On March 16, 1244, two hundred and five men and women – the final flowering and spiritual crown of the Cathar fraternity – walked placidly toward the bonfire where they would be burned. From this fact was written the prophecy that was popularized in a poem by Felibre August Teulié: “After 700 years, the laurel tree will flourish”.
In 1944, after exactly seven centuries, seven people went to Montségur in southern France and rekindled the flame in the same place where their predecessors gave their lives for Christ. Among them was Antoine Gadal. The flame of fire was reignited as a sign of the return of the children of Light, the Gnosis of Love.
We now take a leap to 1956, when Hennie Stok-Huizer, a Rotterdam-born 44-year-old woman, writes her name in the history of the modern world as Catharose de Petri, a spiritual leader of the twentieth century, as intense as she was discreet. The spiritual name was given to her by Gadal, meaning the Rose of the Cathars, in which the light of higher love shines.
On an earlier visit to the Rose Garden of Albi (in 195?), Catharose de Petri and Jan van Rijckenborgh were inspired to form ‘a contemporary Gnostic development that would reconnect the Western world with the original roots of its past” (The Triumph of Gnosis, p. 20). They did not meet Gadal on that occasion, but at the end of the same year they founded and commenced leadership of the Spiritual School of the Golden Rosycross.
The meeting of the three took place only in 1954, when Gadal consolidated the Golden Rosycross as a new link in the Universal chain of Fraternities, giving continuity to the ever ongoing work of (re)connecting people to the original teachings of Christ. At their next meeting, Gadal presented Mrs. Stok-Huizer, who later would be known by Catharose de Petri, with a cloth where he himself had drawn a white dove with its wings spread out against a blue background. The image corresponded exactly to what she had visualized at age of 28, through an inner experience of intense philosophical-religious contemplation, in which she sought her mission.
Humanity knows that some among us live as if they were not of this world. They are people who seem to see further, or on the contrary, see our existence with such detail that they seem to be equipped with a different sensory perception, or even have organs not cataloged by medicine. They possess characteristics that we admire. In a way, if we refer to them as ‘spiritual heroes’, it is because we perceive them to be extremely well aligned to that unknown but ever so real spiritual dimension, which many people are seeking.
They might be called Initiates.
Initiation is a spiritual process that begins with Purification, that is, the fertilization of the divine seed in our heart (the rose of the heart). For Alice Bailey, ‘initiation is like a progressive sequence of directed energy impacts.’ Initiates then, would be people who knowingly carry a divine seed; people in the process of becoming more aware of something, not intellectually, not theoretically, but in actual realization. The next step is Enlightenment, which means becoming conscious of dwelling in a world of Light, after which follows Liberation, where he or she regains all the tools and attributes of the primordial, spiritual Mankind. From there on he grows and develops, while serving others from a whole new perspective.
The degree of spiritual initiation cannot be measured or proved outwardly; not even whether or not someone is an Initiate. However, one can read the signs, as in the case of Catharose de Petri – a woman who was for decades head of a Mystery School which she helped to create and develop, and also produced an extensive literary output, that reflects insights and qualities belonging to an Initiate.
Antoine Gadal says that we must understand that
the characteristic trait left by the initiates is, in fact, Gnosis, the Gnosis of the new birth, which we rightly call the age of Christ.
He refers to the initiates as those
who had devoted themselves entirely to the kingdom of the Spirit, to the Empire of Love. – (O Triunfo da Gnosis Universal, p. 57)
Catharose de Petri was a woman who demanded clarity. Many of those who have met her said that when in contact with her, people were forced to look at themselves very objectively. She introduced the same clear lines in the organization of work. While her peer, Jan van Rijckenborgh, represented the key figure of the modern Spiritual School, she was the guardian of the inner structure.
This special Bond of two modern Rosicrucians and modern Hermetic Gnostics, however, was disrupted with the death of Jan van Rijckenborgh in 1968. Catharose de Petri continued to lead the Spiritual School of the Golden Rosycross, and she consolidated the results of what was achieved so that the work could continue without the presence of either. She demonstrated undeniable leadership on a spiritual level. She preserved and developed the spiritual work of the Mystery School of the Young Gnosis, and reinforced the work of that community in the service of the human individual, while preserving the literary heritage of Rijckenborgh.
Catharose, a name ‘in which the Rose of the harvest of the Cathars flourishes’, was a woman who blossomed through the Gnosis of Love. She placed the leadership of the institution she had helped create in the hands of a collegiate of several members. Just as Gadal had done before regarding herself and Jan van Rijckenborgh, she formed a college of fishers of men. She could recognize in them the effects of the directed impacts of Gnostic energy that bring forth initiation, which ensured a living structure of the active autonomous spiritual force in the Golden Rosycross School.
For 44 years of work, 22 of which was spent in leadership, Catharose de Petri protected the institution in every respect, based on her spiritual authority, deep knowledge and confidence in the force of the vibration of Christ.
When she died in 1990, she had fulfilled the mission she had envisioned at the age of 28, when the image of the white dove came to her: that the Golden Rosycross, as a Spiritual School, should, in the power of the Spirit, become known to all those who aspire for the liberation of the soul. ‘The seeds, planted by the ancient Cathars had already developed and were, finally, ripe for harvesting and replanting.’ Thus a garden grew.
And of that garden, Catharose de Petri, the Rose of the Cathars, was the guardian.
Gadal, Antonin. O Triunfo da Gnosis Universal [The Triumph of the Universal Gnosis]. Jarinú, SP: Pentagrama Publicações, 2017.
Huijs, Peter. Chamados pelo Coração do Mundo [Called by the World Heart]. Tradução de Jorge Figueira e Maria das Mercês Rocha Leite. Jarinú, SP: Pentagrama Publicações, 2015.
Salomó, Eduard Berga. O Catarismo na Tradição Espiritual do Ocidente [On Catharism in the Western Spiritual Tradition]. São Paulo: Instituto Civitas Solis, 2012.