Jean Rivière was the curé of Espéraza, a neighboring village of Rennes-le-Château at the time of Saunière’s death. It was Rivière who was called to the village by Marie Dénarnaud to hear her master’s last confession. The story goes that he was in with Saunière for hours and came out of the room clearly shaken. Allegedly he had refused the Abbé his extreme unction and lost much of the joy in his life. The story cannot be confirmed by any hard evidence. After the events Rivière made several striking alterations to his church in Espéraza, like a grotto with the body of the Jesus lying down after the crucifixion with his eyes open.