Notre-Dame-de-la-Chapelle d’Abbeville / Our Lady of La Chapelle, at Abbeville, France (1400) – 4 December:
The Abbot Orsini wrote: “This Church was built about the year 1400, on a small hill, where formerly they worshipped idols.”
The Town of Abbeville is located in Picardy in the northern region of France. It is located on the Somme River. Fortunately for us, there still exists today a plan for the Town of Abbeville that was etched in the year 1653. Our Lady of La Chapelle can easily be distinguished in the foreground of the etching, dominating the City though built outside the walls.
The church was initially only a Chapel in which there was exhibited a religious icon of Our Lady that earned the Church its name, of Our Lady of the Chapel. The structure was indeed erected on the remains of a temple devoted to paganism. The growing number of the faithful coming to pray there, made it a true Parish, and so, the Church expanded to have 3 naves and 7 Altars, reflecting the expansion of the City.
The Church was built in limestone in the flamboyant Gothic style. It survived numerous dangers and setbacks over the coming centuries, exposed to wind and rough weather at the top of the hill, including being struck several times by lightning. In 1619, the high Bell Tower did not survive a violent storm,and was rebuilt the following year.
All of this is nothing compared to the danger that the Church faced in 1637-1638. At that time, Spain and France were at war. King Louis XIII came to Abbeville, a strategic Town and realised that the Chapel could serve as a type of fortress in case of a siege. Aware of the danger, Cardinal Richelieu gave the order to demolish the Church. The Mayor at the time, Guilaume Sanson and his aldermen, managed to talk him out of it.
The Church was saved, but for how long?
Then, in 1789, came the French Revolution. The Church that had survived so much was destroyed in 1794.
Yet, in 1804 another large Chapel was built to replace the lost church, a building retaining the tower of 1620. (That bell tower has been classified as an Historic Monument since 1901.
The cemetery that once surrounded the Church was preserved and has been significantly expanded to become the cemetery of the City since the year 1844.
St John Damascene (675-749) Last of the Greek Fathers& Doctor of the Church, Monk, Theologian, Writer (Optional Memorial)
FEAST DAY: 27 March (General Roman Calendar 1890–1969)
St John’s Life:
And Pope Benedict on St John Damascene:
St Peter Chrysologus (c 400-450) “Golden Words” Father & Doctor of the Church – Bishop of Ravenna, Italy.
FEAST DAY: 4 December (General Roman Calendar 1729-1969)
St Ada of Le Mans
St Adelmann of Beauvais
Bl Adolph Kolping
St Anno II
St Barbara (Died 3rd Century) Virgin Martyr. Saint Barbara is one of the Fourteen Holy Helpers.
St Barbara’s Life and Death:
St Bernardo degli Uberti
St Bertoara of Bourges
St Clement of Alexandria
St Cyran of Brenne
St Eulogio Álvarez López
St Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
St Felix of Bologna
Bl Francis Galvez
St Francisco de la Vega González
St Giovanni Calabria
St Heraclas of Alexandria
St Jacinto García Chicote
Bl Jerome de Angelis
St John the Wonder Worker
St Melitus of Pontus
St Osmund (Died 1099) Bishop of Salisbury, Confessor, Count of Sées, Lord Chancellor.
The Life of St Osmund:
Blessed Pietro Tecelano TOSF (c 1189-1289) Layman, Widower, Tertiary of the Order of Friars Minor
St Robustiano Mata Ubierna
Bl Simon Yempo
Martyred in the Spanish Civil War:
• Blessed Eulogio Álvarez López
• Blessed Ezequiel Álvaro de La Fuente
• Blessed Francisco de la Vega González
• Blessed Jacinto García Chicote
• Blessed Robustiano Mata Ubierna