From Trinity to Quinternity

A Potential Case Study of Jungian-Christian Dialogue


We can imagine the psychological unconscious as a vast interior space, and its archetypes like planets which orbit through that space. These archetypal planets generate fields around themselves in the form of an energy that will induce in whatever passes within range certain images and affects.

Chief among these archetypes is what Jung called the self which is an urge towards psychological wholeness that expresses itself in a myriad of symbols: circles and coins, mandalas and crowns, gems and magical children, 4 and 8-fold figures, and on and on. And in modern dreams, as well as in ancient mythology can be found the theme of the 3, which is searching for the missing 4th in order to better express wholeness.

In men among the most powerful of archetypes is what Jung called the anima, or feminine dimension of the psyche. It is as if each man has deep within himself an archetype of the feminine which can take countless faces.

While it is true that Jung created this archetypal terminology, as well as various hypotheses about how the archetypes relate to each other, and how the ego relates to the unconscious, it is important to keep in mind that he was creating this natural science of the psyche on the basis of empirical evidence in the form of the images coming from the unconscious that he found in dreams, myths and fantasies from all over the world.

When Jung late in his life turned to an examination of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, it would have seemed obvious to him that from his psychological perspective that he was confronted with another example of a 3-fold figure in search of a missing 4th to complete it. This completion, he felt, could take the form of the good Trinity being brought into closer relationship with evil as the 4th, represented by the devil, or the masculine Trinity in need of a feminine 4th in terms of Mary.

All this can seem rather esoteric and even far-fetched. Of what practical relevance could it have for Christians? Certainly it cannot be taken as some sort of theological evaluation of the Trinity as if the church ought to contemplate transforming the Trinity into a quaternity that it would then worship. This would be to confuse psychology and theology, and turn theology into nothing more than a deficient expression of psychology. Jung was not a theologian, and his remarks on the Trinity cannot be read in that light even though he, himself, sometimes made it harder to maintain the distinction between the two. When, for example, Pius XII announced the dogma of the bodily assumption of Mary into heaven in 1950, Jung was pleased because he saw it as a move in the direction of a fuller expression of a quaternity of wholeness. But in actual fact, theologically it said nothing of the sort.

But this does not mean that Jung’s ideas about Trinity becoming quaternity can be relegated to the junk pile in regards to the Christian life. There is another possible application of them. Let’s return to our fanciful picture of an inner solar system of the unconscious in which each archetype generates a particular field around it. Now let’s imagine that a theological formulation of the Trinity passes through this interior space, and as it does so, comes within range of the archetype of the self, and of the anima. Isn’t it possible that under certain conditions when this passage of the theological formulation comes particularly close to these archetypes that the formulation could be influenced by them so that a trinitarian formula would begin to be influenced in the direction of a quaternity? All this now sounds doubly esoteric and fanciful, so let’s look at a possible case. Since my information about it is limited, I will advance it only in a tentative way and hope that it can later be confirmed on the basis of more evidence.

Our story starts in 1933 when a 12-year-old French-Canadian girl, Marie-Paul Gigučre offers herself to God as victim for the sins of the world, and starts receiving revelations from the Blessed Virgin. By 1971 a group called the Army of Mary has formed about her, and in 1978 her revelations in 13 volumes called A Life of Love appear in 13 months.

In the early 1980s she is approached by a pious young man, Marc Bosquart, who has written a book exploring and explaining her providential role in the church. His suggestions must have shocked her because she returned his manuscript to him with big Xs on its pages. But the matter does not end there, and his ideas take root in her circle. In 1987 his first two books are condemned by Cardinal Vachon, setting off what is to be a long struggle between the community and Rome. Meanwhile, the community is growing to include an order of priests, and one of sisters, and thousands of devoted lay followers. It embodies some of the best of pre-conciliar spirituality, and it makes one of its hallmarks fidelity to the pope and to the church. But by 2006 the conflict is still going on, and the Army of Mary is now styling itself the Church of St. John vs. the Church of St. Peter, and the Church of the Quinternity vs. the Church of the Trinity. One of its priests, Pierre Mastropietro, on the strength of one of Marie-Paul Gigučre’s visions, is elevated to be the “father” of the Church of St. John, which is a role that appears to function like that of the pope of the new church. The Army of Mary is excommunicated by Rome.

This is a tragedy. The genuine devotion of its members has somehow led them into open opposition with the church. How did this come about? The roots of the conflict can be found in the new doctrines proposed by the community. Paul-André Durocher, bishop of Alexandria-Cornwall, gives us an idea of these doctrines which he extracted from the work of Marc Bosquart. (

Mme. Gigučre, we are told, is to Mary of Nazareth as Jesus is to God the Father. In God is a feminine person called the Immaculate. God the Father fecundates the Immaculate in order to create the world. The Immaculate is incarnated in Mary of Nazareth who has certain divine attributes. The Immaculate is reincarnated today in Mme. Gigučre who is a female redeemer who completes the work begun by Jesus, and she participates in the Eucharist like Jesus. Instead of a Trinity, there is, in fact, a quinternity made up of Father, Son and Holy Spirit, Mary of Nazareth, and Mme. Gigučre.

Theologically these new doctrines are so far from the normal development of Catholic doctrine that there is little wonder that they were a stumbling block in the community’s relationship to Rome. But where did these ideas come from? Here is where our hypothesis comes into play. We start with the Catholic belief in the Trinity and a fervent yet orthodox devotion to Mary. But these doctrines are stripped, as it were, of their protective wrappings by entering into a climate dominated by the private revelations of Mme. Gigučre. The world of private revelations is a world that is much closer to the world of the psychological unconscious. Therefore, the genuine doctrines of the Trinity and the role of Mary in the history of salvation, when made part of the world of private revelations, pass into the world of the psychological unconscious and close to the energies of the archetypal generators there, and these archetypes begin to induce in these doctrines certain developments. The anima archetype, for example, which has many faces, can express itself in a highly spiritualized form. In this case, under the influence of the anima, devotion to Mary of Nazareth becomes elevated and transformed into a belief in the Immaculate, brought into close proximity to the Godhead, and taking on the features of a divine person. The archetype of wholeness, grasping the Trinity with one hand, and the divine-like Immaculate with the other, strives to bring them together in a quaternity, while the Immaculate as the prime exemplar of the anima is seen as incarnated in Mary, and then reincarnated in Mme. Gigučre. The Immaculate, Mary, and Mme. Gigučre function as aspects of the one anima reality, which is brought into conjunction with the Trinity, forming most of all a quaternity, although the Army of Mary speaks of a quinternity.

Once the formulations of faith have been immersed in the ocean of private revelation, and then made vulnerable to archetypal forces, the judgment of faith, that is, the ability of faith to hold to genuine Christian doctrine becomes compromised. The recipients of these kinds of new revelations only have to turn within to experience in their own psyches the existence of these spiritual realities which throb there. The reality of the archetypes is mistakenly taken for the certitude of faith.

As I said, I am setting this forth by way of hypothesis, and it would be interesting to see whether a deeper examination of the works of Marc Bosquart, Mme. Gigučre, and other members of the Army of Mary support such an interpretation. If they do, then what we are faced with is a concrete example of how Jung’s ideas on Trinity and quaternity can, in fact, be verified in the concrete, and provide us with a way to understand how genuine faith can interact with archetypal structures.


Postscript: In Marc Bosquart’s first book, From the Divine Trinity to the Trinity of the Immaculate, we can see the opposing poles of faith and the archetypes trying to work themselves out.

As illustrated in the diagrams on pages 108 and 109, there is the divine Trinity, but also the trinity of the Immaculate composed of three persons, Mary, Marie-Paule, and the true Spirit which I take to be the Immaculate. When the two trinities come together, somehow the Holy Spirit from the first Trinity and the true Spirit from the second trinity become fused, and so there is a total of five persons. The most enigmatic part of all this is the nature of the Immaculate who will later be incarnated in Mary, and reincarnated in Marie-Paule. She is clearly presented as pre-existing Mary, and yet as a creature. Somehow God and the Immaculate are responsible for creation, yet somehow the Immaculate as a creature must already exist in order to play a role in creation. So Marc Bosquart will write: “All the same, there certainly is an essential difference which cannot be over-emphasized: God is Creator, whereas the Immaculate is Creature, and between the Mystery of God and the Mystery of the Immaculate there is the same abyss that lies between the Creator and the Creature – the Creature who is and will remain Creature, even though, once created, She collaborated with God in the creation of all things outside Herself.” (p. 65) “(T)he Immaculate was CO-CREATRIX, with God, of the entire universe” (p. 74)

From a psychological point of view we see that Christian faith works to prevent the Immaculate from being declared a divine fourth person of the Trinity, yet the archetype of quaternity influences the situation to such a degree that the Immaculate takes on a life of her own, and does somehow appear to transcend the boundaries of creation even while we are being told that the Immaculate is a creature.

We see much the same dynamics in two other books by our author. In The Immaculate, the Divine Spouse of God Marc Bosquart came as close as possible to divinizing the feminine, and placing it in the Godhead. There is a primordial unity which through a “scission” (p. 19) is divided into God and the Immaculate which are the two poles of the divine reality. Somehow the Immaculate is fully divine, yet God is the eternal unity through Himself, and the Immaculate through God. (p. 24)

In Marie-Paule and Co-Redemption Bosquart will extend the divinity of the feminine in a certain measure through the Immaculate to Marie-Paule who identified herself in her writings with Mary. (p. 25) Here we may wonder if there is not a confusion between a certain participation through love by which Christians can be legitimately said to share in the life of Mary, just as they share in the life of Christ, and an ontological union which is illegitimate since Christians cannot be said to be Mary or Christ by nature. Perhaps it is this confusion that suggests to Bosquart that Marie-Paule is the reincarnation of the Immaculate, (p. 41) like Jesus in the incarnation of God, allowing Him to breach, as it were, the ontological barrier and allow Marie-Paule to have a special role beyond ordinary Christians. Parallel to the Trinity of traditional Christian doctrine he builds up a Trinity of the Immaculate, and when he combines the two trinities he comes up with a quinternity (p. 49) since the Holy Spirit is identical with both trinities. This parallel trinity of the Immaculate has the practical psychological effect of allowing the feminine to enter into the traditional Trinity.