Notre Dame du Puy (Our Lady on the Hill)

Le Puy en Velay , France.

The Cathedral of Notre Dame du Puy is an important place of Christian and Marian spirituality. The word "puy" means hill in Old French. The cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation, stands on Mount Anis. It is the current diocesan cathedral. The origins of this Marian shrine are probably the oldest in Europe. The first bishops never built any churches and it seems that Bishop Scutaire (bishop from c. 415-430) built the first shrine in 430.

Devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary was not well documented at Le Puy until the eleventh century, when Saint Leo IX (1002-1054) proclaimed it the "most illustrious there is in France." The origin of the cedar wood statue of the Black Madonna is uncertain. On June 8, 1794, during the French Revolution, the Black Madonna Shrine was burnt in the public square. A replica was made in 1844. On June 8, 1856, another Black Madonna from the Church of Saint Maurice was crowned and installed in the cathedral.

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Notre Dame Cathedral (12th century)
Notre Dame Cathedral
Pietà (15th century)
Jean-Pol Grandmont
View from the Rue des Tables
Domaine public
Cathedral of Notre Dame du Puy
Notre Dame du Puy Cathedral
Cloisters and statue of Notre Dame of France
Domaine public

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The Christianization Legends (Le Puy en Velay)

In 47 or 70 A.D., a woman from Ruessium named Vila who was suffering from a high fever asked to be carried to the top of Mount Anicius. She was laid on a megalithic dolmen that crowned the hill which had the reputation of healing fevers. This dolmen was in fact called "the stone of fevers." Vila fell asleep there, and the Virgin appeared to her in a dream.