- Catherine Theot
Catherine Theot (born at
Barenton( Normandy), Francein 1716; died September 1, 1794) was a French visionary.
From her youth a victim of
hallucinations, a long course of religious asceticismin the convent of the Miramionesin Parisunhinged her mind, and she was placed under restraint. Liberated in 1782, her early delusions concerning a Messiahbecame accentuated; that she was destined to be the mother of the new Messiah, she was now assured; she pictured to her followers the fantastic features of the coming Paradiseon earth; and was hailed as the " Mother of God". From the idea of the advent of a Messiah to its realization was but a step; in Robespierrethe Theotistssaw the redeemer of mankind; and preparations for his initiation were put in motion. The enemies of Robespierre, resenting his theocratic aims, seized upon his relations with the Theotists as an engine of revenge; Catherine, with Gerleand others, was arrested and imprisoned, and a letter to Robespierre discovered in her house. In the Convention, Marc-Guillaume Alexis Vadiertrumped up the conspiracy of Theot, asserting that Catherine was a tool of Pitt, that the mummeries of the Theotists were but a cloak for clerical and reactionary intrigue, and hinting that Robespierre favored their designs. The case was adjourned to the Revolutionary Tribunal, and figured in the proceedings of 9th Thermidor. The accused were ultimately acquitted, Catherine herself having died in prison.
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