He is risen !
N° 216 – December 2020
Director : Frère Bruno Bonnet-Eymard
“Marthe Robin’s Mystical Fraud” and Rome’s “Methodical” Heinous Crime!
Marthe Robin’s Mystical Fraud is the posthumous work of Father Conrad De Meester, a Discalced Carmelite Father of the Province of Flanders, Doctor of Theology, internationally known and appreciated for the seriousness of his work on the most famous mystical saints of the Church: Therese of Lisieux, Elizabeth of the Trinity, Edith Stein, etc. The title, which could not be more explicit, is the conclusion of a scientific demonstration and a meticulous investigation.
LET US TELL THE TRUTH WHILE MAINTAINING SOUND JUDGEMENT!
Father De Meester’s superior and his Carmelite confreres considered this book, “the fruit of an immense work,” as “his masterpiece.” Published posthumously by Editions du Cerf, they did not hesitate to commit the full weight of their moral authority to its promotion: “There are investigative books the revelations of which provoke a before and an after, because they unveil an established lie by dissecting every secret reason, every hidden cog, by unmasking the perpetrators, accomplices and victims.” In a remarkable ‘Warning from the editor,’ the director of the publishing house, Le Cerf, Jean-François Colosimo, calms passions, but to better impose Father Conrad’s last will: “Let the truth be told,” and to share with us, in a personal capacity, a major interest of the work:
“Let us make it clear from the outset: this book was not conceived as an engine of war, neither against Marthe Robin, nor against the Foyers de Charité that she inspired, nor against the new communities that claim her heritage (...). Truth and freedom, but also faith and reason: this is indeed the leitmotif of this book. Requisitioned for his undisputed competence as a specialist in mystical literature, particularly contemporary and feminine, Father Conrad De Meester concluded, using objective critical methods, that the texts of Marthe Robin are inauthentic. Having established this, he investigated the context in which they were written and, by gathering together a number of well-founded accusations, he similarly deduced that they contained various fraudulent aspects (...).
“It (this book) also takes stock of the years following [also preceding] the Second Vatican Council, which saw paradoxical illuminations and illusory lights abound, in contrast to the great spiritual tradition. Today, themselves disoriented by the fleeting successes and fragile consolations they produced, they are going out one after the other.”
ROME BEYOND THE TRUE AND THE FALSE
Published on October 8, 2020, “this book, which is destined to cause an upheaval in the Catholic world” went almost unnoticed; the “upheaval” was brought under control the same day by an unequivocal clarification from Vatican News:
“In his report, the theologian [De Meester] raised a number of problems relating in particular to the mystical dimension of Marthe Robin, explaining in particular that she was certainly handicapped, but not paralysed, nor blind as she claimed, because she had penned some writings in her own hand. He also pointed out that almost all her writings or accounts of mystical experiences can be attributed to other spiritual authors, who are never cited.
“All of Father De Meester’s critical positions, together with other elements concerning graphological analysis and medical evaluation, had been integrated into the Positio super virtutibus, i.e. the report on the heroicity of the virtues drawn up by the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. All these elements were therefore studied in a very methodical way, first by the theological consultors, and then by the cardinals and bishops, members of the dicastery, who came to a positive judgement on the heroic exercise of the virtues on the part of Marthe Robin.”
On November 7, 2014, “yielding to various propagandist pressures,” says Jean-François Colosimo, who is well informed, Pope François signed the Decree on “the exercise of heroic virtue.”
JUST WHAT “PROPAGANDIST PRESSURES?”
Even before getting to the heart of Conrad De Meester’s demonstration, we must first answer this question, which is crucial in that it will place the work of Belgian Carmelite in its ecclesial context.
When Marthe Robin died on February 6, 1981, she enjoyed an aura of unparalleled glory: four bishops, two hundred priests and more than six thousand people attended her funeral. Her ascetic and mystical prowess, her sufferings and charity, the number of apparitions of Jesus, the Blessed Virgin, Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus, not to mention those of the Devil, far surpassed those of all the mystical saints of the Catholic Church combined.
Every week, for fifty years, Marthe Robin, suffering from complete quadriplegia, relived the Passion. She never drank or ate (inedia: total abstention from food and drink), she consumed only one consecrated host per week; stigmatised by Christ himself since 1930, she lived in darkness because her eyes, blind since 1940, could not tolerate the light. This was the reason alleged for her never attending the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, etc.
THE “MANOEUVRING” OF THE FRENCH CHARISMATIC MOVEMENT.
When in 1988, the Foyers de Charité began the process of beatification of Marthe Robin, they were confronted by the Roman authorities with two challenges, and a third major one by Father Conrad.
Marthe’s extraordinary feats were detrimental to the Cause, because Rome, traditionally very distrustful in this field, would not rule on the mystical states of such a seriously ill person. It was not a question of denying the facts, but of playing on this register of the extraordinary with much more discretion, and thus to insist more on Marthe’s social role, the new apostolate of the Foyers de Charité established by her, as a precursor to Vatican II.
On the other hand, the beatification of Marthe would be definitively compromised if they persisted in alleging that she had been killed by the Devil on February 6, 1981, even though it was she herself had declared this. Her death had to be natural.
The Foyers de Charité and the Emmanuel Community therefore absolutely had to change the image of their ‘star’; this impresario work did not frighten them. Yet when they read the four hundred pages of Conrad De Meester’s report, published today under the title: Marthe Robin’s Mystical Fraud, there was a panic: in France in the closed environment of the leaders of Charismatic Movement, as in Rome in the equally closed environment of the ‘decision-makers’ of the rich Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Father Conrad was a man of the Church, bound by pontifical secrecy, he would be faithful to it. But the bishops, priests and theologians with whom he had collaborated and also debated, during the diocesan phase of the Cause, all understood that this Flemish Carmelite, son of Saint John of the Cross and Saint Teresa of Avila, would not be easily deceived. For him, truth, by reason of its divine perfection, was neither an empty word nor was it negotiable.
If a scandal were to break out, if Marthe Robin, convicted of fraud, were to fall, this scandal would cause a ‘domino effect’ that would impact on the French Charismatic Movement, and even on the Church of France as a whole. The Foyers de Charité, the promotion of the laity, the new communities, fruits of the Council, and even the Second Vatican Council itself, would all tumble down in the wake of Marthe. ‘This shock, this anathema’ that could have happened, that will one day inevitably happen, did not take place.
BERNARD PEYROUS, MARTHE ROBIN’S IMPRESARIO.
The credit for this goes to Father Bernard Peyrous, a priest of the Emmanuel Community and the postulator of the Cause, who today has been dismissed for notorious misconduct. It is he who succeeded in changing Marthe Robin’s image. He did this without denying the extraordinary facts nor hiding the surprising truth, but he concealed as much as possible the shame of the lie it supposes, justifying it even to the point of making it seem normal, natural, human. No truth, no lie has been able to resist the reconciliation of contradictions made by this wily man from Bordeaux, throughout his book La vie de Marthe Robin, biographie de référence (The Life of Marthe Robin, a Reference Biography).
According to Bernard Peyrous’ 2006 revised and corrected edition, Marthe Robin, is an ailing saint whom Father Finet had disguised as ‘super-mystic’: quadriplegic, having lived without eating since the 1930s. Yet she could still move around, satisfy her intimate needs from time to time, nibble this and that in the kitchen... and shame on anyone who thinks badly about it: “Marthe is not a glorious body” for goodness’ sake! Overwhelmed by the suffering of a “destructive” illness, she fulfilled a wonderful and heroic apostolate of spiritual direction of souls in the service of her neighbour and the Church, as a precursor of Vatican II. From simple people to luminaries, more than a hundred thousand people benefited from her ‘lights.’
Peyrous tells us that she died in this eminent service as a result of a generalised cancer, in a great state of weakness caused by two weeks of bronchitis. On the morning of February 6, 1981, the first Friday of the month, Father Finet found the quadriplegic outside of her bed, with dirty and worn-out slippers on her feet, lying with her mouth wide open next to a bowl of nauseating melena: ‘The death of the just,’ the postulator points out.
In 2006, Marthe Robin was therefore able to join the club of the very human post-conciliar blessed. The Emmanuel Publishing House was delighted: “Bernard Peyrous gives us the most complete picture of Marthe Robin to date, that of a woman who is far from the excesses attributed to mystics, disarmingly modest and admirably courageous.”
WHO, THEN, IS MARTHE ROBIN?
Is she the greatest mystic of all time or a “disarmingly modest” person who is “far from the excesses attributed to mystics?” In order to give a preliminary answer before approaching Father Conrad’s demonstration, and in order to appreciate it more fully, it would be of great benefit to reread our April 2015 article in He is Risen n° 150: The Whole Truth about Marthe Robin, a Mystery of the Apocalypse. Still relevant today, it is confirmed by Father Conrad’s analysis, henceforth anchored on the rock of his scientific demonstration. For those readers who cannot obtain it, here is a brief overview of the main stages in the life of Marthe Robin.
1. 1902-1918: A POOR ANOREXIC GIRL.
On the day of her birth, March 13, 1902, Marthe, the last of a family of four girls and a boy, obviously did not yet know that she was an illegitimate child, and that her ‘genitor’ employed on the neighbouring farm was also syphilitic. She was a cheerful child, readily mischievous, but she did not learn her catechism lessons well and was not very pious. She, her sisters and her mother were known for their dancing; they really knew how to liven things up during evening gatherings. Marthe distinguished herself above all by her fragile health caused by her malign heredity. In a word, she was anorexic, she ate very little. She was also very sensitive. The slightest change in her relational world distressed her.
2. 1918-1922. THE GREAT SUFFERINGS OF A STRANGE ILLNESS.
When her brother’s departure for the war in Mai 1918, was an emotional shock for her; she reacted to it by anorexia. On December 1, 1918, she collapsed and was unable to get back to her feet. She truly suffered greatly. She was unable to tolerate light and she had headaches that made her scream with pain day and night. The doctors first thought that it was a brain tumour, then a lethargic encephalitis; Doctor Modrin, of Hauterives, immediately diagnosed hysteria, and this got around.
3. 1922-1928: A HIDDEN LIFE IN GOD?
On March 25, 1922, according to Peyrous, Marthe Robin suddenly plunged into another world by the irruption into her life of a person, a spirit? “Alice, her sister, who was sleeping in the same room, was awakened by a loud noise and she saw a brilliant light. ‘Yes, the light is beautiful,’ Marthe replied to her, ‘but I also saw the Blessed Virgin (sic).’ A few months later, she received a wound of love in the church of Châteauneuf while she was praying before the altar of the Blessed Virgin.”
What did this change in her life? Only one thing. Marthe, the poor little young country girl who had not even finished her primary school studies, she who, from a human point of view, had no future here below, there she was, spurred on by an apparition from the next world, reading and assimilating the facts, deeds and words of the most extraordinary mystics of the Catholic Church. She did so as an autodidact until 1928. It was these readings which would gradually transform “Marthe, the poor little ill peasant girl” into “Marthe, the greatest of the mystics.” Some say that it is a miracle of grace; others object that it is through a hysterical reaction that she would assimilate the mystics, incorporate them into her own personality… Let us state the fact and take note that such a metamorphosis took place without any great transformation of her soul.
A SUFFERING YOUNG GIRL, EAGER FOR AFFECTION.
The correspondence between 1923-1928 with Madame Delatour, without artifice and most human, proves it. She who has already seen the Blessed Virgin and Saint Thérèse of the Child Jesus is the very one whose heart is overwhelmed whenever a young man enters her world, whether it is the electrician who comes to work in her room or the young dentist who caresses her after pulling out two of her teeth. She plays the ‘little devil’ and amuses her correspondent at the thought of a possible marriage. Her friend is not very pious; Marthe, who has seen the Blessed Virgin and received a wound of love, does not think of inclining her heart towards more religious considerations, nor does she seem to radiate the slightest love other than the totally ‘human’ self-love that she feels for herself through this friend.
4. 1928-1936: THE MYSTICAL ENTREPRISE LAUNCHED BY MARTHE ROBIN.
In November 1928, the parish mission preached by Father Marie-Bernard brought Marthe Robin into public life. First of all, the good Capuchin Father was captivated by Marthe’s ‘holiness’ and would persuaded in turn the parish priest of Châteauneuf, Father Faure, who until then had not believed in it at all. At the same time, he became the devoted secretary of Marthe’s elevations, and the organiser, together with Marthe’s mother, of an endless stream of pilgrims: a mystical, apostolic and commercial enterprise. For what has attracted the crowds since October 1930, is to see “the stigmatic of the Drôme,” buy a rosary she has touched or a handkerchief stained with her blood.
From 1928 to 1936, apart from decent folks, it was above all the elite of the local Christian Democrat intelligentsia who went to see a young woman, a saint who was truly one of their own, and who suffered a great deal. Since February 2, 1929, her legs that had curled up under her thighs have been paralysed for life, her arms could no longer serve and become stiff. “Her hands are affected” (Peyrous, pocket edition, p. 75); stigmatised, she has suffered the Passion every Friday since October-November 1931; a few months later, she no longer slept or ate.
In February 1936, after his first visit to La Plaine, when Father Finet was very hesitant to throw himself into the adventure that Marthe proposed to him, the creation of the “Foyers de Charité,” all his most eminent confreres and superiors, all Christian Democrats, advised him to accept: “Marthe is Saint Catherine of Siena, she possesses the spirit of the Church.”
5. 1936-1981: MARTHE ROBIN BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER VATICAN II.
Thanks to Father Finet’s relations and his enormous capacity for work, Marthe’s influence would acquire a high-level national dimension. The Foyers de Charité were to multiply throughout the world. From 1945 to 1981, dozens of bishops, hundreds of priests, theologians and philosophers, film stars, ministers, etc., more than one hundred thousand people met her personally. Her prayer was effective, her advice wise: was she not, in her own words, a “spiritual priest”? As she relived the Passion of Christ every Friday, the favour obtained was attributed to Marthe, who suffered so much for the conversion of sinners.
The testimonies are there, formal, unimpeachable, sometimes incongruous or contradictory, often accurate and edifying. Nothing and no one resisted her charm, not even the Popes. Pope Pius XII took interest in her case and sent Father Garrigou-Lagrange to investigate. Marthe spoke to him about the Blessed Virgin. The good Father came out of the conversation with tears in his eyes, overwhelmed by the poverty of his theology in comparison with Marthe’s science and piety. Paul VI was in contact with her and he consulted her through Jean Guitton, notably about the new Mass. Fontgombault Abbey accepted the liturgical reform on Marthe’s advice, and Marthe encouraged Archbishop Lefebvre to found his seminary in Ecône. Everyone was contented.
It was Marthe who prophesised “the Pentecost of love” that was going to ensue from Vatican II well before Pope John XXIII and Pope Paul VI. She was the first to implement it, for her founding of the “Foyers de Charité” was based on the promotion of a laity that is consecrated and sent on the mission of undertaking a new evangelisation. A prophetess mighty in deed and word, she inspired most, if not all, of the so-called new charismatic communities. It is she who is the fruits of the Council.
If their leaders and members have caused scandal – and still are –, it is not due to human weakness alone, but it is the consequence of both a quietist conception of the love of God and neighbour that is taught in the retreats of Châteauneuf and a “congenital weakness,” an original sin that Father Conrad De Meester would reveal.
FINALLY CONRAD DE MEESTER CAME...
In 1988, Father De Meester only knew Marthe by reputation and was biased in favour of her. This was well known. The Bishop of Valencia therefore called upon him to act as a “theological censor.” In February 1988, he entrusted him with the analysis of 4,000 autographed or typed pages, most of them written before 1942. After a year and a half of rigorous work, he wrote his Report for the Cause, which was then communicated to the Vatican.
Father Conrad remained without any response or reaction from Rome for more than twenty-five years. He was bound by pontifical secrecy, but not the followers of Marthe who, during this time, published a host of incomplete and false works for young and old. In 2012, his strength declining, Father Conrad felt it was his “duty to speak out,” and he signed a contract with the Editions du Cerf Publishing House for La fraude mystique de Marthe Robin. Father De Meester went to meet his Maker on December 6, 2019, his “masterpiece” appeared on October 8, 2020; the same day, the Roman authorities reacted, as we have seen, stressing that the Carmelite theologian had been obliged to maintain pontifical secrecy. Yet when the secret consists of lies, injustice, money, it is better to obey God rather than men, because then it is “the time to speak and no longer to be silent” (cf. Qo 3:7).
Father Conrad explained this very clearly:
“The Church of Christ is at stake, invited to march according to the exigencies of truth. What is at stake is the discernment of the true graces that the Spirit of God is capable of granting (...). Also at stake are all those who have heard or read the words of Marthe and who are entitled to accurate information. Finally, at stake is the work of the Foyer, called to bear abundant fruit, on the condition of an authentic Christianity.” (Marthe Robin’s Mystical Fraud: F. M. pp. 17-18)
IS MARTHE ROBIN “A DIABOLICAL OR CUNNINGLY CRAFTY GIRL”?
Father Conrad found the memories of the Capuchin Father Marie-Bernard. He had first been charmed by Marthe and was convinced of her holiness. He met Marthe in 1928 and remained with her until 1930, a period of time which allowed him to see how Marthe, her mother and Father Faure were making their ‘business’ bear fruit. Worried, he consulted two specialists in mystical states, including the very eminent Canon Auguste Saudreau (1859-1946), the chaplain of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd of Angers.
“Both of them strongly advised me to test the spirit that was directing this soul, making the best use of theological principles: bonum ex integra causa... malum ex quocumque defectu (good proceeds from a cause all the elements of which must be good, evil can be recognised by any defect). Four trials were suggested to me... and I put this soul through them.
“To reveal her vanity,” I advised her to have her picture taken: on August 11, 1930, the parish priest took two photographs. In one, she was hideous. In the other, she was wearing a lace mantilla from Valence. She resembled Sarah Bernhardt more than the poor little peasant girl that she was (…). She offered me Sarah Bernhardt and forgot to give me her true likeness – feminine pettiness, I am told, yes, but I was enlightened somewhat about her mystical value and her humility.” Peyrous smiles commiseratedly at this evocation.
“Pride... at the instigation of the local parish priest, pilgrimages were already being organised. The so-called little saint was given rosaries, touched them and then distributed them. I advised the suppression of these processions and her handling of objects. This was not to her liking (...). Saint Bernadette would have said “Bless these rosaries yourself.” Peyrous found a justification for this trade and likened it to an innocent and charitable little craft, but he was careful not to mention the rest of the ordeal.
“Love of money... ‘Have money offered to her; you will see her reactions.’ They were immediate. Marthe first asked for sweets, the best ones, made by a pastry cook and confectioner from Lyon. It was later claimed that she lived only on the consecrated host. I had clear proof to the contrary (...).”
Madame du Baÿ, Baroness d’Alboussière, who entrusted her spiritual direction to Father Marie-Bernard, knew Marthe well and became her regular benefactress. Marthe asked her for money, sometimes to buy a cow for her father, sometimes for her good deeds.
“The Baroness left a fortune in her hands. She and the local priest took it upon themselves to use it. Yet defiant and cunning, and fearing that one day or another the Baroness, at my instigation, might part from her, she had the parish priest tell me not to come back to see her any more. On the other hand, in order to keep the Baroness close to her and tap her fortune, Marthe, knowing her spirit of pusillanimity and her terror of the demon, told her outright one day: “If you abandon me, all the demons will come after you.” The terrified Baroness did not try to defend herself. Marthe could fleece her as she pleased, even more.” (F. M., pp. 204-206).
Father Marie-Bernard’s conclusion was: “Attachment to money, attachment to her own person, pursuit of self-glory... All that remained was to decide on the state of her physical and moral health. Was she not a hysteric? Many symptoms led me to believe so. It was then that the final catastrophe took place. Both of them fearing – Marthe, that she was going to be discovered and caught out by the doctors, and the priest, that he would lose his prey –, they told me not to come back.
“I reported the results of the tests to my two judges. They immediately concluded: ‘The Devil has shown his true colour. There is nothing supernatural about it. Your mystic is diabolical, or at the very least cunningly crafty.’ ” (F. M., p. 206)
This testimony is the first serious judgement of the Church, before Vatican II, which was unfortunately short-lived. It did not make an impression on the theologians and cardinals of Rome; this shows the depth of diabolical disorientation, the Apocalyptic mystery that afflicts the Church.
A COMPULSIVE PLAGIARIST
It is a well-known fact that Marthe plagiarised many mystical authors, but Father Conrad reveals its extent and systematic use. Here Bernard Peyrous’ malice and the allegedly “very methodical” analysis of the Roman authorities on this “very acute question” of the Robin dossier must be unmasked.
THE JUSTIFICATION OF THE POSTULATOR.
Bernard Peyrous, this “dear angel,” is perfectly aware of Father Conrad’s objections. He thinks that he can refute them or at least mitigate their relevance in this way:
“Marthe borrows texts from other authors and attributes the states they describe to herself. Is this a lie or falsification? In order to lie, one must first have the intention of lying. Who would Marthe lie to? Her writings were only for Father Faure [a human person, after all]. He could verify the quotations made by Marthe, which came from his own presbytery.” [These books were far beyond Father Faure’s ‘understanding,’ and he remained unaware of the plagiarism, which an expert like Conrad De Meester could immediately identify].
“These books, moreover, are still kept in the Foyer even today. There is no desire to conceal the sources. [Their very existence will substantiate the fraud, Father Conrad will give proof of this].
“Marthe only wanted what she was experiencing to be kept secret and was indisposed when others suspect something about her inner states (...). She experienced things that she was unable to express, she who had no education and was perfectly aware of it (...). Others had found the words, they expressed things better than she could, so she slipped into those words.” (Peyrous, pp. 101-102).
Marthe was lying, Peyrous who was aware of Father Conrad’s demonstration knew this, but he persisted in lying in his turn, while the Roman authorities would “very methodically” analyse the Belgian theologian’s “critique,” and repeat the same lie.
FATHER CONRAD’S REPLY AND REFUTATION.
“It might be objected to me that a simple peasant woman like Marthe cannot be required ‘to quote her sources as any good academic does in his publications.’ Yes, of course. Marthe’s clear intention, however, – and she would repeat it on several occasions, as we shall see – was to inform her ‘spiritual father’ about the vicissitudes of her own soul, to inform him of the feelings she was experiencing, the intuitions and desires that motivated her, the graces she was receiving, the struggles she was waging, and the extraordinary phenomena that she might experience. Her intention was to relate her personal journey, not to repeat the journey and spiritual experiences of another, in this case, of Madeleine Sémer.”
On the strength of the authority of Saint John of the Cross, Father Conrad concludes that it is “quite improbable, to be frank, simply impossible, that Marthe Robin’s interior, spiritual and personal evolution was carried out in a succession of illuminations identical to those of Madeleine Sémer, in the same ‘order’ as in hers. Thus: “She plunges her director into the fictitious.” (F. M., pp.41-42) Here is yet another example among many others:
“Marthe begins an undated Intimate Note, addressed to her spiritual ‘Father’ Léon Faure [the words in bold are from Marie-Antoinette de Geuser in Letters to a Carmelite, the words in italics are equivalents found by Marthe, in normal type, her additions]:
“After having asked God through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, my beloved Mother, for the grace to speak the truth well and as clearly as possible, I come, Father, to answer your request of the other day, which was to put in writing how the Lord takes His little prey with Him. Our Great God of Love comes to me, or rather swoops down on His little prey almost every time I appear before Him (I am speaking here of the days when I do not receive Holy Communion). Often he also arrives unexpectedly, in the middle of other occupations or sometimes in the middle of a conversation. He then attracts me like a big magnet attracts a small needle. If the needle is free, He carries it away completely; if it is not, that is to say, if it has to remain entirely occupied with something exterior, for example if I am in a conversation alone with another person, I can, more often than not, resist. I feel only this very gentle attraction, I adhere to Him strongly, and as soon as I am free, I let myself be carried away by the One who usually waits for me (Letter to a Carmelite, L. C., 164-165).
“In this same Intimate Note (two typewritten pages in all), Marthe draws the attention of her privileged interlocutor three times: ‘In passing, I would like to point out, Father, that...’ ‘I have the impression that I have said these things to you very poorly, Father, yet I would have liked so much to have fully responded to your desire!’ and also:
“Be sure, however, that if there are things that I do not tell you, it is only because they do not come to my mind at the time of writing, or that I cannot translate them clearly enough to put them down on paper, without risking misunderstandings, for there is nothing in my soul that I do not want to reveal to you; perhaps on your next visit I will prove it to you more easily in person. Finally, I love Him, Him alone, madly. (L.C., p. 127).’
“What exact information, what ‘truth’ apparently described ‘as clearly as possible,’ could poor Father Faure have retained from this Intimate Note if he had known that all the words in bold had been taken from a book written by someone else?” (F. M. pp. 63-64).
In the third notebook of her Diary, Marthe “develops her mysticism, that is to say both the experience she has had in a personal capacity and the presentation she makes of it in her own name.” Conrad De Meester identifies entire pages borrowed from Saint John of the Cross, and from the Dominican Louis Chardon (1595-1651), known for his treatise La Croix de Jésus. He concludes: “The question goes beyond the usual transgressions of intellectual misappropriation and literary forgery.” (F. M., p. 355)
Now here is what brings the postulator’s laborious justifications to naught, without need of further commentary: For lack of being able to ‘find the words’ to express her sins, the heroic ‘venerable’ slid into the words, into the sins of someone else:
“In another undated Intimate Note, Marthe makes a general confession in which she lists the faults of her life, which she utters in a state of mystical rapture before the Lord and the entire heavenly court. Yet it is not her own sins and failings that Marthe is confessing, for her long account (about four and a half pages) is once again borrowed, this time from Saint Veronica Giuliani.” (F. M., p. 86).
As Marie-Lucile Kubacki acknowledged in the October 3 issue of the weekly La Vie: “On this point, Conrad De Meester, who shows proof of what he is saying, is unassailable.”
CARDINAL DECOURTRAY FACED WITH THE TRUTH
What the Foyers de Charité and the Roman authorities persist in not seeing in their blindness, Cardinal Decourtray immediately understood. He greatly admired Marthe Robin as the counsellor and ‘midwife’ of most of the new religious Communities: “When we look at what is being born in the Church, we often find Marthe.” Yet, as he also held Father De Meester in high esteem; he listened with great attention to his indictment against Marthe Robin.
The Cardinal’s only reply was to take a book and “then he declaimed a sublime text by Marthe. I recognised it immediately (...). I promised the Cardinal that I would send him this passage taken from the Diary of Saint Veronica Giuliani, together with a photocopy of the printed pages of the book where Marthe had found it (...). I sent him the documents a few days later. The cardinal replied that he remained ‘dumbstruck’ and that he recommended himself to Providence.” (F. M., pp. 119-120).
PLAGIARISM EXPLAINED BY MEDICINE?
In concluding on this subject of plagiarism, Father Conrad evoked the memory of his interviews with Doctor André Cuvelier, a neuropsychiatrist in Nancy, specialised in mystical literature. He had looked into the case of Marthe Robin after the Carmelite sisters of that city had revealed to him that certain texts attributed to Marthe and published in L’Alouette, the review of the Foyers de Charité, came from the Letters to a Carmelite by Marie-Antoinette de Geuser.
Here Father Conrad does not seem to turn his friend’s work to his own advantage, whereas Peyrous did not miss the opportunity. He painted a dramatic picture of Marthe Robin’s psychic state, then explained that her infatuation with reading mystics was the indispensable remedy that enabled her to “recompose her inner self” and prevented her from sinking “into madness or death” (cf. Peyrous, p. 98.) Then he invoked the authority of Doctor André Cuvelier and quoted him: “Marthe Robin goes from memorisation to “memoration” [evocation of a recent memory], that is to say that via her illness, she incorporates memories accepted as present reality into her personality. Such a process should lead to mental confusion whereas in the present case, the “self” emerged strengthened. In our opinion, this is where the intervention of grace can be seen.” (Peyrous, p. 102)
The doctor here judged on the appearances and reputation of sanctity of Marthe Robin, and therefore recognised the intervention of grace. If he had known the works of Conrad De Meester, he would have immediately understood that they correspond to a fundamental principle of discernment specific to his psychiatric profession and which must be applied before the analysis of the illness and the explanation he gives of it.
THE DISCERNMENT OF A CATHOLIC PSYCHIATRIST.
“We are consulted most often to find out whether the facts presented to us are a matter for psychiatry or not. ‘Are these phenomena genuine? Do they come from God or the Devil? Is the person ill?’ All these naive questions are in fact false questions that already imply part of the answer.
“The real problem that the psychiatrist has to solve is this one: Is the subject being examined a simulator? Is he or she capable of consciously participating in the construction of a role-playing game in which he or she would be the star? Can there be a deception dictated by narcissistic satisfaction, the desire to be noticed or the desire for power?” (Le psychiatre face aux phénomènes mystiques, by Doctor André Cuvelier, in Médecine de l’homme, no. 229, May-June 1997).
Doctor Cuvelier posed “the real problem.” What we discover after Father De Meester is that Marthe Robin corresponds point by point to the typical profile of the “simulator,” of the “role-playing game that she starred in,” of the “deception dictated by narcissistic satisfaction, the desire to be noticed or the desire for power.” She acts in this way while being, at the same time, sick, cunningly crafty, and also taken in hand, guided by a spirit. It is in this sense that the doctor’s first judgement was relevant; but the identity of this preternatural force can no longer be in doubt!
MARTHE ROBIN, THE HEROIC SECRETARY
Peyrous, who excels in the difficult art of telling the truth while mitigating the shame of the lie he is forced to uncover a little, remains strangely silent on a haunting question, that of the identity of Marthe Robin’s secretaries. Her arms and hands being paralysed since February 2 1929, Marthe dictated her revelations or intimate notes to secretaries; some of them are known, but there remained a considerable quantity of manuscripts written before 1942, which were copied under her dictation, but the identity of the secretaries was unknown to the Foyers de Charité themselves. Notably those on the Painful Passion of the Saviour. This poses the following problem: in the closed environment of the farmhouse on Chemin de La Plaine and the Foyer in Châteauneuf, how is it that we are unable to identify these intimates?
This is where our ‘sleuth’ De Meester is brilliant, because in addition to detecting the numerous and identical spelling mistakes that Marthe made, he identifies five different handwritings, but from the same source: the handwriting of Marthe Robin herself! Father Conrad shows her to us in the act of lying, because the person who is supposedly having someone else write to her correspondent that her voice is getting tired of dictating, and that she is therefore obliged to stop, is in reality Marthe Robin herself who is writing this pen in hand?!
“If forging an alien handwriting can be tedious, the effort is all the more exorbitant when it is a question of forming several scripts and using them frequently (...).” (F. M., p. 116).
For a person whose arms and hands are paralysed, and who has barely enough strength to slide the beads of her rosary through her fingers, yes really, Rome is right, it is heroic!
Confronted with such an implacable demonstration, the Foyers de Charité consulted a “highly qualified" graphologist as early as 1990, and entrusted her with the analysis of a large number of Marthe Robin’s writings. The graphologist concluded that, with the exception of the pages written by well-identified secretaries, all the other writings – the most numerous – were Marthe Robin’s handwriting.
“The conclusions I had reached in 1988 in my Report for the Cause were thus confirmed – and independently.” De Meester added with the simplicity and magnanimity of a great scholar: “This confirmation pleased me, but to tell the truth, I did not need it.” (F. M., pp. 117-118).
In desperate straits, the Foyers asked for a counter-expertise from a graphologist of lesser reputation; she estimated the number of scriptwriters at thirteen or fourteen. Thirteen secretaries, and therefore thirteen of Marthe’s close friends, in addition to the five or six well-known ones, in the years 1929-1942, this is impossible. Perhaps the Foyers de Charité have found the rare bird, a professional graphologist, to mitigate the effect of the others?
“A VOLUME THAT SPEAKS VOLUMES.”
During his investigation in Châteauneuf, Father Conrad had been given the volume of the Letters to a Carmelite by Marie-Antoinette de Geuser, which had been used so often by Marthe.
“The copy was in poor condition. Dirty hands had left many marks and here and there, real fingerprints. There were also ink stains, sometimes even real ink prints, a sign of careful note-taking. Finally, there were many pencil marks: I counted some two hundred and thirty-seven (!) most of them in the form of small crosses.
“Surprise! In the margins of page 218, our parishioner (I am obviously talking about Marthe) had added short remarks in pencil. They had then been erased with an eraser, but their traces could still be seen. In the middle of the printed text one could still make out the numbers 1, 2 and 3, printed with a sharp pencil, the imprints of which remained quite visible (...).
“In an Intimate Note, dated January 22 1936, fifteen days before her first meeting with Father Finet, Marthe would use the three passages from the Letters to a Carmelite indicated in the left margin of the volume by the numbers 1, 2 and 3 (...). This preparatory activity of a person who reads, judges, arranges, annotates, inserts is significant! Even such insignificant realities as the graphic form of the three numbers inserted in the printed text betrays Marthe’s [paralysed] hand. The numbers are in her handwriting: one only has to compare them with those in the dating of her letters.” (F. M., pp. 127-128).
De Meester also notes that the chronological order of the three sections of Marthe’s Diary is incorrect. The dates of composition of the second notebook are true; it is free of plagiarism, and transcribed by well-known secretaries. The first and the third notebooks were written later by Marthe Robin herself, both being a compilation of plagiarisms perfectly identified by our Carmelite Father. This makes him say: “Marthe was not only her own secretary, she was also her own publisher.” (F. M., p. 353).
“THE PHYSICAL ACTIVITY OF MARTHE, THE WRITER.”
“The literary activities of ‘Marthe the writer’ and ‘Marthe the reader’ exclude a general paralysis [not to mention her blindness from 1939 onwards]. Otherwise this would be yielding to a mendacious myth that she created and sustained – although a form of relative paralysis was real in an initial phase and it perhaps reappeared later for periods of varying lengths.” Even if disabled in both legs, Marthe could stand and move around. Until the death of her mother on November 22, 1940, she was able to do so with complete impunity with her complicity, and to put herself in a position comfortable enough to write most of her writings well. In 1942, following plans drawn up by Marthe, “a small apartment designed according to her personal needs, but also as a reception room” was built; the lock that closes her door from inside her room is located “forty centimetres (sic) from the floor, while this room communicates with the kitchen.”
Marthe’s handwriting, most often supple and regular, led Father Conrad to believe that “in order to write, Marthe was able to get out of bed, sit down, as well as she could, put her paper on a solid base in order to perform the exercise effectively without recourse to any assistance” (F. M., pp. 291-297).
THE ARMS AND HANDS OF MARTHE’S CORPSE SPEAK VOLUMES
Proof of her literary activity emerges from the report of Professor Replumaz, a surgeon and expert appointed to the Courts and the Court of Appeal of Lyon, sent on February 10, 1981 by Cardinal Renard to carry out a clinical examination on the body of Marthe Robin. No trace of bedsores or ankylosis were found anywhere on the body. The upper limbs were supple “in movement and skin.” “This is surprising,” Father Conrad comments, “after forty years of paralysis without any physiotherapy, because it was too painful.” (F. M., p. 284) The left arm allegedly paralysed along the body, and the right arm permanently on the chest, could be extended without difficulty, unlike the lower limbs, which constantly folded under the thighs, proof that their paralysis had been effective.
On the other hand, if the fingers of the right hand could be bent without difficulty, while they had been purportedly paralysed for more than fifty years, curled into a fist, with the thumb not completely clenched between the fingers and the palm, is this not proof that they had always been intensely active? (cf. F. M. p. 253)
ASCENDANCY OVER FATHER FINET
The testimony of Father Marie-Bernard, like the plagiarism and fraud of the years 1921-1936, revealed an obvious, crucial truth, vigorously affirmed by Father Conrad, but obstinately refused by the Foyers de Charité, the Emmanuel Community and the entire Catholic press: the ascendancy that the stigmatic of Châteauneuf exercised over Father Finet. Marthe Robin was certainly seriously ill, but that does not mean that she was any less cunningly crafty and intelligent.
In 1936, the ‘Marthe Robin mystical enterprise,’ in its eighth year, was running smoothly. Father Marie-Bernard had withdrawn from it, but it was still sponsored by Father Faure and Father Perrier as far as the ‘pilgrimages’ were concerned, and by Father Betton, an enlightened theologian and disciple of Bergson, as far as teaching of ‘mystical states’ to the ‘saint’ was concerned. Marthe was thirty-four years old and was about to enter her public life to carry out a very special mission. Although Father Faure was devoted, he did not have the stature to carry out the creation of the Foyers de Charité. Marthe needed a man tailored to her needs.
She wanted him, she found him, he was the best: Georges Finet. His family tradition, his service records during the Great War, his apostolic and Marian zeal, everything about him was admirable. However, he was part of the network of this Christian Democrat elite that prospered under the reign of Pius XI against the teachings of Saint Pius X. It was the theologians, the bishops of this already falsified Christianity, who persuaded Father Finet to accept the invitation of this new ‘Saint Catherine of Siena,’ and thus to bring him and the Church into an unprecedented trap, unique in the history of the Church.
THE STRANGE MEETING OF FEBRUARY 10, 1936.
From the very first moment, when Father Finet appeared in the presence of Marthe, he felt somewhat nervous in the presence of the woman whom his confrere, Father Faure, had just praised most highly. Marthe Robin perceived this shyness, and from the outset she enthralled him; first by her Marian piety, then by outlining the course of action to be followed, abruptly, as something not to be declined.
“She told me that the Church was going to be totally regenerated by the apostolate of the laity. She spoke to me a lot about that. She even told me: the laity is going to have a very important role to play in the Church (...). It will be something entirely new in the Church; it has never been done before. It will be consecrated laity, not a religious order (...). These Foyers de Charité will have an influence throughout the world.” (Peyrous, p. 141)
“Father” should not take it lightly, because he would be harshly called to order by ‘Marthe’s Jesus,’ who was not easy to get along with: “Tell Father on my express behalf that I want him to take care of Châteauneuf much more than he is doing and has done. If he does not obey this express order, I will take away his mission and great and immense trials will beset him. Let him rather abandon the retreats outside of Châteauneuf and the extra work imposed on him by Mother Scat [a Visitandine nun who organised a Marian lecture that Father Finet gave every month in the Cenacle, near the basilica of Fourvière]. All the time that he spends outside of his duties of state in the Administration of Education and in his confessional at Saint-Jean has to be devoted to Châteauneuf. There is training to be given there. He is undertaking too many things (July 2, 1937).” (F. M., p. 150).
Therefore, it was not Father Finet who had transformed a poor country girl into an all-round mystical champion, as the Foyers would have it believed. From the outset, it was she, Marthe Robin, who dominated and influenced not only Finet, but all her entourage, then most of the French clergy until the day of her death, and who still today is subjugating the “very methodical” Congregation for the Causes of Saints. What prestige!
THE PASSION OF CHRIST OR THE ORIGINAL SIN?
The lies about the inedia (total abstention from food and drink), the paralysis, the plagiarism, the forgery of her handwriting have to be attributed to Marthe, the “cunningly crafty girl,” to the “very intelligent” Marthe whom Father Conrad revealed. They, however, are only means to an end, the service of a master who is not Jesus Christ, but His adversary, who will be loosed in the last days of the world. Marthe Robin did not attend the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass and received only one consecrated host per week, exceptionally two, but she relived the Passion of Christ... unless it was another sacrifice, another mass!
The “Stigmatic of the Drôme” supposedly relived Christ’s Passion every Friday beginning on January 13, 1933. From 1936 onwards, Father Finet succeeded Father Faure, and assisted Marthe by taking notes. Yet, since he did not understand all of Marthe’s words and prayers, Marthe then gave him a more complete record of what she said during her ‘Passion.’ This writing can only have been dictated to a secretary, but they are all Marthe’s own work disguised by one of her five handwritings. The most striking thing is that Father Conrad shows us in the ‘Passion’ of December 31, 1937, an extensive plagiarism of Blessed Dina Bélanger, with redundant proof that the passages hastily noted by Father Finet are similar to those in the written copy. Father Conrad thus proves to us that at the hour of her ‘Passion,’ Marthe knew the text that she had to say and punctuate with bodily gestures. She had, so to speak, learned, assimilated and integrated this text, since she added, here and there, equivalent thoughts or transitions of her own invention.
De Meester is saddened by this observation: “Basically, this way of doing things is close to the one that she uses to compose her letters, her intimate notes, her spiritual diaries and her stories of the Passion. It is her style, her game, her fraud. It is painful to say it, but Marthe ‘plays’ her ‘Passion’...” Yet this time, upon encountering this enormous lie, it seems to me that we find the Father of lies in person.
THE DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS.
“It is a lesson from history that the visionaries or false mystics who bring crowds flocking, who deceive theologians, bishops and cardinals for a long time, are never merely mentally ill, or even, dare I add, pure impostors. More often than not, psychopathological imbalance and simulation go hand in hand with more or less strong, more or less constant, more or less open diabolical intervention. Otherwise the comedy is quickly unmasked!” (The Full Truth about Medjugorje [M.T.V.]): The Discernment of Spirits, p. 202)
During Marthe’s Passions, the Devil is present, not to say omnipresent, it is an obvious fact that no one disputes; one could even say that he has been part of the Foyers de Charité family from the very beginning. We are no longer surprised by his presence or his manifestations (cf. Il est Ressuscité n° 150, April 2015 p. 9-10).
WHAT A SHOW!
It is not hard to imagine the scene since it has been described so many times: extreme pain, screams, moans, wild gestures to get out of bed; she bumps her head against the uprights of her couch, blood gushes from her eyes, from her temples, from her heart; she moans softly or groans in a terrifying hoarse voice... it is the Demon who infests her, not content to possess her, but winning her heart.
In the light of Father Conrad’s scientific demonstrations, what should these appearances evoke in us? A screaming woman, a quadriplegic who gesticulates tormented by a spirit of lies; at her side a man, a priest who is there to assist her, to save her from an accident, to drive out the Demon (sic). Yet above all he is present to be subjugated by her, fascinated by the sublimity of her prayers, penetrated by her spirit of lies.
Is this not a remake of the pitiful original sin? With the profoundly lying Demon as the main actor, Marthe Robin in the character of Eve, and Father Finet, poor Adam who is not only trapped but also contaminated. Indeed, he who celebrated the glories of Mary Immaculate at the school of Saint Louis-Marie Grignion de Montfort, now finds himself strangely ‘married’ to this cunningly crafty, sick and diabolical Eve. He would soon fall into disgrace. The Foyers de Charité and the Emmanuel Community have in fact just revealed that he was guilty of abuse of minors, as early as 1945! and until 1983, with an increase in cases from 1961 onwards!
In the secrecy of a dark room, every Friday for more than fifty years the original sin was being renewed, between Satan, a woman of lies and a vicious priest! Cardinals, Bishops, Priests, men and women from all walks of life, attended this simulacrum and came out of it upset, completely disoriented as well... Diabolical disorientation, in the vanguard of Vatican II, then presented as the only fruit of this disastrous Council: all beautiful, all nice in appearance, like the original apple, but inside it is completely rotten, completely vicious, much more contagious and dangerous for the soul than Covid or AIDS.
Ah, a fine initial hearth it was! Its flame has passed on to the Foyers de Charité and on to all the founders of Charismatic Communities. Is it surprising that their leaders fell one after the other into the worst disorders?!
THE FOYERS DE CHARITÉ
As foundress of the Foyers de Charité, we can once again ‘admire’ Marthe Robin’s prodigious entrepreneurial, commercial and financial spirit, her sui generis way of ‘ransoming’ her benefactors, by means of her lies. In addition to the one of her great literary activity, let us consider only the fundamental lie about the founding text of the Foyers de Charité. Since Marthe had said, and will not cease to say, that since February 2, 1929, she was totally paralysed, unable to write, Father Conrad concludes according to the first principles of practical reasoning, and as any secondary school student might do:
“The credibility of the document, as a presumed collection of divine words, is immediately undermined by the fact that this text [four full pages] is written by Marthe’s own [paralysed] hand.” (F. M., p. 238).
Furthermore, Father Conrad, who had identified numerous passages from Blessed Dina Bélanger, contests the date of writing of the ‘divine’ founding text put forward by the Foyers, 1933. Why is this? Because in 1933 the writings of this French-Canadian nun, a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of Jesus-Mary, had not yet been published in Canada; they would not be published until the second half of 1934 (cf. F. M., p. 239). Our Carmelite detective is very astute! This is one more lie that the “very methodical” analysis of Roman theologians has missed.
Christ therefore did not appear to Marthe to order her to found the Foyers de Charité or to give her a mission of co-redemptive and universal love with “a priest chosen under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.” Father Finet and Marthe are linked for life and beyond the grave, but not with the aim of reproducing “a union” similar to that of Christ and the Virgin Mary.
If, after the war, Marthe’s ‘Passions’ are less prolix, if she no longer pours out her feelings, it is for a reason that we will discover, concealed by this other one: the ‘saint’ has crossed a threshold. “Now I am in the attributes of God and I am even penetrating into the essence of the divinity”! (Peyrous p. 223) This might provoke a smile were it not tragic, because thenceforth on she abandoned her laborious and deceitful writing to devote herself fully to a double objective: the proliferation of the Foyers de Charité and the disorientation of both the lay and clerical Catholic elite, setting the stage for the disorientations of Vatican II, and then prolonging them. All of this was done with a charm, a science, a fascinating prestige that exceeds human capacities. It was the fruit of her ‘sacrifice’ of her ‘mass’ every Friday.
Father Conrad too noticed the prestige she exercised: “Yet if the stigmatist showed great interest in this ecclesial, intellectual and cultural world for which she was supposed to pray and suffer in silence and obscurity, it was because she intended to influence and dominate it. Marthe’s concealments and manipulations thus contributed to her using the entire institutional [Christian Democrat] world as a tool, to which, moreover, it readily consented.” (F. M., p. 355).
THE CHURCHMEN BETWEEN DUTY AND COMPLICITY
Bishop Pic, Diocese of Valencia (1932-1952) and a devotee of Marthe Robin, would nevertheless formally fulfil his duties as bishop. He asked a priest from the Valley, with ‘philosophical training,’ to produce a report for him. It was favourable. No excesses are to be noted, neither in Marthe’s home, nor on the part of her family, nor on the part of the priests who surround her. The bishop was reassured. The mind boggles!
1942: THE UNCOMPLETED “MEDICAL REPORT.”
In April 1942, again on the orders of Bishop Pic, Professor Dechaume and Dr Ricard carried out a clinical examination of Marthe Robin. These relatives of Father Finet and friends of Marthe, prompted by the same “moral certainty,” eliminated straightaway the motive of “deception and simulation.” However, they were amazed to find no anatomical degeneration in this woman who had been paralysed and blind for thirteen years.
The skin is smooth, without bedsores, “the joints that appear as though they are fused are not ankylosed. The muscles do not present contractures. Moreover, they do not when palpation is done. Contracture appears, however, as soon as an attempt is made to mobilise a segment of a limb. It then produces a massive contracture, affecting not only the limb in question, but the whole body, creating a state of total rigidity and causing very intense pain (...).” The extreme pain that Marthe feels as soon as she sees light also prevented the doctors from carrying out further examinations. However, they did have time to make a brief analysis of the eyes, which were normal.
Father Conrad comments: “Letters and other texts composed after 1939 show that even in this period and afterwards she is able to see. She, therefore, is not blind, as she claimed on April 14, 1942 in the presence of Bishop Camille Pic and her confessor Father Georges Finet.” (F. M., pp. 256-257).
The doctors obviously noted the existence of the bloody stigmata, but they did not find “the slightest ulceration or even the slightest lesion anywhere on the body that could explain the origin of the blood, which was abundant” (F. M., p. 260).
Marthe Robin is not Saint Francis of Assisi, cases similar to hers have always abounded in psychiatric hospitals. Ricard and Dechaume knew this, but they remained convinced of the supernatural origin of the ‘stigmata’ of their friend.
BEFORE AND AFTER OCTOBER 1942
Very impressed by Marthe Robin’s suffering, they nevertheless concluded, with rigour and honesty, that an observation of several weeks was necessary to verify scientifically their “moral certainty.”
In October 1942, Bishop Pic agreed, as did Father Finet. Canon Bérardier stated in his report: “In October, a supervision is going to be exercised by four nurses, two religious and two civilians who, after swearing an oath before the Ordinary of Valence, Bishop Pic, would take turns day and night, for four continuous weeks in Marthe’s room without leaving her for a minute, in order to clearly attest to this total lack of food, drink and sleep.” (F. M., p. 261) It is claimed that the German invasion of the Free Zone prevented everything! A slight delay in the execution would be allowed, but not a definite postponement.
What happened to prevent this supervision from taking place, when all the participants agreed? The authors give reasons that do not hold up.
THE ROBIN-FINET PACT
This pact was sealed on the day when Father Finet caught Marthe either in the act of moving about or writing and thus also of plagiarism. Was Marthe lying about the reality of her inedia, about the extent of her paralysis, and about her mystical elevations?! It therefore becomes evident why the plagiarisms of every Friday, which were laborious for Marthe, came to an end: they had become pointless; Father Finet had been caught in a rattrap, inextricably.
It seems to us that this discovery was necessarily made between October 1942 and before Father Finet’s first fall into unchaste behaviour in 1945. Ah! What a fine ‘Saint Catherine of Siena’ she was! The very democratic Jesuit Albert Valensin who had given her this surname had told Father Finet: “She will never deceive you. She possesses the spirit of the Church! You must do all that she tells you to do; she will never deceive you.” The Foyers de Charité operation was off to a good start and, as Peyrous points out: when Finet was “totally involved, intellectually and emotionally, in an enterprise,” he was not a man to call himself into question. So he forged ahead.
Both of them, accomplices, absolutely had to elude all monitoring of the inedia, and continue in this lofty ascetic and mystical register, with henceforth and more than ever, ‘the Father of Lies’ as a partner to an extent that it is not for us to determine here.
IS IT MARTHE OR THE DEVIL WHO IS ON PROBATION?
From 1943 onwards, Marthe was watched over in a very strict and regulated manner by two women who were absolutely devoted to the person of Father Finet; during the day they ensure that the visits went smoothly, and at night in order to leave her some initiative for her literary and other activities, and those of basic necessity that we have already mentioned.
When either of them entered the kitchen late and caught Marthe there and saw her crawling away, they told Father. He would answer them that it was the Demon whom they had seen under the guise of Marthe and they continued their work “without troubling themselves about it.”
Father Conrad collected their testimony on October 20, 1988 during a second visit to the farm at La Plaine. One of them even imitated the way Marthe moved around, sliding on the ground “supporting herself with the buttocks, hands and feet” (F. M., p. 282).
During this visit, Father Conrad wanted above all “to gather as much information as possible on certain phenomena that had occurred in Marthe’s room. Among them were the noises that were regularly heard when she was alone in the room – especially on Thursdays, Fridays and later on Saturdays and Sundays as well – and which were attributed to the Devil. Also ‘objects moved’ from one point to another by some similarly evil intervention. Also the ‘broken cups’ the pieces of which I had seen kept in a chest of drawers. Finally the ‘chair’ that barricaded the door when Father Finet wanted to enter the room in the morning.” (F. M., p. 281)
Is it Marthe or the Demon assuming her appearance who is making these unusual noises? Both solutions are possible, as is the most probable a combination of the two, if we are to follow the wise guidelines of the discernment of spirits:
“When the finger of God is absent, the Spirit of Lies skilfully and inextricably combines its own preternatural ‘tricks’ with the wiles of a more or less dilapidated psyche and the comedies of a perverse will that is secretly abandoned to it, or at least that has fallen into its terrible slavery.” (M.T.V.: Le discernement des esprits, p. 202)
EXORCISTS STUDY THE CASE
As part of the diocesan investigation, on January 14, 1993, Bishop Marchand gave Father Paul Glatard, an exorcist from the diocese of Valencia, a fifty-six page dossier concerning the diabolical phenomena relating to Marthe Robin. He consulted two confreres from the diocese of Lyon. The three exorcists gave their report to the postulator, but the latter did not take any account of it. Here are the first conclusions which inform us about Marthe’s nocturnal life, and also about the exorcists’ will to clear the venerable of all suspicion.
“1. Evidence of the Demon’s intervention. Often occurring during the night, unexplained interventions consist of noises (crumpled paper), filth (soiled toilet, excrement in the room, black and foul-smelling liquid), fire (burnt shirt), smoke. Twice we note dirty worn out slippers, useless and grotesque objects.
“2. Physical abuse. Hitting very often a single, paralysed woman at night, this is a savagery and repetition that is typical of the Evil One.
“3. Spiritual attacks. Satan tries to despair of Marthe, which is the deepest and most characteristic temptation: ‘I will get you in the end.’ Marthe came to question the usefulness of the work.
“4. The mysterious form. This form that moves about especially at night [p. 203, one of the exorcists, Father Sagne, specifies: ‘with all the lights on’], slithers without any indication of muscular effort. It takes no notice of witnesses. It lets itself be seen. We think that the Demon took Marthe’s appearance to make her look like a simulator (getting up secretly at night).” (Venerable Marthe Robin, V.M.R., pp. 72-73).
The exorcists then admitted that the bolt that closed the door of her sickroom from inside was “at 40 cm from the floor” within the reach of Marthe creeping or the Demon? The guards chosen by Father Finet were questioned and their testimony was considered frank. One of them, Thérèse R. testified: “… Marthe might have been annoyed that I had discovered her.” “I felt that I was making her ill-at-ease, I withdrew after a moment.” “I did not trouble myself about it.” (V.M.R., p. 77)
“5. Spiritual fruits. What may indicate the intervention of the Demon in the life of Marthe is the exceptional Marian intimacy, the unequalled participation in the Agony of Jesus. The seal of authenticity is simplicity, peace, spiritual obedience and trust in Mary (...). The satanic attacks in the life of Marthe are inseparable from these mystical graces and spiritual calls.” (V.M.R., pp. 73-74).
For exorcists, the virtues mentioned above are “the seal of authenticity,” proof that “in the life and work of Marthe Robin, the Prince of this world was condemned and cast down.” (V.M.R., p. 81).
Simplicity, peace, spiritual obedience above all, and trust in Mary are actually criteria of Catholic holiness. This fact deceived the exorcists and continues to deceive everyone. Marthe Robin did not give the impression of being a frantic and compulsive hysteric. She was very much in control of herself, expressed herself with a soft, affectionate voice; she was charming, kind, and gained ascendancy over everyone with her superior intelligence.
Therefore, the exorcists concluded that if the Demon was tormenting her, it was because she was a saint who, moreover – as the Romans used to say, “in cauda venenum [the venom is in the tail] – had a mission of spiritual guidance. Do we not read this in the lives of the saints? Yes, but you still have to know how to read! These exorcists however, did not know how. In order to explain this familiarity with the Demon, and to cleanse Marthe of any suspicion of being a simulator, they searched in Gemma Galgani’s life for an example where Satan assumes the appearance of someone. Of the saint? No, he took the form of her confessor in order to deceive her, but she obviously did not let herself be tricked!
Marthe Robin cannot be compared with any of our saints for this simple reason that Conrad De Meester has repeatedly proved: we are dealing with a person who has been lying and playing a mystical ‘role-game’ since 1922. For what purpose? From the outset, her desire was to be the centre of attention and to be loved. Onto this, there developed a strange will to dominate and influence, which must now be analysed in the light of the wise discernment of spirits. For from 1942 onwards, it was in fact her “mission as a spiritual guide” that became the true challenge of her whole life, as well as of the diabolical Spirit of disorientation that guided her.
THE DISCERNMENT OF SPIRITS.
“There are false seers (false mystics) whom the Devil allows to do much good because this good is for him the indispensable reassuring guarantee of messages that are pernicious for the Church; because for him, it is the only way to impress favourably and to abuse the Pastors in charge of discerning the nature of the extraordinary phenomena and oracles of which he is the author.”
This is why the Church, in her divine wisdom and centuries-old experience, is aware that “all diabolical human impostures of great importance have attracted countless faithful, who have prayed, gone to confession, received communion, and sometimes even been converted! This can last for years, as long as the Church authorities have not denounced the deception.” (M.T.V., pp. 210-211).
Father Conrad De Meester has unmasked and denounced the “hoax” for all he is worth but this did not prevent the Roman authorities from declaring Marthe Robin venerable by considering some good fruits, without regard for so many others that are scandalous. Could this therefore be “the hour and power of Darkness” (Lk 22:53)?
“Every divine manifestation, as well as every satanic intervention, has a purpose. It is this purpose that it is important to bring to light.” (M.T.V., Le discernement des esprits, p. 212).
So what was the objective pursued by the Demon throughout Marthe Robin’s life? What goal was he pursuing through this prodigious dominance, this unbelievable influence, because unquestioned, on the hierarchical Church for more than fifty years?
If Marthe Robin ‘the greatest of the mystics’ was able to grow and develop to this point, as we have seen, it was with the moral support and advice of certain men of the Church, all Christian Democrats (cf. He is Risen no. 150, April 2015). Marthe Robin thus belongs to a spiritual family opposed or indifferent to Saint Pius X, as well as to Our Lady of Fatima. Whatever the sincerity or eminence of the men, they put their principles into practice, and were therefore what Saint Pius X had foreseen: the purveyors of the great Apostasy, and therefore of the ruin of the Church.
How did Marthe Robin react from the 1930s to the 1980s to this falsified Christianity, which no longer liked being Catholic, the elites of which ‘were winking’ at the Protestant ‘separated brothers’ and the Jewish ‘elder brothers’? Before encouraging these deviances, she proposed an innovative solution for the future: the promotion of the laity, the Foyers de Charité, presented as the preliminaries and providers of a new Pentecost.
PROMOTION OF THE LAITY.
When, in 1952, Canon Naz, a renowned canonist, proposed to give the Foyers de Charité, which were becoming ever more numerous, the status of a secular institute, Marthe remained silent for a long while. Then, with her terrible voice from another world, which she sometimes used, she exploded: “A Foyer de Charité is not a contraption added on to another contraption. It is something very new in the Church. The Church has to accept us as we are (...). There will never be Constitutions in the Foyers. Constitutions would limit us and place us in the category of religious orders (...). The members of the Foyers de Charité are neither religious nor nuns; they are communities of lay people, men and women consecrated to God, without vows, with a priest at their head: the Father.” (cf. Peyrous, pp. 291-292)
This counterfeiting of parish life, the cause of many sex and money scandals, is not in the spirit of the Church, even if a certain good can be done there on the condition, as Father Conrad says, that there is an “authentic Christianity.” Marthe was right, the Foyers de Charité were something very new in the Church; Father de Nantes explained to us why it is necessary to oppose them in Point 30 of the 150 points of the Phalange, The Parish, a Christian Community:
“To oppose all the efforts of revolutionaries and reformists to substitute spontaneous, thus fluctuating communities of freely gathered individuals owing no territorial allegiance and sharing no common past, for this basic immemorial territorial unit of the Church, the parish must remain. Because of its territorial foundation, the parish alone can and must guarantee, over and above any individual whim, the preaching of the Gospel, the worship of God, the administration of the sacraments, and the direction of souls. In this way, it will strive to keep all its children under its wing from birth till death.”
THE CHARISMATIC REVOLUTION
With the help of Marthe Robin, “the deceiver” sought to conquer and disorientate what was still sound and of good will in the Church, before, during and after Vatican II: the majority of good priests so tried and deprived of any consolation in their difficult ministry; Catholic youth and so many good people distraught by the upheavals of the post-war period, scandalised by those of the post-Council period.
The Catholics who suffered so much from progressivism bereft of piety in the 1970s would free themselves from it with joy, only to fall from Charybdis to Scylla, into the trap of another disorientation, that of the Charismatic Renewal with its ‘new Communities’ and its corrupt ‘shepherds.’
At the origin of the movement, in 1967, was a weariness with the conciliar religion. Lay professors at Duquesne Catholic University in Pittsburgh (USA) “felt a void, a lack of dynamism, a loss of strength in their life of prayer and action (...). Their commitment to the liturgical, ecumenical, apostolic and peace movements has disappointed them.” (M.T.V., p. 306) The discovery of Protestant Pentecostalism and its leaders were going to remedy this. They received the laying on of hands and the baptism of the Pentecostal Spirit, and immediately there was an outpouring and a power of prodigious charisms, speaking in tongues, miracles, fervour, the fire of love, joy, etc. (M.T.V., p. 306).
The Charismatic Renewal, originally American, quickly became borderless; it spread to France, then to Europe and finally throughout the whole world. For the leaders of the Charismatic Movement, America is like Mecca for the Muslims or Jerusalem for the Jews; you have to go there at least once in your life. The young people of the 1968 generation therefore went ‘to the States’ to receive the laying on of hands and the baptism of the Spirit. Then they came back to become teachers of prayer, miracle workers, and the apostles of the new Pentecost! Thoroughly impregnated with the ‘living water’ from the Protestant spring, they were going to communicate the Holy Spirit to an old and dying Catholic Church to help it to plunge into the great delta of ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue. ‘All being one,’ they would then be able to advance ‘into the open sea’ of a religion that was finally universal and truly fraternal.
Father de Nantes was the first to understand in all its apocalyptic scope the danger of the Charismatic Movement, and how much this disorientation was infiltrating the Church through the great ‘messianic’ encyclicals of John Paul II, Dominum et Vivificantem in 1986, and Fides et Ratio in 1998.
MARTHE ROBIN’S SPIRITUAL CHILDREN.
In the seventies, the Emmanuel Community, daughter of this ‘American Charismatic Renewal,’ spread throughout France, supported and encouraged by Marthe Robin. It was out of gratitude that they entrusted one of their own with the difficult case of her beatification.
Another emblematic figure of the Charismatic Movement was Gérard Croissant, alias Brother Ephraim. From 1971 to 1972, Croissant was in Jerusalem to learn Hebrew. In 1974, he went to the USA and was initiated by the Presbyterian Kathryn Kuhlman. He frequented the great Pentecostal preachers: Thomas Roberts, “Mister Holy Spirit,” was his spiritual father. Gerard received the baptism in the Spirit, and the little Crescent boy started performing miracles. Back in France, he, who was destined to become a pastor, fell out with the Reformed Church. With a few friends, the idea came to him to enter the Catholic Church [with the intention of communicating the Holy Spirit to her]. They went to Marthe Robin, who encouraged them by saying: “There will be no scandal, I promise you. There will be no scandal, the time has come (...).”
At Pentecost 1975, Croissant was converted; under his leadership, and his new name of Ephraim (sic) “the Community of the Lion of Judah and the Slain Lamb” was established in the diocese of Albi. Brother Ephraim was happy, he communicated the Holy Spirit “to the mother abbesses and old monks” of the region: “We may have witnessed the general rehearsal of what will be the Pentecost of love.” (M.T.V., p. 311) Miracles and healings abounded in this Community, the organisation of which was modelled on that of the Foyers de Charité; but financial and above all sex scandals abounded. Marthe did not hold a grudge against Ephraim, she continued to love him, to see and advise his friends.
As an example of a female figure who is emblematic of the Charismatic Movement, we have chosen an idol whose diabolical perversity was unmasked by our Father in her heyday: the charming and very intelligent Mother Myriam (cf. The Catholic Counter-Reformation no. 239, January 1988, pp. 1-2). In 1982, she founded the Little Sisters of the Immaculate, which soon became the Little Sisters of Israel, Daughters of the Immaculate.
The story of this Catholic nun of Hungarian origin is one of a prodigious disorientation that was accomplished under the guidance of her director of conscience, Father Marie-Dominique Philippe, also a (scandalous) ‘child of Marthe.’ One day Tünde Szentes discovered that she was of the Jewish race. There followed the shock of doubting, a clever subversion of her Christian faith. She returned to the practices of the Talmudic Judaism of her ancestors; a Jew at heart, she nevertheless remained in the Church in order to impose this Judaeo-Christianity, so much in the spirit of Vatican II (Nostra Aetate).
In her book, Little Jewish Sister of the Immaculate, she expressed her gratitude for the one who prepared her for this prophetic mission: “At every stage of my inner development, at every moment of the consolidation of my religious vocation, Marthe Robin encouraged me, helped me with her advice, advised me in my reading. She told me that I was on the right path and when I expressed doubts, when I let fears appear, she reassured me and her spirit of prophecy opened the future.” (in Les Communautés nouvelles, Olivier Landron, p. 124) The future? For she who imagined that she was “the Esther of the twentieth century,” here is the future: “Catholicism is going to disappear in favour of a brotherhood of the children of God.” Here again following Marthe’s advice, there were so many scandals of all kinds, so many extravagances, inevitable bad fruits of an inconceivable apostasy.
In the seventies, the Charismatic Renewal quickly established itself as a powerful interdenominational international organisation, and, what is more, very rich! It was not uncommon to see the young founders of the new Communities holding double or triple memberships: Protestant Pentecostalism, Talmudic Judaism... and Roman Catholicism. Despite certain appearances of piety, that deceived the decent folk, the charismatic religion is light years away from the religion of Saint Pius X and Our Lady of Fatima, but in perfect harmony with that of Vatican II.
Marthe Robin was and still is, alas, a kingpin of the great Apostasy of the last times. Father de Nantes had understood and judged her in truth: “A false mystic who turned out to be the ‘mother’ of the whole Charismatic Movement, and the ‘protective umbrella’ [the mystical guarantor] of John Guitton, and thus of Paul VI and Vatican II.” (CRC Congress 1985)
A RIVAL OF OUR LADY OF FATIMA AND SISTER LUCY
The ultimate criterion of Catholic discernment of spirits: “The Devil always seeks to compete with God’s authentic revelations.” (M.T.V., p. 212).
A NEW CATHOLIC PENTECOST.
It is a “new Pentecost”! Before becoming a charismatic slogan, a revolutionary hope, it was originally a cry from the heart, a spontaneous exclamation of French parish priests in tears as they saw their churches filled, their parishioners practising the Sacraments again. Thanks to whom? Thanks to the Virgin Mary, the Pilgrim Virgin of Notre-Dame de Boulogne during the “Grand Return” of 1938. These pilgrimages were renewed from 1942 onwards. In five years, 16,000 parishes in 88 dioceses were visited, hundreds of thousands, even millions of people evangelised. For the crowds were there to pray and do public penance. There were many conversions, some miracles.
What was characteristic of this great movement? It took place according to the spirit and message of Our Lady of Fatima. It was therefore a religious, supernatural, sacramental, priestly, hierarchical work, without great human means. The Virgin entered the Red suburbs, and she converted communists! Those in charge of Catholic Action could not believe the success of this “improvisation”: no rational plans, no projects, no field studies, and yet what apostolic fruitfulness! (cf. The Whole Truth about Fatima, Volume 3, pp. 56-61).
What about Marthe Robin during this time? How pale, extravagant and dark the beginnings of the Foyer de Charité in Châteauneuf-de-Galaure seem in comparison to the fire of God’s love that the Virgin Mary kindled in the hearts of the French people. The statue of Our Lady of Fatima would multiply these prodigies of conversion throughout the world until the mid-fifties (cf. T.S.F., Vol. 3, pp. 61-84).
The Virgin Mary was always eager to ‘toil’ more and more, like Saint Joan of Arc. She was willing, unlike the ‘leaders’ of the Church who, for their part, refused. For advice they preferred to go to Marthe Robin, obeying her scrupulously, rather than the Immaculate Virgin of the Cova da Iria or Her messenger Sister Lucy of Fatima: a mystery of iniquity from which we still suffer and more than ever before.
MARTHE AND MARY-LUCY: DARKNESS AND LIGHT.
Before, during and after Vatican II, Marthe Robin had all the means at her disposal to announce “the time of the laity,” and the effortless dawning of the joyful new Pentecost that was inevitably to follow. On the other hand, in order to announce ‘in the Name of God’ that “the time of the Blessed Virgin,” had come, Sister Lucy of Fatima was silenced and prevented from “making the Immaculate Heart of Mary known and loved.”
Marthe forged her handwriting to deceive; it was through violence that men of the Church forged letters that they attributed to Sister Mary Lucy of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart to impose the lie of a ‘Saint’ John Paul II, allegedly a faithful executor of the requests of Our Lady of Fatima.
Unlike Marthe Robin, Sister Lucy did not live all her life in darkness. Rather ‘in that immense light which is God,’ she saw a procession climbing the mountain crowned by the Cross, where each one walks in his own rank as the Third Secret taught her: the Holy Father at the head, then the Bishops, Priests, men and women Religious, and various lay people, men and women of different ranks and positions. All of them march to martyrdom in the vanguard of the resurrection of the Church. This is topical.
THE CHURCH’S JUDGEMENT ON MARTHE ROBIN
Father Conrad De Meester was and still is an authority in the Church. After having devoted all his scientific rigour to the service of the godliest Catholic holiness to the point of becoming familiar with it, Providence gave him the mission, at the end of his life, of unmasking the most formidable mystical and ecclesial hoax of all times. Here is his final, comprehensive judgement on the life and works of Marthe Robin; it will one day be the judgement of the whole Catholic Church, since the gates of Hell must not prevail against her:
“Marthe’s life? If it is a question of assessing her soul’s true treasure, it seems insignificant to me. It lacks the clarity and candour, the honesty typical of great spiritual personalities that she was able to copy so well to the letter, but not to imitate in the spirit. The way she lived out her Christian life, the evangelical quality of her actions, the inner purity of her behaviour, seemed to me, all in all, very poor, deficient even, if we take into account the calculations and artifices that were their constant springboard.
“The discovery of the most dubious manufacturing secrets, in words and deeds, regarding the voluntary construction of a fiction that will have characterised the destiny of the "stigmatised of the Drôme" leaves no doubt as to the judgement that must be applied to her. This is why, in my opinion, there is, strictly speaking, nothing in Marthe Robin’s mystical fraud to be venerated, or even retained.” (End of the book)
CONRAD DE MEESTER WITNESS TO THE TRUTH.
The four hundred pages of the luminous demonstrations of our dear Carmelite Father will remain buried in the three thousand pages of the Positio, as silent witnesses to the truth, in the heart of the Church. They will thus resemble the three canonical proceedings instituted by Father de Nantes (1973, 1983, 1993) to obtain from Rome a trial in matters of faith against the heresies, schisms and scandals of Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. This testimony given to the truth by both of them, will be taken up and prolonged generation after generation, until the day when ‘justice and truth, without giving preference to anyone’ will once again be reestablished in the Catholic Church.
Yet while Rome has clearly become the ‘seat of the Antichrist,’ i.e. of a doctrine, the principles of which were unmasked and condemned by Pope Saint Pius X; while our unfortunate “Holy Father” is more and more possessed by the spirit of Vatican II and its corollary: disregard for the demands of Our Lady of Fatima, it cannot be said that the Church as a whole has bent her knee before the idol of the cult of Man, nor that she has rallied to the world, nor that she has yielded to the pressure of its lobbies; even the most attractive, the richest and the most dangerous too: the charismatic lobby.
Witnesses to the truth and guarantors of the infallibility of the Church, Father Conrad De Meester and Father de Nantes are figures of Mordecai. There will come a time, that of the triumph of Queen Esther and Her Immaculate Heart, in which “the Holy Father” – once again gratified to be the Vicar of Christ Jesus – will be happy to meet again with these ‘doctors’ of the Catholic faith to work with them for the renaissance of the Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church.
Brother Philip of the Face of God.
Sarah Bernhardt (1844-1923) was a French stage and early film actress and, at the time, was referred to as ‘the most famous actress the world has ever known.’ Bernhardt made her fame on the stages of France in the 1870s, at the beginning of the Belle Epoque period.]]
Our Lady of Boulogne. Origins: In the year 636 a.d., a small boat without sails, oars, or sailors floated into the harbor of Boulogne-sur-Mer, a port city on the English Channel in northern France. The townspeople discovered that the boat contained only a wooden statue of Our Lady holding the Child Jesus in Her arms. Our Lady’s statue was solemnly placed in a chapel. The statue was given the name of Notre Dame de Boulogne. After many graces and miracles were obtained there, the shrine became one of the most well-known pilgrimages in Christendom. On several occasions the shrine and its statue were desecrated: in 1544, by invading English Protestant troops, in 1567 by French Huguenot Protestants, and finally, at the time of the French Revolution, the miraculous statue of Our Lady was burned and Her shrine completely demolished. Shortly after the end of the French Revolution, the Catholics of Boulogne decided to have a copy of the original statue sculpted from memory. Then in 1827 work began to reconstruct the shrine.
Origins of the Grand Return: In 1938, Boulogne hosted a Marian Congress. To prepare the faithful for this Congress four pilgrim statues of Our Lady of Boulogne had been sculpted and sent to make a grand tour of the parishes of the diocese. This tour was called the “Fiery Path.” It was a success far exceeding expectations. That is why, after the close of the Congress it was decided to continue this “Fiery Path” of Our Lady throughout France in such a way that Our Lady of Boulogne would arrive at the next Congress, to be held in the summer of 1942 in Le Puy, in southern France. When Nazi Germany invaded France on May 10, 1940, the procession of the Pilgrim Statue was suspended and the statue hidden for safekeeping. As the moment of the Marian Congress of Le Puy approached, Catholics clamored for the continuation of the pilgrimage of Our Lady of Boulogne’s statue in order for it to be present at the Congress as originally planned. So in the summer of 1942, Our Lady of Boulogne continued her journey through France. There was such popular enthusiasm that the German occupant feared opposing this show of religious fervour, although the statue had to be smuggled across the demarcation line between the occupied and the free zone.
After a very successful Congress, Our Lady of Boulogne continued her tour of France to Lourdes. She arrived there on September 7, 1942, eve of the Nativity of Our Lady, greeted by a massive crowd of pilgrims. With her triumphal entry into Lourdes, it seemed that Our Lady’s grand tour of France would come to a close. Yet it was decided that Our Lady would procession across France to make Her final return to Boulogne, hence the name “Grand Return.” The response of Catholics was so great that the tour of France continued without stopping for five years straight. Most remarkable about the Grand Return was the unprecedented avalanche of graces, especially of conversions and penance. Thousands upon thousands of atheists, communists, freemasons, and fallen-away Catholics converted.