Jules-Ernest Houssaye (or Hussay); b. 1844 + 3.March 1912
Abbe Julio was born in 1844 in Mayenne.
He was the son of an engineer, but sought education towards the Roman Catholic priesthood. In 1870 he became the vicar at Grand Oisseau. At the instigation of the war he volunteered to become a chaplain for the Volontaires de l’Ouest of the Cahtelineau General. His service with the forces made Julio a national hero, not because of any strategic successes of his troop but rather due to his devotion to the wounded and dying; he volunteered to cross over into enemy territory to bring back the wounded. In his memories the Cathelineau General praises him officially as the “the honest Abbot Houssaye”.
After the cruelties and hardships of the war he is elected for the vicariate of Juvigné, later of Javron; but his health was deteriorating quickly due to
fatigue, he lived a very modest, very spartan life and the countryside had little to offer in those hard times as it was. This was simultaneous with the emergence of almost suave priests pontificating in the greater cities of France, causing near scandal when news reached the poor villages and townships
outside, who nevertheless were quite disenchanted with the Church Romaine as it was. In some sense the Abbé`s own personal register of experience only encompassed the calamity and suffering of the poor and ailing and their joy and gratitude at deliverance and the selfless care of ministers to soul and body
could provide. During his stay at Javron, Julio collapsed and had to be interred in the military hospital, to abandon all his cares and duties until his recovery.
Instead of returning to Javron, Abbé Julio accepts the position as Vicar at St.Joseph`s in Paris. The war had poleraized the classes against eachother, but also enstranged many privileged people from the machinations of the Roman Catholic Church; one Cardinal Richard insisted on a censure and persecution of doctrinal and practical errors in clergy as well as laity, he obviously sought to elevate standards so that it would deflect any critical eye from “his” city and environs. Sure enough, when the good Abbé arrived in Paris and carefully oriented himself concerning the parish which he had been called to serve, he discovered that his flock were terrified of the Cardinal and felt he
was persecuting them for no reason, they stubbornly insisted they did as they had always done and modestly and sincerely wished to fulfill the “obligations” that the Mother Church put them under, and because of this representative of the Pope, they almost believed themselves to be persecuted as the Apostles had been, by the Romans, moreover they see the 1870 declaratrion of the infallibility of the Pope as an offence against the faith, the tradition and the charge of the Apostles.
Julio maintains discretion over this, but by 18th February 1885, he is caught in the maelstrom of the Cardinals last throes of frantic fanaticism; he is released of all his duties and privileges, threatened with excommunication and subjected to an insiduous smear campaign which again threatens to dispose of his
health. He continues as an itinerant and independent preacher, in lieu of his past ecclesiastical charge, serving the selfsame community – but now as a kind of independent mage and healer. Memory of his dedication, selfnessless, modesty in contrast with the extravaganza of the “Modern” priests and bishops in Paris, calm and resolve not to harm or cause offence in contrast to the aggression and paranoia of the Cardinal – and certain contacts with the nobles, intellectuals, artistes and patrons of late 19th century France – form a kind of immunity around him. He is allowed to continue. Knowing it would full well damage any chance at reclaiming his office and return to pastoral duties in Paris or any other place, Abbé Julio began to write, his first channel being the La Tribune du Clergé (Platform of the Clergy), a newspaper addressed to those within or outside the Roman Catholic communion who
sought a preservance and amplification of Sacramental and ecclesiastical ministry. Then he began to write books, first on his consistent vision of the apostolic charge contained in the Gospels, and the great message of love and
compassion contained in the words,works and example of Jesus Christ. Then eventually upon mysticism and the practical application of understanding, spirituality and extraordinary gifts, Charisms.
From 1888 he collaborated others at the forefront of a kind of spiritualizing reform movement expressing their perspective and message through the newspaper “L’Ami de l’Humanité”(Friend of Humanity). From 1888-1889,
he helps found and collaborates on a third newspaper, or rather, a small periodic sheet named “La Tribune Populaire”(The Popular
Platform),organ for religious democracy and the defense of the rights of the clergy, it only ran for a year but caused more disenchanted clergy to “fill the ranks” of this movement. Julio can now barely afford food, much less clothing, all his resources goes into appeals, to ministry without mandate, to the aid of confreres, to travel.. even if he lectures, even if teaches classes directed at prayer, at reading the scriptures, at making sense of the Gospel and its relevance to man today, even occasionally ministering to ailing, sick
or confused and anxious faithful, there is nothing left. One day, in this condition, he stumbles across another disenchanted fellow, active in the same type of unprivileged ministry:Jean Sempé.
The mystical healer Jean Sempé was a complex personality, a contrast to the simplicity of Abbé Julio, he was also a legend and hero, but people hushed their voices when they spake of their rendezvous with him.
What he thaught others, what he lectured upon, or even wrote – were subject to the most private and discrete exchanges among Parisians. Abbé Julio had paradoxically all the skills of the heart, to provide care and consolation unto the suffering, to administer the last oil, to pray on the behalf of the ailing, to serve – yet wrote about extraordinary gifts, charisms – which he had absolute confidence were available to man today, as man needed them more than ever. During the last three years before encountering Jean Sempé he came to doubt
that the Roman Church even had such to offer, and that if it had it, it ungraciously, pittilessly and most arrogantly witheld it from the less privileged. At the same time he reoriented himself towards the mystical approach to
suffering and to the ministry which were long forgotten within the modernized Church. What, he would ask, is wrong with an exorcism, it was addressing evil interrupting with the lives of men, and the wholeness
of their hearts, seeking Christ`s assistance in chasing these influences out of men, reclaiming an integrity which had been lost somewhere, either by intervention, violence or own carelessness. What was wrong with
exorcism in 1890 is almost self-evident: It augmented the accusations levelled by rationalists against religionists that the core and life the religion always was superstitions and irrational fear. 5 years prior to the danse macabre of the Affaire Leo Taxil, you would be suspected of an insidious form of heresy
within the Church if you ventured in that direction. With Sempé he now leaves the prospect and subject of the Roman Church entirely, it is his conviction that it has lost its spiritual authority, and only its faithful and the clergy represent its spiritual graces and effectiveness, the Church depending on its constitutent and particular members rather than vice versa. In a sense this is a direct negation of the arrogance of Cardinal Richard who believed the faithful needed the Church for their salvation and safekeeping, and that it was practically the
property of one man: The heir of Peter in Rome, whose present possessor, he hoped, obviously, to himself succeed.
Henceforward any mention of the word “Catholic” addresses the invisible, universal faithful of God who tries to follow Christ`s example on earth, who attend to and themselves are attended to, by the ministers and assembly of any
Church, who themselves are Christ`s own. He does not ungraciously deflect the suggestion it exists in the very Church he was forced to vacate by Cardinal Richard and his kind, but he insists it is thus in no way by virtue of its
administrative, historical and organizational hierarchy. Inspired by his confreres, now a good handful of ex-ecclesiasticals from the Roman Church, he pursues the trail of the Primitive Christian Church and for guidance concerning the reorganization of its rituals, its ministry and the original Mandate of the Holy Spirit. Unlike many whose names we have
heard prior to this, including Pierre-Michel Eugene Vintras who briefly attended a seminary, relatively late in his life, Abbé Julio were in an unique position with regards to Spiritual reform. Many approached him to learn what he was finding out, to contribute their own and to express their symphaty with his quest. During this period he wrote several inspirational pamphlets which detailed his discovery of the ancient Christian approach to Prayer. Most of what was detailed in these pamphlets, of details and citations, would not have been news to people belonging to the Orthodox tradition, but merging with the particular perspective and fervour of Julio, all these words from the obscure corners of the ecclesiastical history of the entire Church, not only the Catholic, were renewed and charged with an urgency few would have found in the rather pragmatic translations of Alphonse Migné and his like. Eventually he translated these into practice in an outward capacity and adopted its disciplines, which he thaught others. This is how he attracted the attention of several young occultists, intellectuals, mystics and philosophers who would broadcast his name, fame and message beyond the constraints of continental France. Among them is the young Jean Bricaud, who frequented the circle of Jean Sempé, another, who had a more direct and active relationship with Julio and who assisted him in the capacity of volunteering clerical and secretarial services to him, was young Yvon Le Loup, better known as Paul Sedir. His works are now followed, commented and reviewed in the sprawling phenomenon of the “free press” of the occult in Paris. He is now controversial as well as popular, mystified and dangerous. He leaves Paris, and
retires to write the most epochal of his works Livre des Secrets Merveilleux (The Book of Marvelous Secrets). Simultaneously with his publishing of a
book which broadcast the similtude and spiritual correspondence between Roman Catholic, especially Benedictine spiritual discipline and ancient Theurgy as thaught both by Christian neo-platonists in the later antiquity and by
hermetists in the later generations; showing that both address the same powers and faculties. The Book is a religious manual, a handbook for the Pentacle of Healing and Evocation.. to the uninformed it looks like a kind of christianized
Grimoire. Simultaneously, Abbé Julio`s “universal” ecclesiology disposes him more and more towards a trend of ecumenism and enthusiasm over the possibility of unification, of exploding the monopolies and self-inflicted
alienation of all the communities in the “same Body of Christ”; he founds another periodical L’Etincelle Religieuse, Libérale et Sociale (the Religious,Liberal and Social Spark: Organ for the Union of the Churches). In 1901, while living at Fontenay sous Bois, he is visited by an enthusiatic Monseigneur Joseph René Vilatte, with whom he maintained contact and fond support for the rest of his life. Msgr. Vilatte knows about all the activities, all the ideas, all the attitudes, all the peccadilloes the good Abbé has – he has read all his books, he is now sent by friends his periodical, he is
attended upon by faithfuls and clergy symphatetic to himself, who all bears good words concerning this mysterious saintly man; who like the Monsigneur – had become enstranged from the Roman Church, and who believed the
effective graces and the Holy Spirit to be elsewhere. Again and again he was asked if he would visit him, upon his return from North America, he elects to visit the older gentleman, to speek with him of important matters.
Thanks to the efforts of Jules Ernest Houssay this movement had not only a protegeè and Apostolic protector in the guise of Villatte, and a history – which reaches back to the Gallicanne dissension against Rome in the
17th century, or contact with other communities of like attitude around the world, with Houssay`s ouevre, his research, his reassambling, they had a liturgical dossier: The Liturgy of Gazinet (Old Gaul Rite): authentically reflecting the same and attaching the movement to a greater background of history, transmission and community. His work provided access to the spiritual
and religious content behind the labels which Villatte had received at his consecration in Goa at the hands of the independent Catholicate and Mar Julius Francois Xavier Alvarez in 1889. Vilatte was approached by his consecrators and communicants to establish a consolidation, not in precis an application of the American Old Catholic Church and its style, and not the original Old Catholic Church in Holland – but with regards to a French national heritage of independent, non-papalist Catholicism. In some sense, it was perceived Abbé Julio had embodied and still embodied this very thing and
without being overtly aware of it, nevertheless had served as its mouthpiece for many years at the time.
On December the 4th, 1904 Jules-Ernest Houssaye is conscecrated Bishop and installed as the Apostolic chief for the Free Catholic Church of France, a communal body in by Monsignore Paolo Miraglia-Gulotti, in which capacity he served until his death. He was succeeded in this capacity by Louis-Marie Francois Giraud (1876-1951), an Ex-Trappist
who vacated his monastery in 1905 due to a dispute over the infallibility of the Pope and the introduction of alien disciplines,liturgy and hours imposed upon them by the Roman See. He became consecrated a Priest of Vilatte`s Church March 19th 1907 and a year later to the Episcopate. He is sent as a missionary Bishop to Switzerland, wherefrom he returns to succeed Abbé Julio upon his
departure from this world beneath the veil. With Msgr.Giraud the tradition Gallicanne becomes popularized and less arcane, he is a superb organizer and administrator and maintains a network of contacts the equal of Msgr.Vilatte`s. He also introduces the first definition of the Gallicanne liberties – which makes the Church distinct from almost all other independent Catholic ministries of the same period: the abolition of clerical celibacy: allowing marriage, communion for all and with two species: bread and wine,
Liturgy in the vernacular; in French not Latin, the communal election of Bishops: the community choses her stewards, the nullification of excommunication, and the abolition of excommunication as “sacrament”…From Msgr.Giraud`s time and onwards the Gallicanne Church is at once radical in relationship to the egalitarian message of Jesus, and conservative with regards to retaining practices and observances abandoned by the counter-reformation and anti-modernist Catholic Church of Rome.
While there were unfortunately many enthusiasts routing for the Nazi occupants among Catholics, the Gallican`s were targeted at once and without hesitation by the Gestapo, prominent members were arrested, the Church`s members were forbidden to congregate, the publications of the Church was confiscated and publically burned.. Constant Martin Chevillon, one of its faithful
Bishops, were murdered on an open street by members of the Front Nationale Populaire. The Gallican, the newspaper of the Church, actually became an underground newspaper for the resistance under the occupation, they had chosen sides, and to the partisans of Klaus Barbie they appeared to be as dangerous as the communists. After the occupation the Church emerged, intact, as a victorious respository of Liberty, Equality and concord – news circulated that they received anyone, charging nothing and that they did not exercise their “ecclesiastical” right to excommunicate such as for instance – freemasons.
Monsignore Giraud, Abbé Julio`s successor, has sometimes – like his predecessor, been labeled a Gnostic Bishop, it is uncertain if this is technically sound with relation to his actual affiliation at the time, but we see that a certain attitude manifests in France at that particular time, which is even the more overtly present in the ministry of the accertainly
Gnostic Bishop Jean Bricaud. Msgr.Giraud consecrated him , with the sponsorship and witness of Abbé Julio – in 1907, thus allowing him to incorporate an Apostolic and Catholic ministry into his synodical L`Eglise Gnostique Universelle.
Msgr.Giraud, Msgr.Houssay and in fact, Msgr.Vilatte Knew about Jean Bricaud`s affiliation and intentions.
This is important info to all who are suffering under the grand illusion that somehow Vilatte or anyone of his direct successors were fooled
by the Templars, Gnostics and Masons of the period into giving a representative of theirs an Apostolic consecration, and thus claim upon affiliation
with the Church Universal, or Catholic as it is so often named… considering many more “orthodox”, or rather, “neo-orthodox” communities today which possess a succession from Msgr.Vilatte and touts it with no uncertain pride, it is quite the reverse in many cases; while these, divorced by generations
and multitudes of complicated transmissions of the same lineage, are very much removed from an opportunity to prove their merit and demonstrate a true and correct intent; Monsigneur Julio Ernest Houssay and Jean Bricaud, had this opportunity, and they most certainly did prove themselves.
Upon Abbé Julio: A private declaration: I, Terje Dahl Bergersen, in the privacy and seclusion of one soul addressing the fullness of God`s grace,
in remembering Julio, declares Julio Blessed. And I, in the capacity of my own understanding and in my gratitude to the service of this Blessed one
of God`s Church for France and for the union of all the Ecclesiae of the One Household of God; True, Inviolate, never Corrupted, always Regenerated
Catholic – Universal – and Apostolic Church which was,is and shall ever be – declare Julio,a Saint of God`s Church:
Saint Julio the Priest, of Mayenne.