At first glance the parish church of St Gilles in the Touraine town of L'Île-Bouchard seems quite innocuous but there is more to it than first meets the eye.
From the 8th to the 14th of December 1947 at a time when the country was being affected by general strikes and even the threat of civil war, a series of apparitions of the Virgin Mary and the angel Gabriel appeared to four young girls of the village and asked them to pray for peace in France. The apparent result was a cessation of hostilities and the beginning a more prosperous period for the country. You can read more here...
There is a 'grotto' in the church depicting the 'vision'
The church which dates from the 11th century was altered in the 12th and 15th centuries before a major renovation towards the end of the 19th century.
It has an impressive organ and fresco.
Where's Joan? She is here and indeed was here...
There is plaque on the outside wall telling us that on the 6th of March in 1429, Joan stopped there to pray on her way to Chinon, to seek out the Dauphin Charles. Joan is said to have spent several hours in prayer in front of the Altar of Our Lady.
So, miraculous visions and Joan - quite a church!
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