Gilles d'Ettore affair: when the mayor and the clairvoyant Sophia admired the archangel Saint-Michel together at Agde cathedral

Gilles d'Ettore affair: when the mayor and the clairvoyant Sophia admired the archangel Saint-Michel together at Agde cathedral

Gilles D'Ettore on the day the archangel found Agde cathedral. FREE MIDI – MICHEL DESNOS

Gilles d'Ettore affair: when the mayor and the clairvoyant Sophia admired the archangel Saint-Michel together at Agde cathedral

In the front row that day, Sophia Martinez, next to the mayor's then-partner, and near his wife Géraldine d'Ettore. FREE MIDI – MICHEL DESNOS

A year ago, on April 14, 2023, a statue of this saint, used by the ventriloquist medium with her clients, was unveiled in Saint-Etienne Cathedral. After the turmoil that has engulfed the city for three weeks, where suspicions of corruption and use of the supernatural mix, this ceremony today takes on another dimension.

A mayor and a clairvoyant gathered near an altar to witness the appearance of an archangel: April 14, 2023, almost a year before until the incredible affair of corruption tinged with the supernatural breaks out which sent Gilles d'Ettore and the ventriloquist medium Sophia Martinez behind bars, held the Saint-Étienne cathedral in Agde a ceremony that we cannot help but look at today with another eye.

250 kilos of steel arrived by plane from the United States

That day, archpriest Yannick Casajus unveiled and blessed a sparkling statue of Saint-Michel, brandishing his sword, placed to the right of the altar on a basalt base. Two hundred and fifty kilos of steel, arrived by plane from the United States, to fill a void as material as it was spiritual, in front of a hundred visibly delighted Agathois. Saint protector of paratroopers, but also of soldiers and police officers, Saint-Michel is traditionally celebrated each year in one of the parishes for which Father Yannick has been responsible for 17 years.

A chapel dating from the 9th century ?

"We have statues of Saint-Michel in Marseillan, in Vias, but not in Agde. Four years ago, veterans and paratroopers who still participate in these masses asked me why. Until then, I hadn't paid too much attention to it" he says. The man of the Church gets information from’ ;rsquo;a local historian, who mentions a statue that disappeared from the cathedral in the 20th century, and a chapel dedicated to Saint-Michel, in the 9th century, which would have been located at the ;rsquo;location of the current second tower of the cathedral.

The mayor appeals to patrons of Agde

"We were keen to find a statue of the Archangel Mickaël and so I launched an appeal to all the patrons of the town of Agde, and there you have it"explained Gilles d'Ettore that day, visibly radiant. Facing him, seated in the first row, in the place of honor, right against the central aisle, we find Sophia Martinez, right next to the mayor's then companion, she -even very close to the regional advisor Géraldine d’Ettore, his wife from whom he is separated.

But we know today that "the archangel Mickaël" is one key figures that Sophia Martinez used with her gullible clients, to whom she swore she would be able to contact their deceased loved ones. Thanks to her ventriloquist skills, she then imitated a hoarse voice, which telephoned them, claiming to have spoken with the deceased, and asking to provide very material benefits to Sophia.

"A voice from beyond says hello"

"I receive a call around 9 a.m. from a hidden number, I answer and then the hairs stand on end, a voice from beyond introducing itself as the’ archangel Mickaël said hello !" thus tells a real estate agent from Hérault, who estimates having paid 10 000 € in three years of consultation with the medium. "She swindled a lot of people in my opinion, with the angel Mickaël".

At that time, Gilles d'Ettore was in incessant contact with the clairvoyant, at the rate of around ten phone calls daily according to the records carried out by the police officers of Agde and those of the financial criminal brigade of the PJ of Montpellier. Did she also weigh in on Saint-Michel, or Saint Mickaël, as Gilles d'Ettore himself called him, to return to the cathedral of Agde ?

Distrust of the paranormal

"For me there was initially no ambiguity", believes Father Yannick. But after these three crazy weeks of revelations on the occult influence that the clairvoyant had taken over the chosen one, he noted that Sophia, whose second marriage he celebrated around ten years ago ;years, "definitely used a lot of things".

" When you are a priest, you believe in the supernatural but not in this kind: we view clairvoyance and fortune tellers with a little suspicion. I believe in a God who also believes in the intelligence of men. Faith is there to improve everyday life: it is not by looking for answers ;on the side of the paranormal that we are going to get out of it.

Mickaël, present in Islam and the Jewish religion

He, who teaches theology at the Institute of Catholic Studies in Toulouse, notes that the name Mickaël is perhaps not used by Sophia by chance. There is of course this link between this saint and the police: the mayor is a former police officer, and two of Sophia's three successive husbands were members of the police. And then there is this ambivalence perhaps cleverly maintained between Saint-Michel and the archangel Mickaël.

"Catholics speak of Saint-Michel, but this archangel appears under the name of Mickaël in the Jewish and Muslim religion. L’esotericism mixes all the elements, and it’is still well thought out on his part, to have a greater openness."

The calls of the Archangel by telephone

As for the calls from the Archangel by telephone, the priest obviously never believed in them: "I ask  people to turn off their cell phones during weddings, saying that if they receive a call from the Lord, it surely won't be by phone. I don't know if I'm going to dare to continue" he smiles.

It is in any case an economic partner of the city of Agde which acted as patron for the purchase at auction and for 2000 dollars of this statue in the United States: boss of Cottage Parks, François Cros obtained in 2021 and until 2038 the delegation to manage and operate the municipal campsites of Tamarissière and La Clape, in which he promised to invest 15 million ;euros. He could not be reached to react to this news.

And a statue sculpted by Michelangelo ?

200 meters from this statue stands in the Saint-Sever church another, much older, that of Saint Christ, object of true devotion among the Agathois, who carry it every year in procession. According to the Friends of Agde association, it is a work by the Florentine master Michelangelo. This attribution, however, remains contested by art historians. But some believe in it as hard as iron: another Michel, another angel, in a town of Agde in the midst of turmoil, where we no longer seem to know which saint to turn to.

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