Notre-Dame de l'Annonciation, Moulins, Allier, Auvergne, France
On April 5, 1468, Agnes of Burgundy placed the first stone of a church
in Moulins dedicated to Our Lady of the Annunciation, on the site of one
dedicated to St. Peter some 500 years earlier. Funded by and long
associated with the House of Bourbon, Notre-Dame de Moulins became a
cathedral in 1823 after the Catholic Church created the Diocese of Moulins.
In 1857, the Flamboyant Gothic building was greatly enlarged in Neo-Gothic
style. In 1949, the Pope designated it a Basilica Minor.
In the Chapel of the Black Virgin is a seated Virgin in Majesty, of
dark wood and massive proportions. The Child faces and blesses the viewer,
as in the oldest sculptures, but from her right knee, not the middle of
her lap, suggesting a date around 1250. That would fit with the popular
belief that St. Louis donated the statue, or that a Bourbon knight brought
it home from a crusade. In the 1400s it was sealed in a protective
covering, and it also used to be dressed, like the Virgins of Spain. There
was an old custom of offering this Virgin a wax wheel, like the Black
Virgin of Marsat gets on the first Saturday in May.
The Virgin of Moulins was credited with saving the city from the fire
of 1655, which ended abruptly when someone threw her robe into the flames,
and from the Germans in World War II. The statue was crowned by Church
authority on May 22, 1910.
|Also in the cathedral is a beautiful triptych of around 1500 by the
Master of Moulins. The central panel shows the Virgin in Glory, with the
moon under her feet, symbolic of the Immaculate Conception. The side
panels show the donors, Peter II, Duke of Bourbon, and his wife Anne of
France, with their daughter Suzanne, kneeling beside their patron saints,
Peter and Anne.
(Information from "Basilique-cathédrale Notre-Dame de
l'Annonciation de Moulins," fr.wikipedia.org, and other sources.
Black Virgin image from lieuxsacres.canalblog.com/archives/moulins__03_allier_/index.html,
posted by madame_dulac April 16, 2007. Triptych image from "Peintures
des Musées de France: MOULINS," notesdemusees.blogspot.com/2009/06/moulins.html,
posted by Jean-Louis Gautreau June 8, 2009.)
Also commemorated this date:
|Queen of the Holy Rosary, Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada. Catholic
archdiocese consecrated to Mary under this title, 1933.|
|Mariä Heimsuchung, Würzburg, Lower Franconia, Bavaria, Germany
(Visitation of Mary). First stone of chapel placed, 1748. |
|Beata Vergine del Pianto, Arcene, Bergamo, Lombardy, Italy (Our Lady of
the Weeping). Fresco crowned, 1964.|
|Madonna del Carmine (Madonna Bruna), Naples, Italy. Procession to Rome and
miracle of healing, 1500. Feast July 16.|
|Maria Santissima della Rotonda, Parete, Caserta, Campania, Italy. Painting