Calès is the Quercy, it's the Causse de Gramat, it's the North of the Lot, it's the neighbor of Rocamadour, it's all that at the same time... but it's also the Chemin de Saint - Jacques-de-Compostelle! It is also its 200 inhabitants, its Cabécou AOP cheese, its hiking trails, its white stone houses, its Place du Couderc, and above all its church!
This old lady has a long history :
Calès enters written history with its church. In 937, Adhémar, viscount of the Echelles, youngest of the counts of Turenne, indeed leaves to the abbey of Tulle his possessions, among which is the church of Calès. Rome will confirm this donation in 1144 then, again, in 1154.
In the second half of the 12th century, supported by the monks of Rocamadour, the abbey of Obazine (Corrèze) led a policy of geographical expansion to the south of the Dordogne. She obtained from the lords of Haut Quercy the gift of several lands and established barns in Calès and Bonnecoste. The Hundred Years War was fatal for Calès, the church was partly destroyed and the village was abandoned by the inhabitants. Taking advantage of a moment of respite, the Abbé d'Obazine bought part of Calès as a new fief and offered to all those who wished to come and live there, to settle in exchange for an annuity.
In the 16th century, the church of Calès was rebuilt on the same site as the old one. However, the lower half of the apse and the beginning of the walls of the nave could belong to the original Romanesque building (12th century). In September 1606, Abbé d'Obazine took full possession of the parish of Calès.
As the pilgrimage to Compostela took off, the Corrèze abbey dedicated several new parish shrines to Saint-Jacques-le-Majeur, no doubt explaining the origin of the Patron Saint of Calès.
Tradition here takes over from the Holy Scriptures.
The disciples of Saint James would then have collected his remains to deposit them in a boat, which landed in Galicia, at Padrón. The body was buried in a compostum, that is to say a "cemetery" (this is one of the etymologies of the name "Compostelle").
The pilgrimage reached its peak in the 12th century. It is also from this period that dates the Codex Calixtinus, a collection of texts dedicated to Saint James the Greater and his pilgrimage, the fifth book of which, the Pilgrim's Guide to Santiago de Compostela, will be considered the ancestor of travel guides. It describes in particular the four major French routes (departing from Tours, Vézelay, Le Puy-en-Velay and Saint-Gilles), as well as the Spanish stages to reach the tomb of the apostle. Many routes exist today and lead to Compostela but one in particular concerns our region and village: the route from Puy en Velay (Haute-Loire) – Saint Jean Pied de Port (Pyrénées Atlantiques).
After several achievements, the association is now carrying out the restoration project for the 14 Way of the Cross paintings dating from the 19th century, which are currently stored and cannot be hung up, given their advanced state of degradation.
As noted by Mrs. Dina MUCCI, Graduate of the Ars Labor Institute. ROME and restorer of painted works in Sérignac (Lot), in her diagnosis on canvas supports (which measure 72 x 92 cm with frame):
« On some stations there is an old protective canvas completely torn.
All the supports are deformed (very pronounced folds, lack of flatness), the tension edges are separated from the frame (except n° VIII and X).
There are holes, tears and lacks, except on n° V, VI, VIII, IX, X and XII. The frames no longer fulfill their function, they must be replaced »
See for yourself the beauty of these paintings, moving testimonies of a sacred work carried out more than 100 years ago !
The Friends of Saint Jacques de Calès association is therefore appealing for donations for the restoration of this Stations of the Cross. Intervention is required for all works. Our heritage, our history, our church needs you !
The Stations of the Cross, A symbolic testimony to spirituality in art! The Stations of the Cross are the stages of the path taken by Jesus during his ascent to Calvary. The number of stations varied until the end of the 17th century when it was fixed at fourteen.
In the 19th century, the Stations of the Cross were ordered from catalogs from specialized workshops; they were not signed. For leading painters, this was a low-value exercise. This is why very few of them have made a Stations of the Cross.
The budget for the Stations of the Cross amounts to 3780 euros for the frames and 8700 euros for the paintings, i.e. 12,480 € for all the paintings. We ask you to contribute 10,000 euros to the restoration of the 14 Way of the Cross paintings!