Basilica of Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris
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|Notre-Dame des Victoires|
Notre-Dame des Victoires
|Location||6 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, 2e|
|Province||Archdiocese of Paris|
Located at 6, rue Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, in the 2nd arrondissement of Paris, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is one of ten minor basilicas located in the Île-de-France region of France. The closest Metro station is 'Bourse'.
In 1619 the Discalced Augustinians (colloquially referred to as the "Petits Pères") established their convent, Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, on three hectares of land they had purchased by the bourse (market) of the city, located at the intersection of the Place des Petits-Pères and Rue de la Banque. Notre Dame des Victoires is the former chapel of the Augustinian fathers (Petits-Pères), built in the years 1629-1740.
On December 8, 1629 the foundations were blessed by the Archbishop of Paris, Jean-François de Gondi. The next day, King Louis XIII himself laid the cornerstone in the presence of the Court's 'seigneurs' and the city's officials. The construction was funded by King Louis on the condition that it be dedicated to his victory over the Protestants at La Rochelle, which he attributed to the intercession of the Blessed Mother.
The first church being too small, reconstruction commenced in 1656 according to the plans of Pierre Le Muet. Libéral Bruant, Robert Boudin, and Gabriel Leduc oversaw this work. The new church, not yet completed, was consecrated in 1666. Work was finalized in 1737 under the supervision of Sylvain Cartaud. He oversaw the expansion of the nave, the construction of the façade as well as the construction of the transept's striking spherical roof.
A large garden and a double-cloister existed at the site until the Revolution. At that time, they were confiscated and fell into disuse. The church was converted into the home of the national lottery and a stock exchange during the Directory, but was returned to the practice of worship under the First Empire.
The remnants of the monastery were destroyed in 1858 and a police station as well as an office for the mayor of the arrondissement were constructed in their place.
After 1809 Notre Dame des Victoires became a parish church, but as it was located in a business area, it had few parishioners. The curé Charles-Éléonore Dufriche-Desgenettes thought he had failed in his ministry and wanted to resign his functions in Our Lady of Victories when on the 3 December 1836, during the Consecration of the Mass, he received what he believed to be an instantaneous and complete intellectual infusion of the requirements, rules and activities for the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary from the Blessed Virgin Mary who also inspired Fr. Desgenettes to consecrate the parish to her Immaculate Heart and to invite men living and working in the parish area to come to a meeting (500 men came to the first meeting).
At the meeting Fr. Desgenettes invited the men to wear a White Scapular with an image of the Immaculate Heart of Mary and the words "SWEET HEART OF MARY BE MY SALVATION" on the front scapular and the symbols and words "REFUGE OF SINNERS, PRAY FOR US" on the back scapular. They initially called this parish men's group: the Confraternity of Our Lady, Refuge of Sinners.. Fr. Desgenettes wrote down his entire inspiration and immediately submitted it to the Holy See. Only two years later, in 1838, Pope Gregory XVI approved and established the Archconfraternity of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. By 1870, there were 22 million members of this Archconfraternity worldwide and a Religious Congregation founded by Saint Anthony Mary Claret, The Sons of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, aka Claretians or Claretian Missionary Fathers (CMF).
Many of the famous French Catholics of the period maintained a connection to the Church. These included Marie-Alphonse Ratisbonne, Ven. Francis Libermann and the refounders of the Holy Ghost Fathers and a whole host of Foreign Missions seminarians and priests, including St. Theophane Venard. Blessed John Henry Newman went there to give thanks for his conversion, which had been the subject of prayer there. Later, the young Therese Martin prayed before the same statue for Our Lady's help in realizing her vocation.
Notre-Dame des Victoires was elevated to basilica status in 1927.
Notre-Dame-des-Victoires is famous for the ex voto offerings left there by the faithful. Over 37,000 devotional plaques, silver and gold hearts, as well as military decorations, have been left at the Basilica. The faithful leave these items at the Basilica in thanksgiving for favors believed to have been received from the Blessed Mother. The Basilica once served as a stational church along the pilgrimage route to Compostela. As such, many of the ex voto offerings have been left by faithful unable to make the long journey to the Shrine of Compostela itself.
Ex Voto Gallery
- "Notre-Dame-des-Victoires", The Organs of Paris Built before the Revolution Archived January 4, 2014, at the Wayback Machine.
- "Notre-Dame des Victoires", Eymardian Places
- "An Historical Background", Basilique Notre Dame des Victoires
- "The Archconfraternity", Basilique Notre Dame des Victoires
- "Devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary", Catholic Truth Society of Ireland, 1936 Archived April 29, 2013, at the Wayback Machine.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Notre-Dame-des-Victoires, Paris.|
- Basilica Website (in French) (in English) (in Spanish)
- Historical information as well as a Profile of the Organ (in French) (in English)
- Photo Gallery (in French)