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Life of an Unknown Solitare

Jean-Jaques (Baptist)

Hermitages of Langres

Saint-Pérégrin was one of the main hermitages of the diocese of Langres, France. In letters dated 1670, a solitary monk chose the hermitage of Saint-Pérégrin in the parish of Poinson as the place of his retreat.  

The Unknown Solitary

A solitary monk chose the hermitage of Saint-Pérégrin in the parish of Poinson as the place of his retreat.  Jean-Jacques chose the hermitage of Saint-Pérégrin in the parish of Poinson as the place of his retreat, and M. Gontier, the grand vicar of Langres, put it in possession by letters dated 1670.

In 1632 he entered the Institute of Hermits of the Congregation of Saint John the Baptist and spent 20 years working through positions from novice to visor.  After being appointed general visor of hermits, he traveled extensively between 1654 to 1676. His constant movement alludes to some unwelcome notoriety, most likely a result of his pious fame. 

Upon settlement in Saint Peregrin, Jean-Jacques, built and worked with a growing group of novices. In 1673, he was elected general visitor of all the hermits of the diocese, in a synod.  He then processed to establish guidelines and policies for all hermitages within the Langres dioceses for the next 3 years.

Brother Jean-Jacques left the diocese of Langres in May 1676, and retired to Anjou. There, he built the hermitage of Gardelles, on the grounds of the abbey of Asnières, in the parish of Coudray-Macouard[1], diocese of Angers, where stayed until his death on December 24, 1691.


Death of the Count of Moret

Jean-Jacques, otherwise known as Antoine, was the natural son of Henri IV and Jacqueline de Breuil, Countess of Moret,

Appointed commendatory abbot of Saint-Étienne de Caen in 1620, he benefited from the rich income of the Norman abbey. During the 12 years he was at the head of the abbey, he constantly came into conflict with the religious who reproached him for not releasing the funds necessary for their personal needs and for the reconstruction of buildings, ruined by the religious war. 

During the 1680s, a hermit from Anjou was identified as the Count of Moret, who would have survived Castelnaudary and would have hidden for several years abroad eventually leaving the world and becoming a hermit. The mystery remains around the end of the Comte de Moret. For history, he died at 25 from a musket shot, the1 st September 1632, at the battle of Castelnaudary.

Some later novels made the Comte de Moret the father of Louis XIV. Faced with the alleged impotence of Louis XIII, a court cabal would have favored a meeting between Anne of Austria and Moret as a result of which the queen would have become pregnant. These romantic theories have no historical basis.

During his youth, he was close to his half-brother, Gaston de France , Duke of Orleans . He participated in particular in the rebellion led by him and the Duke of Montmorency , Henri II de Montmorency , against King Louis XIII , whose outcome was the Battle of Castelnaudary . Wounded during the battle by a musket shot to the shoulder, he died three hours later in a Gaston coach, as a result of this injury. His body was never found, however.

The Red Sphinx

References in Literature

In 1844, Alexandre Dumas published The Three Musketeers, a novel so famous and still so popular today that it scarcely needs an introduction. Shortly thereafter he wrote a sequel, Twenty Years After. Later, toward the end of his career, Dumas wrote The Red Sphinx, another direct sequel to The Three Musketeers that begins a mere twenty days afterward.

Picking up right where The Three Musketeers left off, The Red Sphinx continues the stories of Cardinal Richelieu, Queen Anne, and King Louis XIII—and introduces a charming new hero, the Comte de Moret, a real historical figure from the period. Dumas wrote seventy-five chapters of The Red Sphinx, but never quite finished it and the novel languished for almost a century.

While Dumas never completed the book, he had earlier written a separate novella, The Dove, that recounts the final adventures of Moret and Cardinal Richelieu. 

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