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07 May 2006



nd I could hear the wind howling ferociously as I slowly walked down the wooden steps. Each step had its own creak. Creak, creak... creak...

Finally at the bottom, I looked around the cellar. Dark and eerie and my eyes could barely see through the darkenss towards the room in the back. A small, almost hidden doorway was iluminated by the tiny, flickering 40 watt bulb on the wall. I began a very slow walk towards that doorway... looking around as I went. I could feel that familiar chill run up and down my spine as I reached for the ornate metal knob on the door.

Once open the door stuck halfway. I didn't force it. I stepped inside and another low watt bulb burned. Barely shining the light on the book on the table. Spider webs had formed on the top edge of the cover and ran down, across and under the wooden cherry table. I cautiously opened the front cover-piece and read the title:

The Meroviginians, Opus Dei and Denny Shane

Ever since my interview appeared on Michael Mannings' blog last week I have been deluged with emails about the Meroviginians and the organization known as Opus Dei. I suspect the DaVinci Code has a lot to do with these questions.

As many of you longtime readers know, I have been involved with my family history for 30 years. The history has taken me many places throughout the world and through the annals of long ago families.

With over 20,000 relatives now in the history, I keep on finding more and more names to add. It's very much a disease I think. But one of the most startling finds for me was when I discovered the Meroviginians and my descent from that direct line.

The Meroviginians were a dynasty of Frankish kings who ruled a frequently fluctuating area in parts of present-day France and Germany from the fifth to the eighth century. They were sometimes referred to as the "long-haired kings" (Latin reges criniti) by contemporaries, for their symbolically unshorn hair. It is also this line that the DaVinci Code suggest is a direct descent from the union of Mary Magdalene and Jesus Christ. The Merovigians also believed in this line. The line they believed in is as the following:

Jesus/Mary Magdalene

From this point you would go to Merovee at the top of the chart. According to all sources the Meroviginian kings had amazing powers, especially in healing sick people, etc. There have been many documented records of these events.

By now you either have read the book, or heard about it. Fact or fiction? Sure beats me and I am not about to put my Imprimatur on it, either way. But it sure is definitely interesting.

In the book, the author mentions Opus Dei as a secretive society, holding mystical powers and knowledge of the true Holy Grail, the san gre-al or is one letter is moved it becomes the "sang re-al". Interesting to say the least. How many times have we seen through history that things have been mistaken, etc. by the omission or addition of one simple letter.

Anyway, the organization known as Opus Dei takes a brutal hit in the book. The Prelature of the Holy Cross and Opus Dei, commonly known as Opus Dei (Latin for "Work of God") or the Work, is an international prelature of the Roman Catholic Church, composed of a prelate, secular priests, and ordinary lay people, whose mission contributes to spreading the Catholic teaching that everyone is called to become a saint and an apostle of Jesus Christ, and that ordinary life is a path to sanctity. Founded on October 2, 1928 by a Roman Catholic priest, St. Josemaria Escriva, Opus Dei was established as a personal prelature by Pope John Paul II, making it a part of the Church's institutional structure.

Believing that the "Church's first purpose is to be the sacrament of the inner union of men with God", Popes and many Catholic leaders strongly support what they see as Opus Dei's innovative teaching on the sanctifying value of work, its complete fidelity to the Catholic Church, and its work of enabling individual Catholics to take full responsibility for the mission of sanctifying society. In contrast, it has often been accused of secrecy, ultraconservative beliefs, a right-wing political agenda, and even cult-like methods. Recent studies meanwhile have done much to counter these claims, including the work of John L. Allen, Jr. (2005) who stated that some of these views are rooted in a longstanding misinterpretation of its newness. Dr. Massimo Introvigne, a prolific sociologist of religion and a conservative Catholic scholar, stated in 1994 that Opus Dei has been, for many years, the prime target of secularists who "cannot tolerate 'the return to religion'" of the secularized society. It is also stigmatized, he said, by Catholic liberals and ex-members. Seen by many Catholics as a sign of contradiction, Opus Dei is described by Allen as the most controversial force in the Catholic Church.

So friends that's it. My little connection to the world of mystery and suspense, religion and secrecy.
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