Picard grand Magicien.

V - Charges & accusations contre Thomas Boullé grand & execrable Magicien

VI - Arrest de la Cour de Parlement de Rouen contre Mathurin Picard & Thomas Boullé convaincus des crimes de Magie, Sortileges, sacrileges, impietés, & cas abominables commis contre la Majesté Divine & autres mentionnés au procés


Here is a good description of the case given by Montague Summers in "The Geography of Witchcraft", London, 1927 :

        Throughout the whole history of Witchcraft there is no history so hideous as that of Madeleine Bavent, Mathurin Picard, and Thomas Boulle. Nowhere have I read so hideous a confession. The details are so utterly abominable that even the soul of a priest steeped in the fires of the confessional, whom no human aberration can shock or surprise, shudders and sickens at the dark mass of turpitudes which are as tlic stench and vomit of the pit of hell. In 1616 at Louviers, a busy little old-world town of Normandy situate on the river Eure, some seven-and-twenty miles from Rouen, was founded the convent of S. Louis IX and S. Elizabeth of Hungary, for a community of Regular Tertiaries of the Third Franciscan Order. Their first director was an old priest named David, shortly to be succeeded by Mathurin Picard, the vicar of Mesnil-Jourdain, whose curate, Thomas Boulle, assisted him, and upon his death in 1642 was installed with full responsibility in his room. By some unhappy fate, it was more than mere chance, without design-all three were adherents of the Manichees, concealing their Satanism under the disguise of orthodox sanctity. From the commencement they set to work to corrupt the hapless religious whose faithful pastors and guardians they should have been, and instead of lifting their souls to heaven they dragged them down to the nethermost inferno. As early as l634 there were indications that something was seriously amiss. Two or three Sisters were seized with fits of an abnormal nature, now standing rigid in some paralytic trance, now foaming on the ground in an epilepsy and writhing as some boneless contortionist of the circus arena. Matters, however, seem to have been hushed up for a while, although the infamous Picard ran some danger of being exposed. He was, in truth, the Chief Officer and Grand-Master of all the witches and devil-worshippers throughout the district. Having seduced and entirely subjected to his will an unfortunate nun, Madeleine Bavent, he used her as his instrument, his associate, and intermediary. There can be no doubt, I think, that Picard must have possessed extraordinary Hypnotic powers, and Madeleine Bavent is probably not to be accounted morally responsible for the orgy of crime into which she was plunged. The details are known from the confession which she wrote in prison at the instance of the Abbe de Marets, an Oratorian, who helped and counselled her in those hours of penitence and remorse. Several nights a week she was awakened just before Matins, that is to say about midnight, but one of the nuns, and conducted to the Sabbat. It is clear that Picard had provided himself with false keys so that he could gain admission to any part of the cloister at any hour. She declared that she never used any ointment or recited any spell, but that she was conveyed to the Sabbat by the power of Picard without knowing how she arrived there, obviously in a state of trance. The exact place where the Sabbat took place she could not identify, but it was presumably in some house not far from the convent. It was a long and narrow room, lighted by flares and the candles upon the Devil's altar which had been erected there. This certainly suggests a cellar. A number of persons dressed as priests were present, and some in grotesque masking habits, half-animal, half-human. She never assisted at any adoration of the demon in the form of a goat, and the rites were seldom followed by a banquet. The Black Mass of Satan was continually said at the altar. The host appeared to be of a red colour, and communion was given to the worshippers. The liturgy was read from a book of blasphemies, which was Carried in procession. It contained the most hideous maledictions against all things sacred and divine, and seems to have been a manuscript rather than a printed book. There was also a register or roll of the Satanists in which her name had been inscribed by David. This was kept with the utmost care and Madeleine was never told the names of any who were present. She recognised four religious from her own house, Catherine of the Cross, Catherine of S. Genevieve, Elizabeth of the Nativity, and Anne Barre, also Thomas Boulle and several other priests whom she knew only by sight, probably as having served the convent chapel. Prominent among the assistants were an elderly man with iron-grey hair, who was generally richly dressed in a purple velvet suit, and a matron, said to be Mother Frances of the Cross (in the world Simonne Gangain, a co-foundress of the Louviers convent, who ordinarily resided at Paris. It is impossible to relate certain abominations and unnatural defilements of the Blessed Sacrament which these evil priests practised. The details are frankly too monstrous for reproduction. The wretched woman further related: " On the Good Friday night of one year Picard and Boulle brought with them four Hosts; of these they put in their own mouths, and the other two into Mother Simonne's mouth and mine; then they exchanged theirs for ours in order to cement for ever the union and connexion between us. One night, after the book of blasphemies had been carried in procession, a little crucifix was brought in and large Hosts were nailed to the hands and feet of the figure of Christ, and each one present stabbed the Hosts with a sharp knife. There fell two or three drops of blood, which were gathered up carefully and preserved with the Hosts to confect a charm. " I cannot but believe," she cried in tones of utter despair, " that this is a renewal of the Crucifixion of Our Lord." On one occasion a priest brought a Host to burn it; and another time a priest brought a chalice half-filled with the Precious Blood, which they poured out over the floor. One Holy Saturday a woman handed over to these men-devils her newly born child. The babe was crucified on a rough cross, its little hands and feet being fastened to the wood with nails which pierced large Hosts. Two men, who had ventured to the Sabbat out of curiosity, filled with horror at the spectacle refused to take part in the orgies of lust and murder. They were not allowed to leave the house alive. Picard used to delight to subject the miserable Madeleine to the most infamous sexual connexions, to prostitute her publicly before the fiendish assembly, In fine, the pages of de Sade contain nothing fouler than the confessions of this wretched woman; the most cruel and obscene episodes of Justine or Juliette pale before the sworn statement of this demoniac nun. Mathurin Picard died in 1642, and was buried in the chapel of the Franciscans, near the choir grille. No doubt Boulle, who succeeded him, could not maintain the same magnetic influence over the Sisters as their late director, and the mastermind removed conscience began to make itself heard. Several religious sickened of a strange malady, and were driven almost to madness by their guilt and the pangs of remorse. They uttered piercing cries, accusing themselves of hideous crimes. Fear fell upon them, and before long some twenty inmates of the house were in the last stages of nervous disorder, broken in spirit and body. The thing could not be hidden, and early in 1643 the Bishop of Evreux, Monsignor Francois Pericard, determined to begin a thorough investigation. He was assisted by several Capuchin fathers of great tact and experience. The nuns soon made the most alarming confessions, mortally implicating Madeleine Bavent, who they seem to have regarded as the chief instrument of their undoing, the dead Picard, the living Boulle. The good Bishop did not delay to promulgate his sentence. Madeleine Bavent was to be degraded from religion and imprisoned for life; the body of Picard was no longer to be suffered to remain in consecrated earth, but to be disinterred and flung with contumely into a ditch, le Puits Cronier, which lay outside the boundaries of the town; Boulle was pronounced worthy of death. This judgement was delivered on 12 March, 163, and before a few months were out Monsignor Pericard heart-broken at the insults offered to the Most Holy Sacrament, had sunk into an untimely grave. Secular justice stepped in, and the accused were transferred to Rouen. Delay followed delay, and procrastination procrastination, until after four years a final condemnation was issued by the supreme courts. On 21 August, 1647, Thomas Boulle, after having humbly begged pardon of God and the King before the principal door of Rouen Cathedral, was degraded from all ecclesiastical order, and burned alive in the market-square. The corpse of Picard was flung into the same fire. Madeleine Bavent remained in close confinement, and ended her days forgotten in a dungeon. At first she revolted against her doom, and attempted suicide, wounding her throat with a knife she had concealed and thrusting it into her side. She also swallowed glass, and would have starved herself to death. In time a deep resignation succeeded, but there is no further record of her fate.

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