Tag Archives: Wild hunt

The Legend of the Baptism of Angels

Lake de la Maix Map
Sign at the Lake de la Maix

This story, as told by Monique Marie François, was relayed to me by my cousin, Françoise Cordier, and is woven into the backbone of the novel, FROM THE DROP OF HEAVEN.

“When the land of Salm was not yet called Salm, Good Stones of Bethlehem gave a wonderful gift to a virgin named Mary. She could not find a room and was about to give birth. The Good Stones opened as only they could and formed a cave where the child was born.

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The Savage King of the county heard the news and feared this child of God wished to become king in his place. He called all his soldiers and ordered them to kill all the little boys in the country. Poor Mary thought only to save her baby. She was lost and came round Vipucelle, which was not yet called Vipucelle. The beautiful forests of the Vosges frightened her and at the same time reassured her. What soldier would come looking for her here in the dense forest? During this period, the great empire did not even know this country existed. Thanking the Good Stones, she decided to live there.

Then she heard music in the distance. The music was nice, but she knew it often announced a lord on the move, soldiers threatening all sorts of things that frightened her. The music of the horns redoubled in intensity, getting closer and closer, accompanied by barking dogs. It was the hunting party of the Savage King, and she knew very well what he hunted. Her baby, Jesus.

Our Lady of Grace Garden Statue Blessed Virgin Mary Miraculous Medal

The poor woman ran as fast as she could, despite the hills and brush, but was not as fast as men on horses and dogs who constantly gained on her. The chase led her to the edge of Grandfontaine. The Cornerstones still speak of it today, especially the one called Marie Roche Bois, or the Rock of Mary of the Woods.

‘Sit down a moment,’ said the Good Stone of the Lake as it transformed itself into a small stone seat.

After she had rested, Mary escaped her pursuers, but the soldiers killed all the other baby boys in the area, some without having received Baptism.

The abbot, meaner than the soldiers of the Wild King, decided these babies could not go to Heaven. No Baptism, No Salvation! He did not care that innocent children would be punished, never to be in the presence of God. No exception of the law was possible as only Baptized children could go to heaven.

Of course, the High Stones would not tolerate such injustice and met to deliberate the issue at the Lake de la Maix. The Elder of the Stones decided to allow the innocent children to lie on top of them at night so they could receive the Baptism of the Angels, and the stones of the Lake de la Maix became a place of respite.

In the deep of the night, the Virgin Mother casts her gaze on the Lake de la Maix, and if she sees a child lying there in its deathly slumber, she kisses it on the forehead. The baby immediately opens its eyes and smiles at the lovely lady, and then the angels baptize it with water from the lake and carry its soul to heaven.”

The Wild Hunt of the Hellequin

Before the land of Salm was called the Salm, there was a prince named Hellequin. From the time he learned to walk, he loved to chase. He chased his siblings, then his nurse, the footman, and the valet. At Mass, he chased the altar boys, and even other members of the congregation. The King never corrected the spoiled prince and no one dared to say anything. Soon the prince’s love of the chase became an obsession.

The prince grew into a handsome young man with dark flowing hair and amber eyes that glinted with mischief. One day at Mass, a rabbit wandered onto the altar and Prince Hellequin could not contain himself. He jumped after the rabbit, chasing it all over the altar, knocking over the chalice and ciborium, and spilling their consecrated contents. The priest raised his eyes to heaven and asked God for help. God heard the priest.

Sabbat. Dance. Demonology. Church buildings. Sacrilege. Work ID: r4w4hw8u. Credit: Wellcome Collection
Copyright: Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Suddenly the floor of the altar disappeared and Prince Hellequin fell into the pit. Frantically, he grabbed hold of the altar to keep from falling. Three hounds leaped from the pit, grabbed the prince, and ripped his body with ferocity. Blood spurted all over the horrified priest who backed into the corner of the altar.

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Created for the WPC Week 168 My thanks to Doeth for the Imp snip. Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

The hounds stepped back and the prince stood and smiled. Blood dripped from gaping holes in his body and his amber eyes glowed as fire. He pointed toward the congregation and immediately the dogs jumped toward the crowd. As quickly as victims fell, they rose and joined the pack of wild dogs, attacking other members of the household.

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The king finally came to his senses and shouted at his son to stop the carnage. Instead of minding his father, the prince attacked him. Soon the entire household of Hellequin had joined the hunt. They rushed toward the stable, mounted the royal horses, and charged into the countryside, so fast that the horses’ feet left the ground. The whirl of the hooves, blowing horns of doom, and screams of the damned, filled the air, accompanied by furious winds, lightning, and thunder, and with a terrifying whirl, and the specter disappeared into the clouds.

Especially on Halloween or between Yule and Twelfth Night, whilst the dead still walk among the living, as they usually do during these thinly veiled times; beware the deep of the night. Be sure to leave the final sheaf of wheat in the field and do not remove the feast from the table to allow the ancestral spirits to come and collect their portion, else, the household of Hellequin will collect their share of souls.

Pity the traveler who dares to wander by himself as he may hear the sound of whispering leaves. The whispering may be the wind, but assuredly, it maybe the Hellequin, roaming the skies, scanning the countryside with his band of demons. As fire flashes from the eyes of the prince, his black hellhounds and from the hooves of black horses, the wild souls of the damned sweep down and grab their prey that have no choice but join in the hunt.

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The Wild Hunt of the Hellequin.

Translation and content help by: Thomas Shutt, https://www.mainlineediting.com/