2020-07-22 FRANCE

July 23rd, anniversary of the Fourvière Promise – Virtual Pilgrimages

On July 23, 1816, the day after their ordination, a group of young priests went to the Shrine of Fourvière, in Lyon, France, and at the feet of Our Lady, promised to found the Society of Mary. On the occasion of the anniversary of this Promise, the Network of Centres of Remembrance of the Region of South America invites the whole Marist family to another virtual Pilgrimage to visit the Marist places of our foundation.

Through this pilgrimage, it is possible to visit the Notre-Dame de Fourvière Basilica and the emblematic Saint-Jean Baptiste Cathedral, both in Lyon, France.

For the virtual visits, follow the instructions: To take part using smartphones, tablets, VR glasses: point the camera at the QR code below and agree to open the link presented. You can also participate through your browser, enabling the possibility of playing sound.

Notre-Dame de Fourvière – http://q-r.to/bak6Bd
Saint-Jean Baptiste Cathedral – http://q-r.to/bak67H


The name derives from the Latin expression forum vetus (old forum), due to the remains of the ancient Roman settlement founded under the hill in 70 BC, considered to be ground zero in the city of Lyon. In the 9th century, a Catholic chapel dedicated to Our Lady of Good Counsel was built on the site. Destroyed in successive wars and rebuilt in 1596, it became a place of miraculous healing and constant pilgrimage. In this ancient chapel, on July 23, 1816, twelve young newly ordained priests committed themselves before the image of the black Virgin, to the profession historically known as the Fourvière Promise, a fundamental event of the Society of Mary. Among them were Marcellin Champagnat, Jean-Claude Colin, Etienne Déclas and Etienne Terraillon.  The promise was solemnly repeated by them in 1836 in gratitude for the pontifical approval of the Society of Mary. Today, next to the old church, we find the majestic Minor Basilica of Fourvière, completed in 1896. The frontispiece highlights in high relief some well-known personalities and saints of the Diocese of Lyon, among whom we see Fr Champagnat and Fr Colin. A monumental centre of pilgrimage, the complex stands out in the landscape of Lyon, demonstrating the strength of Marial spirituality. From the top of the hill one can easily see the plain where the Cathedral of Lyon is built.


For the Marist Family, this event marks a creative project of apostolic renewal of the Church, expressed in the creation of the different branches that make up the Society of Mary.

At the same time, it is a very important place for the Marists of Champagnat: in this same sanctuary, Marcellin would be consecrated before leaving for the parish of La Valla. And later, he will thank the Virgin here for the appointment of Don Gaston de Pins, administrator of the Archdiocese of Lyons and supporter of the Marist Institute.

Saint-Jean Baptiste Cathedral, Lyon

The Saint-Jean Baptiste cathedral, or simply the cathedral of Lyon, is the Episcopal see of the archdiocese of Lyon. The Archbishop of Lyon has been given the title of Primate of the Gauls. It was built on the banks of the Saône River in the medieval quarter of Vieux Lyon. The Cathedral was built between 1180 and 1480, and on several occasions it was damaged and repaired, as, for example during the French Revolution. Its architecture combines Romanesque and Gothic styles. Among the countless historical events, the church was the scene of the Second Council of Lyon and the marriage between Henry IV and Maria de Medici. From the courtyard in front of the cathedral, you can see the hill and the dome of the Basilica of Fourvière. At the top of the dome, we see the golden image of Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception, presented in 1852.

Cathedral Saint-Jean Baptiste – http://q-r.to/bak67H

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