Metz. Do you know what fate was once reserved for cats on Saint-Jean in Metz?

According to the Doctor of Westphalen, a legend dating back to the year 25 of the Christian era (in the 13th century in reality) tells us that the city of Metz was affected by a very strange illness, a forced dance that neither remedies nor exorcisms could not heal.

A pious knight passed through Metz and took up residence in a hotel in the city. As soon as he slept, he saw a big black cat with sparkling eyes in the fireplace of his room. The enormous stature of this cat intrigued the knight who jumped out of bed, seized his sword, made the sign of the cross and prepared to swoop down on the cat. But the cat fled, uttering the most horrible blasphemies.

At these marks, Saint Clement, the first apostle of the Messins recognized the devil and “ordered a burning, believing that Satan, “strong coward of his nature, will fear to be seized in his borrowed form and will save himself in the eternal flames to escape to those of this world”.

Since that time, a large pyre has been lit and thirteen cats have been burned there. The alderman and the governor walked three times around the pyre surmounted by the thirteen victims in a wooden cage and then set fire to the firework wick.

The flame burned the cage, the half-roasted cats fell into the brazier or fled. During this time the people shouted and danced in a circle singing the round of Saint John. This custom ended in 1777 at the request of Marshal d’Armentières…

Do you know ? Metz can also be heard on podcast every day

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