Pellevoisin, France: Shrine of Our Lady of Mercy and the White Scapular of the Sacred Heart
France is often called the “eldest daughter of the Church” and certainly has been blessed by many holy events. One of these occurred in the tiny village of Pellevoisin, about 50 miles Southeast of Tours.
The story of Estelle Faguette:
A young woman named Estelle Faguette, who had wanted to enter religious life, but had to leave due to health reasons, was later on going to receive a singular blessing. Estelle worked as a nursery maid for Countess de la Rochefoucauldfor about 10 years and during that time Estelle helped nurse one of her sick children back to health before she herself became ill. The Countess, repaying her kindness, in turn helped nurse Estelle back to health. She again became sick and in 1875 received last rites as it was assumed she would die very soon.
In desperation Estelle wrote a letter to the Virgin Mary and gave it to the Countesses children who had built a small replica of Lourdes on their grounds. In it she asked her to intercede with her Divine Son for her recovery in order to support her elderly parents. The Virgin Mary responded to this letter by fifteen appearances from February through December 1876, during which time she instructed Estelle on holiness and gave messages about the spiritual state of France.
She showed Estelle a white scapular with an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus and instructed Estelle to take it to her bishop. By February 1876 Estelle was fully recovered, and in 1877 the Archbishop authorized the devotion of Our Lady of Pellovoisin here. In April 1900, Pope Leo XII gave official recognition to the scapular of the Sacred Heart and encouraged the faithful who wish to wear it.
The Shrine in Pellevoison:
There is daily Mass throughout the year, retreat facilities, stations of the Cross, gift shop and overnight accommodations. One of the most notable events is the Festival of Families held every year. An order of the Sisters of Saint John nearby in continuous prayer and the shrine administrators are Brothers also from the Congregation of Saint John.
A two-day annual pilgrimage is held here the last weekend of every August, led by the Archbishop.
There are very few tours, other than those originating in France, that visit the shrine, although there are some special groups that do come here for retreats.
Traveling to Pellevoison:
So most likely if you visit here you will be traveling on your own. Those who are traveling by train from Paris, depart Montparnasse station, book your ticket to Buzancais…..the TGV high-speed train as far as Tours and from there take a bus to Buzançais (your train ticket serves as your bus ticket as well.. From here it is about 8 miles to the Sanctuary. Upon arrival the people from the shrine will will pick you up (call the sanctuary to schedule in advance). Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
Address: 3 Rue Notre Dame, 36180 Pellevoisin
GPS coordinates: 46° 58′ 58.5408” N, 1° 25′ 4.6920” E
Tel: +33 (02) 54 39 06 49
email: use the contact form on their website.
Click here for the official website of Our Lady of Pellevoisin (in French)
There is also a shrine to Our Lady of Pellevoisin in the U.S. at Saint Paul’s Church in New York City.
There is also a shrine to Our Lady of Pellevoisin in McIntosh, Ontario, Canada.
1. Photos courtesy Shrine of Our Lady of Pellevoisin
2. Heater, James, and Colleen Heater. The Pilgrim’s France: A Travel Guide to the Saints. Nevada City, CA: Inner Travel, 2004.