This website requires JavaScript.

A little history of Notre-Dame-du-Roncier basilica

The entrance | B25es / CC-BY-SA
Basilica Pilgrimage Miracle Olivier V de Clisson Notre-Dame-du-Roncier basilica in Josselin

Roncier? The legend says in the Middle-Ages, a peasant found in his field brambles (ronces in French) covered with green leaves. He found a statue of the Virgin Mary below! A miraculous statue, of course.

Immediately, lots of pilgrims came and they decided to raise a chapel in order to put the statue. In fact, the primitive church was founded by viscount of Rohan, Guéthenoc, in the beginning of the 11th century: the lord raised the fortress of Josselin at the same time.

The church was called Our-Lady-of-the-Castle or Our-Lady-of-Jocelyn (Josselin was Guéthenoc’s son).

Constable Olivier de Clisson raised inside his private chapel in 1370: he was buried here with his second wife Margaret de Rohan. In this chapel, we still can see their recumbent figures, damaged during the Revolution, restored in the 19th century.

By the way! For the record... Our Gothic basilica is famous for the religious festival (typically Breton, pardons) dedicated to the aboyeuses ("barking women").

It takes place each year in September. That’s because in 1728, 3 epileptic children were cured in the basilica... Epilepsy affected mostly women: in middle of a crisis, they started to bark...

About the the author

I'm fond of strolls and History, with juicy and spicy details!