Fache leads Langdon through the darkened Louvre to the Grand Gallery, where Saunière’s body lies. Saunière is revealed to have been a connoisseur of goddess iconography— relics related to religions that worship the sacred feminine—and that Langdon is writing a book on the same subject. Langdon’s book has been kept a secret because he believes that some of his interpretations will be controversial. Fache seems unpleasant and fairly hostile. Langdon notices that the police inspector is wearing a crux gemmata, a religious pin depicting Jesus and his twelve apostles.
Saunière’s body is surrounded by a metal barricade, part of “containment security,” a measure used by the museum to try to trap thieves on the premises. Fache makes Langdon climb under the barricade with him, and Langdon clumsily bangs his head.
Bishop Manuel Aringarosa, the president-general of Opus Dei, packs his bags and leaves his organization’s luxurious headquarters in New York City to board a plane headed for Rome. Though he is dressed modestly, he wears an elaborate bishop’s ring. While in the air, Aringarosa reflects on the history of Opus Dei, a conservative Catholic organization started early in the twentieth century. Lately Opus Dei has been besieged by critics who say that the organization is a religious cult. But as of five months ago, the biggest threat to the organization wasn’t coming from the media or from the organization’s critics, but from a different source, one not yet revealed to the reader. While in the air, Aringarosa takes a phone call from someone who reports Silas’s discovery that the keystone is hidden in the Church of Saint-Sulpice. The Bishop agrees to pull some strings to gain Silas access to the church. Meanwhile, Silas is preparing to retrieve the keystone. He is excited about this mission in a way he hasn’t been since joining the church. His excitement makes his violent past come flooding back to him.
Standing in front of Saunière’s body, Langdon explains to Fache the significance of the way Saunière arranged himself before dying. The curator drew a pentacle on his stomach with his own blood. The pentacle, a five-pointed star that symbolizes the pagan goddess Venus, has often been misinterpreted as a sign of devil worship. Fache shows Langdon that Saunière is clutching a glow-in-the-dark marker that the museum staff uses to make maintenance notes on paintings. With the help of a black light, a message is revealed. Fache asks Langdon to help him understand it. Meanwhile, Collet is taping this conversation from Saunière’s former office.
Sister Sandrine, the keeper of the Church of Saint-Sulpice, is awakened in the middle of the night by a phone call from her boss, who tells her that Aringarosa asked him to let a member of Opus Dei come to the church immediately. She is taken aback by this request, but she does as her boss asks. Sandrine, a pious woman, does as her superiors ask. Still, she is mistrustful of Opus Dei. She is disturbed by the sect’s practice of “corporal mortification,” or physical self-punishment, and she disapproves of their discrimination toward women.
As Collet continues to survey the scene from afar, Langdon takes in the cryptic message that Saunière has written next to his body:
This is a great temple of the Illuminati were
you find, riches, power and fame, are you a
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politicians or a lecturer, are you a student or
graduate, what so ever you be in all over the
world dose not matter to us, what matter a
lot to us is to see you happy and rich, we are
giving you the chance here to be what so
ever you want to be in life, join the Illuminati
secret brotherhood and get all you need in
life, we offer every thing you need in life, if... Read more→
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