Martha Broissier

Martha Broissier was a young woman who was made famous around the year of 1578 for her feigned demonic possession, a fraud that was discovered by bishop Charles Miron, of which is either a Roman Catholic Diocese of Angers or a Roman Catholic Diocese of Orléans.

According to Augustin Calmet, Martha was young woman and daughter of a weaver in Romorantin. She claimed to have been demonically possessed creating as much widespread circulation of the news in her time as the Loudun possessions did.[A 1]

Charles Miron discovered the fraud by making her drink holy water under the disguise of normal water; by making the exorcists present to her a key wrapped up in red silk, but stating that the silk contained a piece of the 'true cross'; and by reciting various verses from Virgil which Martha Broisser's demon took for exorcism rites; as both the presence of the wrapped key and the recital of the lines of Virgil agitated her immensely, the fraud became clear. Henri de Gondi, Cardinal Bishop of Paris, had her examined by five of the faculty; three were of the opinion that she was an impostor with little indication of a disease. The Parliament nominated eleven physicians who all unanimously reported that there was nothing demoniacal in the matter. [A 2]

See also


  1. p. 132.
  2. p. 132.

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