Monday 25th May 2015
NOTRE DAME DU CORAL
(long walk or short drive from Prats de Mollo)
Join the traditional pilgrimage to this former chapel and hermitage.
Remote and isolated, from a distance, it looks like a large, rambling old farm house.
In fact, pilgrimages to Notre Dame du Coral have been taking place since the 15th century, before which the small hamlet «Villa de Miralles» which occupied the land was mentioned in documentation as early as 987.
In 1428, the hamlet was destroyed by an earthquake, called the ‘Chandeleur’ but the chapel and its surrounds were miraculously saved!
According to legend, a wooden statue representing the Virgin and previously from the orginal tiny chapel built on the site, was later found in a tree trunk, sparking off pilgrim fever and leading to the building of the present church and hermitage for the few remaining inhabitants of Miralles.
From 1730 to 1911 the chapel was occupied by a wandering hermit (un ermite forain) who travelled from door to door with his “Capelleta”, a sort of portable trunk containing religious objects, to obtain funds to maintain the buildings.
Over the years, the chapel has sheltered pilgrims, soldiers, hermits, and religious cults and was actually bought at auction at the end of the 18th century for 850 pounds by five locals who wished to maintain and preserve the building.
Since 1988, ASCOR (Association de soins coordonnés de la Riviera) has been responsible for the preservation and renovation of Notre Dame du Coral
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