Lagny-sur-Marne church: miracle, hallucinations and Ardents disease
Fursy founded the abbot church
An Irishman in Lagny
Abbot church? Abbot, so… abbey! Yes: an abbey founded by Fursy of Péronne in the 6th century.
An Irish saint who left his green Erin to go to Rome in pilgrimage, to Christianize pagan lands!
Shoo, he went in Gaul to meet its hairy people…
There, Fursy turned up in Picardy and founded the monastery of Péronne. Then, he went in Ile-de-France, in Lagny.
The tradition says he raised the abbey and revealed a fountain with a hit of his stick on the ground! Whoa…
A miraculous fountain which cured diseases: Fursy himself was cured when he took bathes in the water…
The cart full of bones
But when our Irishman died in Lagny, local lords struggled to get the relics. My kingdom for a bone!!
So they decided to put Fursy’s last remains in a cart dragged by oxes. The bones would be buried where the cart stopped.
You know what? The oxes rushed in Péronne and stopped in front of the monastery! So the bones were put in the current church of Saint-Fursy…
Of course, his relics were miraculous, especially his belt: it calmed down people ″afflicted by the spirit of fornication″!
Hallucinations in Lagny!
So, that was Fursy’s story. What about the abbey?
After that, a little village started to grow next to the monastery, destroyed by Barbarians in the 9th century, re-raised by count of Champagne Herbert II.
The small church was also rebuilt and inaugurated in 1017 under the name of the Saints-Innocents.
King Robert even gave relics (Cross’ nails and a thorn from Jesus’ Crown).
But where did this name of Notre-Dame-des-Ardents come from? The Ardents disease (mal des Ardents) hit France in 1218, especially in Lagny.
This disease, also known as ″ergotism″, is a poisoning causes by the ingestion of rye ergot, a naughty mushroom infecting cereals…
This epidemic was frequent in the Middle-Ages: convulsions, hallucinations crisis…
The abbot of Lagny, with this terrible illness, advised people to pray the Virgin Mary in the church.
Several sick persons were cured.
Then a huge crowd rushed to pray the one who became Notre-Dame-des-Ardents, ″Our-Lady-of-Ardents″.