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Notre Dame des Anges (Our Lady of the Angels)

Miraculous shrine near Lurs, France

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Anges, NOTRE DAME DES (OUR LADY OF THE ANGELS), a miraculous shrine near Lurs, France, containing a crypt (Sainte Chapelle) which tradition dates back to an early period. Archaeological finds, inscriptions, and the records left by antiquaries give evidence that this was once the site of a Roman colony and a station termed in ancient itineraries Alaunium (founded 150 B.C.). Situated as it was on a Roman road connecting cities which are believed to have been evangelized at an early period, Alaunium probably received the Faith at the same time. There is an ancient tradition to the effect that one of the immediate disciples of Christ erected an oratory here in honor of the Mother of God, and that it took the name Alaunium, later contracted into Aulun. Though several chapels were built on this site and destroyed, an ancient tablet survived all calamities. On the occasion of a cure wrought before this tablet (August 2, 1665) a choir of angels, it is said, was heard singing; on the repetition of the marvel the following year the name of the shrine was changed to Our Lady of Angels, and it was placed in charge of the Recollect Fathers of St. Francis. In 1752 Bishop Lafiteau of Sisteron instituted the feast of the Relatives of Mary, making this sanctuary a center of the devotion. In 1791 the religious were expelled, and the church despoiled. On the reopening of the churches the pilgrimages recommenced, and still continue. The most important of them takes place on August 2.

F. M. RUDGE


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