Paray le Monial

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How to get There

By road: A6 and RN 20 from Paris and Lyon RN 79 from Moulins or Mâcon

By Train: SNCF trainstation of Paray-Le-Monial (from Lyon, Moulins, Dijon) TGV : from Paris and Lyon

By Air: Airport of Saint-Yan (capacity for 120 seater aircraft)

Paray le Monial Web Site

Paray le Monial cathédrale Paray le Monial sanctuaire

History and Message

Paray le MonialParay-le Monial, high point of romanesque Burgundy, is today known across the world thanks to the popularity of the message of the heart of Jesus and its wonderful basilica from the 11st century. In fact, from 1673 to 1675, Jesus apeared to a young nun from the Visitation Monastery, called Margaret-Mary, showing her "this heart which has loved men so much". Father Claude la Colombière, the Jesuits'superior, authenticated at once the youn nun's mistic experience. After the apearences of Jesus Christ, Pope Pie Xst instituated the Sacred Heart Feast for all the Church in 1856. So a great enthusiasm for pilgrimages toward Paray-le-Monial aroused. For 20 years, the town and the pilgrimage has known a renewal, in particulat since John-Paul II'visit on the 5th of october 1986.

Since 1975, the Emmanuel Community has organized and condusted international sessions which attract more and more people every year. These crowds are made of families and young people as well. Thousands of pilgims and tourists come here every year -and all through the year - in Paray-le-Monial to discover (or rediscover) God's immense love for mankind. A team of priests and seculars is always here to propose programs to the pilgrims according to their wishes (alone, in family or in groups).

Moreover the presence of many contemplative communities, tourists and pilgrims can pray in several places :
- The Apparitions Chapel where Saint Margaret-Mary lies in a decorated reliquary. - The colombiere Chapel containing the relics of Saint-Claude.
- The sacred Heart Basilica where John-Paul II came as a pilgrim himself.
- The Chapelle of Romay which is an antic place of Marian pilgrimage.
- Saint John Chapel which was built by Direction of Pilgrimages situated above the new reception space (at the entry of Chapelain's Park, behind the Basilica).

High points

Holy Hour (the day before the 1st Friday of the month)
Feast of divine Mercy (april)
Feasts of the Sacred Heart (june)
International Sessions (july - august) Saint Margaret-Mary's
Feast (october) Saint Claude la Colombiere's
Feast (february) Training week-end
Spiritual retreats through the whole year.

Tourist Environment

Paray-le-Monial, artistic landmark, clunisian architecture. The town was built round a monastery, in about 970 AD. It was the famous monk-and-builder Hugh of Semur, Abbot of Cluny, who laid the foundations of the church that we know today. Having survived the French Revolution, even after the departure of the monks, thanks to its purchase by the town council, it was restored by Eugene Millet, pupil of Violet-le-Duc.

This parish church was promoted to the rank of Basilica of the Sacred Heart, by Pious IX in 1875.

This key monument of Burgundy is a pure example of romanesque clunisien architecture. The near Brionnais region offers a unique circuit of romanesque churches in the middle of undelating and open countryside. Anzy-le-Duc, Bois-Sainte-Marie, Semur-en-Brionnais... can pleasantly extend your stay in Paray-le-Monial.

Finaly and further afield, the prestigious abbey of Cluny, the Maconnais region, the Cote Chalonnaise region, all invite a deeper discovery of South Burgundy.

Photo : Flickr - Jean-Louis Zimmerman - Creative Commons