FRANCE, ANNUAL PILGRIMAGE TO NOTRE DAME DE LAGHET

France-14th/16th June 2019

THE TRADITIONAL PILGRIMAGE TO THE SHRINE OF NOTRE DAME DE LAGHET WAS ORGANISED BY THE FRENCH DELEGATION OF THE DYNASTIC ORDERS OF THE ROYAL HOUSE OF SAVOY FROM 14 TO 16 JUNE 2019.

The Laghet, located in the Département des Alpes-Maritimes, near Nice, is a place of worship which is popular and revered by the populations of the Ligurian West, Monaco and the County of Nice. In the mid-17th century, as a result of miraculous healings attributed to the Virgin Mary, pilgrims rushed en masse to this small shrine, which had been built on the ruins of an older country chapel. Its fame spread to such an extent that today there are more than 4,000 ex-votos hanging in the corridors. Some saints are also remembered among the devout frequenters of the shrine, among them Saint Francesco Maria of Camporosso.

The Savoy family is especially fond of this shrine as it was the last place in Italy (Nice was Italian at the time) H.M. King Carlo Alberto visited before leaving the country permanently after his abdication following the Battle of Novara in 1849, before he arrived in Portugal, the destination of his exile.

It was here that H.S.H. Prince Louis I of Monaco took his oath of allegiance to the Catholic Church.

The pilgrimage began on Friday, 14 June with the celebration of the Via Crucis and the recitation of the compline prayers. The following day, the pilgrims gathered for the traditional procession, which was followed by a solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Rev. Msgr. Terrancle, Prior of the French Delegation of the Dynastic Orders of the Royal House of Savoy.

On the same day a social gathering was held in the Convent of the Benedictine Nuns, followed by a much appreciated lecture on the history of the County of Nice and in particular on its ancient and always living bond with the august House of Savoy. In the afternoon, the pilgrims visited Nice cathedral, which has recently been thoroughly restored.

A charity lunch concluded the day, bringing together the Ladies, Knights and friends of the Delegation in Beaulieu in the name of solidarity.

The pilgrimage allowed organisers to raise a significant sum of money, which was destined for the Christian populations of the East, who have suffered particularly because of war.

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