The Wonders of Paray-Le-Monial, France

Paray-le-Monial is a commune located in the Saône-et-Loire department of France. It is part of the Bourgogne-Franche-Comté region, which is situated in the Charolais-Brionnais Country.

Romanesque Basilica of Paray-le-Monial

The Romanesque Basilica of Paray-le Monial is an incredible example of a Romanesque church. It was built before the famous ruins of Cluny were razed, and features three levels of high windows, a choir and a traditional Roman design with round chapels. There are also 365 capitals and hundreds of decorative sculptures. The Basilica is also well-lit, so you can take in the beauty of its interior from many angles.

Paray-le-Monial was founded by the Benedictine priory, a Benedictine church. It was built by Lambert, Count of Chalon, with the help of Saint Mayeul, abbot of Cluny. The foundation charter of the priory is preserved in the cartulary of Paray-le-Monial. This paper attempts to reconstruct the history of the priory and the basilica, which is dedicated to the Sacred Heart.

Chapel of the Visitation

In the Romanesque Burgundy region of France, Paray-le-Monial is the center of pilgrimage activity. Its basilica, the twelfth-century masterpiece of Cluniac art, is renowned throughout the world. The city is also the site of three apparitions of Christ to the young Marguerite-Marie Alacoque in the 17th century. The visions, which began on December 27, 1673, lasted for an entire year and a half.

In the late 17th century, in Paray-le-Monial, the Sacred Heart of Jesus appeared. This vision was subsequently promoted by St. Margaret Mary of Alacoque, the spiritual director of the local St. Claude de la Colombiere. It was a controversial apparition, as many both inside and outside the Church opposed it. However, Pope Pius IX recognized the importance of the Sacred Heart and declared it a Feast of the Sacred Heart for the whole Church. After the appearances, the town began to rediscover its role as a pilgrimage and sanctuary.

Saint Nicholas Tower

Located in the French province of Saone-et-Loire, the Saint Nicholas Tower is a historical site. Originally part of the town church, this 1535 structure was converted into a Gothic tower. The actual tower itself has a belfry typical of the Franche-Comte Region.

Paray-le-Monial’s historic center is reminiscent of its medieval past. Its Romanesque Basilica, a masterpiece of Cluny-inspired architecture, is a must-see, as is the Hotel de Ville, a fine 16th-century town-house. Another historic monument is the Musee du Hieron, which traces two millennia of Christian history. Another place to visit is the Paul Charnoz Museum of Ceramic Tiles.

Shrine of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoque

In Paray-le-Monial, France, the Shrine of Saint Margaret Mary Alacoqué commemorates the life and apparitions of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque, a young woman who became a nun in 1672 and later a Novice Mistress of the Visitation. During her life, she had many apparitions and became an important witness for the Sacred Heart. Her intercession resulted in the Sacred Heart feast which spread throughout the world.

In the town’s pedestrian zone, you can find many paths for a pleasant stroll. These pathways wind through small streets and shaded paths. If you’re interested in art, you can visit the Paul Charnoz museum, which presents a mosaic exhibition every year. In addition, the Association Aime comme mosaique offers mosaic classes and exhibitions.

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