August 4

Vierge de l'Invention, Font-Romeu-Odeillo-Via, Pyrénées-Orientales, Roussillon, France

The story goes that a herder, pasturing cattle in the Forest of Calme, noticed a bull repeatedly leave the herd and paw fiercely at the ground near a spring. Unable to control the animal, the exasperated herder struck at it, but stopped in joyous amazement when he saw that the bull had uncovered a buried statue of the Virgin and Child. He ran to tell the parishioners of Odeillo, who built a chapel at the site of the "invention" or discovery of the statue. The site became known as Font-Romeu, Pilgrim Spring.   

The gilt wood statue known as the Vierge de l'Invention, 26" high, is usually dated to the 1200s. From Trinity Sunday to the Virgin's feast day, September 8, it resides in an elaborate baroque altarpiece in the chapel of Font-Romeu. Then it moves for the winter to another gilt baroque altarpiece in St. Martin's Church in Odeillo. In that church is also another Romanesque seated Virgin, the Madone d'Odeillo, of the 1100s, with the child in a more central position.

Cardinal Louis Dubois, Archbishop of Paris, crowned the statue of the Vierge de l'Invention on August 4, 1926.


bullet"Ermitage de Font-Romeu," Histoire du Roussillon,
bullet"font-romeu," Foi et Spiritualité Chrétienne - Département des Landes, (picture)
bulletMinistère de la culture - palissy,
Also commemorated this date:
bulletMadonna del Penna, Monte Penna, Genova, Liguria, Italy. Statue placed on mountaintop, 1937.
bulletMadonna del Bosco, Ozegna, Torino, Piedmont, Italy (Madonna of the Woods). Sanctuary consecrated, 1662.
bulletMadonna dell'Apparizione, Pellestrina, Venezia, Veneto, Italy. Painting came to life, 1716. Regatta 1st Sunday in August.
bulletMadonnina del Grappa, Crespano del Grappa, Treviso, Veneto, Italy. Statue blessed, 1901. Pilgrimage 1st Sunday in August.
bulletMadonna del Carmine, Colle Sannita, Benevento, Campania, Italy. Festa.
bulletMadonna Addolorata, Naples, Italy, Statue crowned, 1935. Festa Sept. 15.
bulletMadonna del Grappa. Montegrappa, Tuglie, Lecce, Apulia, Italy (Madonna of the Brandy). Statue blessed, 1901. 
bulletMediatrix of All Graces, Aokpe, Okpokwu, Benue, Nigeria. Anniversary of first public apparition to Christiana Agbo, 1995.
bulletNuestra Señora de la Encarnación, Bilbao, Biscay, Basque Country, Spain. First stone of convent placed, 1515. Feast March 25.

Where We Walked ~~~ Mary Ann Daly