Thanks to you, the first level of € 20,000 is reached!
It is very encouraging for the survival of the sanctuary: thank you for your mobilization!
Oldest apparition site of the Virgin in France, the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Le Puy welcomes, each year, almost 600,000 people. In the heart of the Massif Central, it is the point of departure, as well as the destination, for many pilgrims.
Around the year 900, the Bishop of Le Puy, Godeschalk, opened the way for the pilgrimage to Saint James of Compostella. Each year, more than 15,000 pilgrims depart from Le Puy or pass through as a step along the way of the Camino. For many, the pilgrims’ Mass, celebrated at 7 am, followed by the blessing for the way, remains an outstanding memory of their trip. The ensemble of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Le Puy is one of the monuments of the Way of Compostella, classed as a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1998.
Empty without the pilgrims who would be setting off on the way of Compostella.
Empty without the community which gathers there each Sunday for Mass.
Empty without the pilgrims and tourists come to pray upon the Fever Stone and before the Black Madonna.
- visibilityThe Fever StoneThe tradition says that in the 5th century a woman, in tremendous pain, received in a dream the injunction to go up Mont Anis and to lay down upon a great flat rock, the “Fever Stone”. The Virgin appeared to her and announced her healing, asking that a church be built on this site. The pilgrims come here to pray, even lying down upon the Stone to confide to Mary their trials.
With the confinement our ability to welcome people has been reduced to a minimum. The Cathedral remains open; we live-stream the Masses and certain offices on social networks.
But for us, the situation is critical. Between March and October we collect the greatest part of the resources necessary for the running of the Sanctuary throughout the year. Today, these resources are extremely diminished : almost no more candles lit, no more pilgrim credential documents, no more group visits and the gift-shop is closed.
From May 11th the movement restrictions will continue, impacting us more and more as each day passes. We anticipate a 50% drop in the number of visitors for the year 2020, which is equivalent to a financial loss of around €150,000 over the year. Even if we don't collect the whole amount, every euro we receive will help us get through this complicated period.
Today, the Sanctuary needs your help!
Our immediate needs :
- Preserve the activity of the 8 paid employees, the 3 religious Sisters and the 3 priests at the service of the pilgrims
- Meet the current costs: electricity, fuel, gas…
- Maintain the welcome of pilgrims and visitors
- Assure the daily maintenance of the Cathedral
We are currently without the resources which enable us to sustain the life of the Sanctuary throughout the year.
YET EACH YEAR WE NEED :
- €120 000 for salaries and wages
- €18 000 for energy costs
- €17 000 for the welcoming of pilgrims and visitors and maintenance of the Cathedral
We are very conscious that the entire world is in an extremely difficult situation, and that many do not know how they are going to manage following this confinement. We wish to assure you of our prayers and our support. But we also, in our turn, have need of support.
Please don’t hesitate to send us your prayer intentions, for yourselves and your loved ones. You can leave them on the page dedicated to this on our website or in the “comments” box which will appear after you have made your donation.
- visibilityThe origin of the SanctuaryIn the 5th century, while at Ephesus a Council recognised the fittingness of the title “Mother of God” given to the Virgin Mary, a first sanctuary was constructed on Mont Anis, which today is dominated by the cathedral Our Lady of the Annunciation: through the “yes” of Mary, the Christ became flesh in order to enter into the heart of all humanity and to save it.
- visibilityThe message conveyed by the Sanctuary throughout the agesThree phrases from the Bible resume the message of this Sanctuary: “Come to me, all you who labour and are heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” (John 11:8). One comes to Le Puy to lay upon the stone of the Apparition ones pains and sufferings, ones hopes and prayers.
“Unless one is born from above, one cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3). By its very particular architecture the cathedral of Le Puy invites one to live a rebirth, to receive the life of Christ and to leave again renewed.
“I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38). Mary helps us to say yes to the Lord’s call, as she herself did on the day of the Annunciation. The cathedral is like a big heart which draws in and which sends out so that we “may have life in abundance” (John 10:10).
- visibilityThe specific features of the Sanctuary
Welcome : each morning at 7 am the pilgrims of Compostella come to receive the blessing for the way before setting out on their journey.
Compassion : carrying the prayers of those who suffer, who are burdened, and listening to them by means of a simple encounter or through the sacraments.
Prayer : arriving at the summit of the rock, after climbing the 134 steps, there’s no other way than to enter into silence, to regain one’s breath, to receive a new “breath” and to pray before the Black Madonna who presents to us her son, Jesus.