As Catholics, we are obligated by Church Law to fulfill our Easter Duty ever year: we have the grave obligation that we must receive the Eucharist at least once per year during the Easter season.

“After being initiated into the Most Holy Eucharist, each of the faithful is obliged to receive holy communion at least once a year. This precept must be fulfilled during the Easter season.” – Code of Canon Law 920

To not fulfill that grave obligation and receive the “Sacrament of sacraments” on the “Feast of feast,” the “Solemnity of solemnities,” would be a mortal sin. To not fulfill that obligation seven years in a row could also turn you into a loup-garou – a werewolf.

According to French Catholic folk tradition, the loup-garou was a half-man, half-wolf hybrid that transformed into a blood-thirsty beast at night to prowl and hunt the woods before becoming man again at dawn. They were said to specifically target other Catholics who themselves had failed to fulfill their Lenten and Eastern obligations.

Becoming a loup-garou was the fate of any Catholic (or child not listening to their parents) who failed to uphold the practices of Lent and/or fulfill their Easter obligation for seven years in a row.

The only way for a wretched soul could be ‘saved’ was to go to confession and ask for forgiveness from a priest. After that, only once they received Communion on Easter Sunday would be they relieved from becoming the loup-garou at night.

The French Catholic folk tale travelled to southern Louisiana and became apart of Cajun folk lore, know as the rougarou, used by elders to persuade children to behave.

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  1. The Canadian Encyclopedia offers a slightly different take, where you might already be suspected of being a loup-garou if you haven’t made your Easter duty of Confession and Communion for seven years in a row. If you’re recognized during the loup-garou transformation, which may be a wolf or various other animal options, during up to 101 nights of night-time prowling, that person who is in a state of grace can break the curse by drawing blood from the animal form. Neither person can speak of this occurrence for fear of worse repercussions.

    The Acadian folklore tradition morphed into the Cajun from the ‘Acadie’ exile and forced migration south to the Louisiana region. It was an East Coast or Maritime occurrence, not from Quebec. New Brunswick was officially bilingual long before Canada made it a governmental requirement. The epic poem called Evangeline by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow captures the heartbreak of that tragic relocation experience.

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