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Welcome to Our Lady of Villethiou


Preservation of Our Lady of VILLETHIOU - Loir et Cher - 18 rue Jules Ferry - 41310 St Amand - Longpré - tel: 06 71 58 03 40 - ou - 02 47 56 07 27 - Email: contact@villethiou.orange.fr - site: www.ndv.villethiou.fr     

     - good visit -

  

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The non-profit making association " Save Our Lady of Villethiou" was created on March 156th 2013 in conformity with the French  law of 1901. It's aim is to raise funds to save the historical chapel from demolition.







We need your support. To join the association, simply conplete the membership form and retur it to the adress provided together with the membership fee. Donations are also gratefully accepted.

 To contact us, fill out the form and it via the link provided. 



To contact us, fill out the form,
 and send it via the link provided.






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 CHAPEL


The Legend

According to legend, a villager found a small statue of the Virgin and child lying on its back in the gully formed by a natural spring of the Coudre river. News of this discovery rapidly spread

throughout the region so the statue was transferred from church to church. However, every time the statue was displaced, it returned to the spring where it had originally been found. In honor of the statue, the inhabitants of the hamlet thus decided to build a chapel there. Several times, however, the chapel collapsed during the night. One of the builders then asked the Virgin Mary to indicate the spot where she wanted the chapel to be built. He threw his hammer in the air and the chapel was then rebuilt where it landed.

A shrine was built for the statue and the chapel thus consecrated a few days later.


The edifice

A modestly sized 11th - 12th Century Romanesque chapel (11m x 5.30m) with timber paneled roof and spire. It was rebuilt in 1843.


The history

The chapel was a dependency of the Priory of the Abbey of St. George du Bois, seigneury of the nearby Chateau du Plessis- St. Amand. Even if the majority of historical documents have been lost, the pilgrimage probably dates back to before the 15th Century.

During the Middle Ages, numerous pilgrims implored the intercession of the Virgin Mary to cure their ills, prevent epidemics and other disasters. The pilgrimage flourished throughout the modern period. In 1805 Duchemin de la Chenaye wrote: " not a day or an hour goes by without crossing paths with large numbers of men and women on their way to Villethiou; it's the most highly attended pilgrimage in the whole of the Vendomois region."

In 1860, the number of pilgrims was estimated at between 10 and 12,000 and up to 30,000 attended the pilgrimage on September 8th.

Situated on one of the pilgrim routes to St.James of Compostela, the chapel, open every day, still receives numerous pilgrims. The book of prayer intentions at the entrance and the lighted candles by the alter bear witness to their daily visits.

Every year, the pilgrimage takes place on the Sunday closest to September 8th, Feast of the Virgin Mary's Nativity.

 Bibliography

Cler, G, Shrines and Pilgrimages in the south of Chartres Diocese, III e-early sixteenth century (master's thesis directed by C.Vincent. -Nanterre University of Paris X, 2009.

· Loisel, J.J "Villethiou, or pilgrimage to a Marian century Marie" A Bulletin of the Archaeological Society (scientific and literary) of Vendômois 1997, P. 17-52

- Saint Venant, R.de Topographical Dictionary, historical, bibliographic of Vendome and the borough Vendôme, Volume IV, Vendome, 1969, P. 283-285

· Dupont (Abée) Research on the cult of the Virgin Mary in the city and the Diocese of Blois,

     
Blois License 1875 P. 82-9


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