by Sue DeGregorio-Rosen, RN, CLNC, Contributing Editor
The Church of Saint-Merri or Église Saint-Merry) is a parish church in Paris, located near the Centre Pompidou along the rue Saint Martin, in the 4th arrondissement on the Rive Droite Saint-Merri sits right between the Stravinsky fountain, and one of the famous murals of the Marais. The medieval church was surprised when a Baphomet was carved above the entranceway. This demonic figure is used in Satanism, and among the Knights of Templar and its accompaniment by a prominently placed stained glass depiction of a pentagram made this one a curious church. The Galorere’ family lived in Paris, well known for their own history in the occult, and rumor had it that one of the members of the Knights was someone from that family.
No one had witnessed a witch or sorcerer born in the Galorere’ family for generations. According to some relatives there would be no such woman born again, too many years had passed, the witch was an endangered species and although the family remained unconventional, many believed this left the family extremely vulnerable to the superstitions and religious zealots.
Suzanne Galorere’ was born and raised in Paris, always reminded of the history of the great witches of her family’s heritage. The only magic she allegedly ever saw was tarot card readers and fortune tellers. But that all changed when a mysterious stranger came to town. Suzanne felt a spark of power when she saw his eyes. His name was Nicholas Dimitiri and he was said to be on a hunt for the ancient grimoire that her family had left behind. He was a bit older, tall, thick head of hair, with eyes the color of amber. He found Suzanne in a local bookstore and kept watch from a distance. She noticed him with interest, and slowly, she approached him as he tried to duck out a view.
“Why are you watching me?”
“Yes, you are, I felt you watching me.”
Ok, so I was watching you. I think we are related.”
“So why not just ask me?”
“I didn’t want to frighten you.”
“I’m not frightened. No reason to be.”
“Of course, you’re not. You are Suzanne, are you not?”
“Indeed. Pleased to meet you, and you are?”
“Nicholas. I am your second cousin from the Cioffe’ family.”
“That’s too bad,” she whispered, hoping he didn’t hear her.
“I heard that.”
“Good for you.”
“I am here to ask you or anyone in your family if you have any knowledge about where the family’s ancient grimoire might be. I was told as a young man that there was a magical oracle within the text that may have caused a rather odd incident in my own family’s history.”
“Really?” Suzanne looked at him with inquisitive eyes.
“Yes, do you know what I am in search of?”
“Maybe.” A free-spirited enchantress she decided to play along to gain more insight and to satisfy her own innate curiosity…though she knew his heart and his thoughts.
“Because it is a very significant part of my family heritage affecting me.”
“Come with me,” she beckoned. It began to rain, as she walked patiently under the clouds, Nicholas followed until they reached the ancient carved stone home of the Galorere’ family with it its arched wormy oak entrance.
“What is this place?”
“It is the family home. And the book you are looking for is here, deep inside…we call it the room, the Sanctuary.”
With raised eyebrows, he nodded.
“I’ve come this far.”
She smiled, opened the door and then retrieved a wand from her sleeve and began waving it as if sprinkling magic along the way as they entered the dwelling and walked down a hall towards a room in the distance.