Orcival Notre-Dame-des-Fers' balls and chains
Did you see it, this nice Virgin Mary in majesty, made of chestnut wood, worshiped since a long time in the area?
She was found near the church, on a small hill called the Chancel (or the Tomb), deep in a hole upon trash.
They brought it in the primitive church but each time, she came back on the hill; that’s why during the annual procession of Ascension, people still bring it on the hill. One of the oldest procession and worship in France!
This virgin is known as Notre-Dame-de-La-Délivrance (Our Lady of the Release) or Notre-Dame-des-Fers (Our-Lady of Shackles): she made miracles, like setting prisoners free.
Their shackles broke, magically! And you still can see those shackles, outside the church, on a wall…
This statue was sculpted by saint Luke himself, says the legend… in fact, in 878, Virgin’s relics were brought back from Pont-l’Abbé-d’Arnoult (Charente-Maritime), here and in Rocamadour: the statue (12th c.) used to be a reliquary.
During the French Revolution, she was hidden behind a wall and they put it back in the church in 1800…