Vétheuil place of pilgrimage

In the time of the epidemics, the plague ravaged the village of Vétheuil. The epidemic was so frightening that the black flag, as a sign of mourning, was raised on the bell tower of Notre-Dame de Vétheuil. They prayed to Mary, consoler of the afflicted, and the plague ceased... From then on, the pilgrimage to Vétheuil for the healing of adult and child diseases became more and more popular. And Our Lady of Grace was the object of such a fervor that it was necessary to consider the enlargement of the place in front of the influx of pilgrims.

Coming from the village, the pilgrims reached the church by a majestic staircase of 50 steps of 5 meters wide and overhung by a renaissance calvary. On Marian feast days, the crowd invaded the small church which had to refuse access to many people.

The pilgrims' staircase

Since the archives have disappeared, no one knows how the expansion work was financed. The church had substantial funds, each pilgrim having to pay an alms, but were they sufficient? The abbey of Fécamp and the lords of Vétheuil may also have financed this expansion.

The stained glass windows

Throughout history, there have been many events in which stained glass windows have been damaged or destroyed. Very often, these events were so violent that it is almost miraculous to have such a rich heritage today.

Since the religious wars, through the period of the Terror, the 1870 war, the 14-18 war and the last war, the degradations have succeeded one another, causing considerable losses to the heritage. In the 14th century, the Hundred Years War (1337-1453) and the English occupation caused real devastation.

In August 1944, during the fighting of the Liberation, an Allied bomb damaged the southwestern part of the church; the violence of the explosion blew out all the stained glass. For several years, the windows were blocked up with boards, which added to the damage already caused.

In 1949, the chief architect Albert CHAUVEL was in charge of restoring most of the stained glass windows in the church of Vétheuil. In the early 1950s, the master glass artist François LORIN started the replacement of the stained glass windows in the choir, based on cartoons by Jean-Claude RIQUEUL.


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Continuing the restoration of the stained glass windows in the 1970s, the master glass artist Michel DURAND was called upon to create most of the lower lateral windows as well as the two windows on the western façade.

With the exception of some rare Renaissance stained glass windows, the windows in place before the 1944 explosion dated from the Second Empire.

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