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THE LAST RITES OF QUEEN CATHERINE

Like every good Italian, Queen Catherine de’ Medici was superstitious.

She frequently sought to have her fortune told by her personal seer, Nostradamus, and her astrologist, Ruggieri.

  • “When will I die?”
  • “I do not know when you will die, but what I do know is that you will die near Saint Germain.”

 It was a time of religious wars, and the royal court was frequently obliged to move. One day, King Henry III, his mother and his entourage found themselves in the Chateau de Blois.

Château de Blois

Queen Catherine fell seriously ill. Her son, King Henry, suggested that it might be best if she summoned a priest.

The Queen laughed: “You think I am about to die, my son. But I shall die close to Saint Germain and we are far from Paris. However, if this is what you wish, I shall receive a priest.”

The royal chaplain was absent and so the local parish priest was brought in.

He was a bright and alert young man, and open to all manner of conversation. The Queen took great pleasure in talking to him. They talked about everything, apart from death and the last rites.

At the end of their discussion, the Queen asked him: “I would very much ike to see you again, father. What is your name?”

  • “Abbot Saint Germain, your majesty!”
  • “I am lost!”, murmured the Queen, and indeed, she passed away that very night.

She died close to Saint Germain too, as the young priest had been called to her side to administer the last rites.


by Prince Michael of Greece

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