La Louvesc, France: The Basilica of Saint Francis Regis & Chapel of Saint Therese Couderc
About La Louvesc:
La Louvesc is a small town of only a few hundred people, and yet it has a very large Basilica…something that takes many visitors by surprise. The Basilica of Saint John Francis Regis contains the mortal remains of this humble and powerful saint, as well as the incorrupt body of Saint Therese Couderc, founder of the Congregation of Our Lady of the Cenacle.
About Saint John Francis Regis:
Born in 1597, he was a fairly serious student in his younger years before becoming a novice in the Jesuit order at the age of 19. The next years were spent studying and teaching until being ordained in 1631 at the age of 34.
Although he had a burning desire to travel to the New World and minister to the native populations there, he ended up ministering much closer to home. converting lapsed Catholics and Calvinists in his native country.
He helped minister to the poor, helped create a soup kitchen during the plague of 1438, and devoted many hours to the Confessional. He was taken ill in 1640, worn out from exhaustion and illness, and died on December 31, 1640.
About the Basilica of Saint John Regis:
The Basilica was erected in the 19th century by Pierre Bossan….the same architect who designed the Basilica of Our Lady of Fourvière in Lyon. Inside, there are paintings and stained glass windows that illustrate the life story of St John Francis Regis, and a reliquary contains the relics of the Saint.
Not far away the St Regis Chapel, the former vicarage of Lalouvesc church, where St Regis died on 31st December 1640, houses the recumbent statue of the Saint and also a magnificent fresco. There is also a museum with a diorama of 19 pictures showing the life story of the Saint.
The Basilica is open daily. The sisters have a spiritual center here, open from June through September, with retreat facilities.
There is no official website for the Basilica but the Sisters have a website for the Spiritual Center. Click here for the official website of the Spiritual Center of La Louvesc.
A separate building, the Chapel of Saint Regis, is nearby. This is where he died. There is also a museum and a diorama nearby. In between the Chapel and the museum is a fountain, where it is said many miraculous cures have taken place after Saint Regis himself drank from it.
Traveling to La Louvesc:
To reach La Louvesc by train, you would go from Lyon to Saint Vallier sur Rhone ( a little under one hour), and from there would need to take a taxi the remaining 20 miles or so. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here
We are not aware of any website for the Basilica.
Address: Basilique St Jean-François Régis, Le Village, 07520 Lalouvesc
GPS coordinates: 45° 7′ 6.1428” N, 4° 32′ 8.2392” E
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Sources: Heater, James, and Colleen Heater. “Rhone Alps.” The Pilgrim’s France: A Travel Guide to the Saints. Nevada City, CA: Inner Travel, 2004. N. pag. Print.