Orcival, France: Basilica of Our Lady of Orcival
About Our Lady of Orcival:
The story here dates back to the 12th Century, when a statue of the Virgin Mary holding the Child Jesus was discovered. It is said that it was carved by Saint Luke.
Upon discovery of the statue, the villagers decided to build a chapel her to house the statue. Work was begun, but the next day the workmen were shocked to find that the walls had been torn down.
This happened more than once…some suspecting rivalry from another village. Finally, in anger, one of the workmen threw his hammer into the air and it landed about 300 feet away. It was decided that this is where the Blessed Mother wanted the chapel built, and after that the walls remained.
The Basilica—and the statue—escaped the ravages of the French Revolution, probably because of the somewhat remote location.
Photos courtesy Tom and Sue Melillo
Traveling to Orcival:
Orcival is not on many tour itineraries, except for those particularly tracing the route of Saint James. It is a great place to stay, where you can walk to restaurants in the old-world atmosphere. There is train service to Clermont-Ferrand (the nearest major city) from Paris (about 4 hours), Lyon (about two hours) and other cities in France. From Clermont-Ferrand take a taxi (about 15 miles). Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: Place de la Basilique, 63210 Orcival, France
GPS coordinates: 45° 40′ 57.9720” N, 2° 50′ 30.1740” E
Tel: +33 (04) 73 65 89 77
There is no official website for the Basilica.