Saint-Étienne-des-Grès was one of the early centers of Christianity in Paris; it stood on the site of an oratory which was erected by St. Denis to St. Stephen. It was destroyed during the French Revolution.
Notre Dame de Bonne Délivrance
The church notably contained a Black Madonna, the Notre Dame de Bonne Délivrance (Our Lady of Good Deliverance), also known as the Black Madonna of Paris. The statue dates from the 14th century, replacing an 11th-century version. It is 150 centimeters (59 in) tall, and made from painted limestone.
This statue was venerated by many notable French saints, including Vincent de Paul and Francis de Sales—it was in front of the statue that de Sales recited the Memorare, and made his religious conversion. In 1703, a young seminarian named Claude Poullart des Places gathered a dozen of his companions at Saint-Étienne-des-Grès and consecrated the group to the Virgin; that act was the beginning of the Congregation of the Holy Ghost. Other notable pilgrims to the statue—some before the Revolution, some after—have included Claude Bernard, Jean-Jacques Olier, John Bosco, Prosper Guéranger, and Madeleine Sophie Barat.
When the church was destroyed during the Revolution, all its contents were sold; the statue was saved by a pious rich woman named Madame de Carignan. De Carignan was arrested during the Reign of Terror, and she would pray to Our Lady in prison with others who had been arrested for their Catholicism. When de Carignan was freed in 1806, she gave the statue to the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villeneuve, who had been imprisoned with her. The statue is still located in the chapel of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Thomas of Villeneuve in Neuilly-sur-Seine.
- Rozett, Ella. "Paris: Our Lady of Good Deliverance". Interfaith Mary Page. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- Georges Goyau (1911). "Paris". The Catholic Encyclopedia XI. Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- "The Spiritan Association with Mary". TransCanada Province of the Spiritans. Retrieved June 14, 2010.
- "Pèlerins au cours des âges". Hospitalières de Saint Thomas de Villeneuve. Retrieved June 14, 2010.