Saint-Etienne church in Déols and its bloody Virgin
Raised on the foundation of a Gallo-Roman necropolis, you will recognize the Romanesque church with its huge bell-tower (16th century) and its façade (12th century). In the past, it was dedicated to saint Ludre.
It was located on the way to Compostela. Destroyed by bombings in 1944, all the stained-glass windows were destroyed: Basque glassmaker Carl MauméJean made the current windows, in 1930.
Now, come here: one window represents Our-Lady of Déols' miracle... The legend says king Philip Augustus and king of England Henri II Plantagenet were fighting in the area. In May 1187, soldiers played dices in front of the church, in Déols.
A small statue of Virgin Mary was looking at them, on a niche in the façade... One of those soldiers lose: he started to blaspheme, flared up and saw the statue. He threw a stone on it! The statue fell and her arm broke.
Suddenly blood started to run from the “wound”, and the soldier fell, stone dead! You know what? The arm became precious relic and John the Fearless brought it back in England... Anyway, in Déols, it was a real miracle! The church kept a copy of the primitive statue, and several paintings about the story.