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Puy-en-Velay Black Virgin: from Auvergne or Egypt?

The Puy Virgin | Pymouss / CC-BY-SA
Cathedral Notre-Dame cathedral in le Puy-en-Velay

You probably notice her, with her lovely dress… the Virgin Mary, of course! A black Virgin, exact copy from the 19th century of the primitive cedar statue (10th c.).

The tradition says crusaders brought her back in France from the Holy Land… or maybe was she simply a typically Black Virgin from Auvergne?

A mystery! Anyway, they destroyed it during the French Revolution!

The poor Mary was burnt on a public square in Le Puy: and while the fire was leeching the wood, people saw a secret hiding place in the statue… a hiding with a parchment inside! Well, it was too late to read it…

But in the evening, they threw ashes in a neighbouring field. Few weeks later, people found at that exact place a small jasper stone with hieroglyphs on it.

A stone which came from the Virgin’s secret compartment! So, today we think the famous Black Virgin was in fact… an Egyptian goddess!

About the the author

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