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Corsica, France (Ajaccio): Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy

About Ajaccio:

The city of Ajaccio is the capital of Corsica. A port city on the rugged isle’s western coast, it was the birthplace of French Emperor Napoléon Bonaparte in 1769. You won’t have trouble remembering that fact, since there are reminders everywhere…..shops, streets and more bear his name.

But there is another reason to visit Ajaccio: a shrine to the Blessed Mother in the Cathedral here.  The baroque, 16th-century Notre-Dame Cathedral, where Napoléon was baptized, also contains paintings by Delacroix and Tintoretto.


About the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Ajaccio:

 Cathedral in Ajjacio, Corsica
Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons, via Wikimedia Commons

The story is told that in 1586 the Blessed Mother appeared to a local peasant on two occasions (March 18 & April 18) with a very simple message: “Mercy”. At this time in history the island was under the control of the city-state of Genoa, and devotion to Our Lady of Mercy spread throughout the country.

Then in the 17th Century a local sea captain who had a great devotion to Our Lady of Mercy placed a statue outside his house. When a local riot broke out nearby that was threatening to erupt in violence it was reported that the statue spoke and ordered the people to stop their fighting. Naturally devotion to Our Lady grew even greater after this.

Today you can visit the Cathedral of Our Lady of Mercy which has several chapels of interest. Of greatest importance is the chapel of Our Lady of Mercy; then the chapel dedicated to Napolean (he was baptized here).

Finding the Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy in Ajaccio:

Ajaccio is accessible by ferry from both southern France and Western Italy. There is also an airport in Ajaccio, with flights operated by Air Corsica that originate from several cities in France, as well as Milan and Rome in Italy.

Address: Rue Forcioli Conti, 20000 Ajaccio

GPS coordinates: 41° 55′ 1.9992” N, 8° 44′ 16.0008” E

We are not aware of any website for the Cathedral of the Assumption. Click here for the city of Ajaccio official website.

Photo: Myrabella / Wikimedia Commons / CC-BY-SA-3.0

Find hotels & restaurants in Ajaccio, compare prices, and read what other travelers have to say at TripAdvisor

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