The story of Conques dates back to the 8th century: few Christians, running away from the Saracens invasions, took shelter in Conques valley. There, they founded a small oratory. Later, hermit Deodatus turned up with several monks to found a community. The abbey and its church were raised in 1041.
They were on the road to Compostela, and pilgrims stopped in Conques because they could pray here famous relics belonging to saint Foy... Foy was martyred at the age of 12, outside Agen’s city ramparts, in 303. Roasted then decapitated.
Whoa, what a destiny, for a young Christian who died because she defended her faith against pagan Romans! In 883, a monk from Conques, Ariviscus, succeeded in stealing Foy’s relics in Agen, and brought them back in his abbey. Well, it was not a robbery strictly speaking: at that time, it was a common practise, also known as «transfer».
Because, to become famous and rich, an abbey needed relics, to attract pilgrims. So, Conques sent Ariviscus searching for relics. He chose randomly, and took Foy’s one. You know what? Foy’s remains made miracles! She released prisoner from their irons, like the Black Virgin in Orcival basilica!
That’s why we still can see irons on Conques church’s gate. Don’t miss Conques’ treasure: saint Foy’s reliquary statue (985). Gilded and full of precious gems, she has a little hole in her back, with a piece of her skull and a piece of fabric soaked in her blood, inside.