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Balberith also known as Baalberith, Berith, Beal, or Elberith is a fallen angel and former Prince of the order of Cherubim. He was the god of the Canaanite city, who later came to be viewed as the demon by Christian demonology. As Berith, he is described as wearing a crown and riding a horse. One of his chief tasks being the witnessing of signatures between humans and the devil. As a Demon, Balberith serves as a master of ceremonies and grand pontiff in Hell. 

According to Johann Weyer, Baalberith is the secretary and librarian of the archives in Hell and is a demon of the second order, a master of the Infernal Alliance. 

Balberith was named as a key demon in the famous possession of nuns at Aix-enProvence, France, in 1611. This witch trial was significant as being the first in France where the testimony of one of the possessed was taken into account. Prior to the 17th century in France, accusations from a demoniac were considered unreliable, since most clerics believed that any words spoken by one possessed by the Devil were utterances from “the father of lies” (John 8:44) and would not stand up to accepted rules of evidence. 

The central figure—and perpetrator—of the case was Sister Madeleine de Demandolx de la Palud, a highstrung, vain girl from a wealthy and aristocratic Provençal family. Deeply religious from childhood, she was sent in 1605, at age 12, to the new Ursuline convent in Aix-enProvence. There she was one of only six nuns, all of them from wealthy families. Their spiritual director was Father Jean-Baptiste Romillon. After about two years, Madeleine became severely depressed and was sent home. There she was visited by a family friend who sought to help her, Father Louis Gaufridi, a handsome priest 20 years her senior. Gaufridi had a much lower class background but was popular among the wealthy. He was personable and entertaining, and his good looks appealed to women. Thus it was no surprise that 14-year-old Madeleine fell violently in love with him. He visited often, and gossip flew when he once spent an hour and a half with her without her family present. Warnings about this inappropriate behavior were issued to Gaufridi and to Madeleine’s mother by the head of the Ursuline convent in Marseilles, Mother Catherine de Gaumer. Still, in 17th century France, loose behavior by clergy was tolerated, unless witchcraft was suspected.

from Collin de Plancy's Dictionnaire Infernal
(Pic Source:

In 1607 Demandolx entered the Ursuline convent at Marseille where she confessed to the superior that she had been intimate with Gaufridi. The mother superior then sent her to Aix to place Demandolx some distance from Gaufridi. 

Nothing happened for nearly two years, and then Madeleine began suffering convulsions, shaking fits, and visions of demons. Before Christmas 1609, she smashed a crucifix during confession. Father Romillon tried to exorcise Madeleine, without success. Meanwhile, her possession infected three other nuns, who began having the same symptoms and lost their speech. One of them, Louise Capeau, became her rival in performance. Exasperated, Romillon took the two young women to see the grand inquisitor in Avignon, Sebastian Michaelis, a man who had gotten on in years but was quite feared: He had sent 18 witches to their death at the stake in Avignon. He was a most determined inquisitor. Michaelis’ approach was a public exorcism of the nuns at the shrine of St. Mary Magdalene in the grotto at SteBaume. However, it failed. 

Madeleine and Louise were then sent to another exorcist, François Domptius, a Flemish Dominican priest at the Royal Convent of St. Maximin. Louise stole center stage. Three demons who possessed her, Verin, Gresil, and Sonnillon, spoke through her in a deep bass voice. They taunted Madeleine with possession by Beelzebub, Leviathan, Baalberith, Asmodeus, and Astaroth. In response, Madeleine screamed obscenities. The witnesses, including the exorcists, were convinced beyond doubt that the women were genuinely possessed. 

On December 15, Verin, speaking again through Louise, identified Gaufridi as the cause of Madeleine’s possession. Michaelis sent for Gaufridi, intending that he perform an exorcism, but without explanation to the priest. Gaufridi had no knowledge of exorcisms, and the two nuns mocked him, calling him a magician. He retorted, “If I were a witch, I would certainly give my soul to a thousand devils!” Michaelis pounced on this and had Gaufridi arrested and jailed in the grotto. While he languished in jail, his quarters were searched for evidence of witchcraft, but nothing was found. 

In 1611 the Parliament at Aix held a trial at which Madeleine was a star witness, exhibiting demoniacal possession and affirming her lascivious desire for Gaufridi. Meanwhile the unfortunate priest had spent a year chained in an underground dungeon with rats. Three devil's marks were said to have been found on his body. After torture he confessed to magic, sorcery, and fornication but later retracted his confession. He was sentenced to be burned alive on a slow fire. Before this was carried out, he was tortured so horribly that he was willing to confess to any atrocity—even eating roasted babies. Before being burned, he was dragged through the streets.
  • The Encyclopedia of Angels by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
  • The Encyclopedia Of Demons And Demonology by Rosemary Ellen Guiley
  • The Watkins Dictionary of Angels: Over 2,000 Entries On Angels & Angelic Beings by Julia Cresswell

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