Our Lady of Orcival - Puy-de-Dôme

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Our Lady of Orcival

 

Hidden in the loft above the nave during the French Revolution, local legend has it that this statue of Our Lady of Orcival was carved by Saint Luke the Evangelist. However, it is actually modeled on the "Golden Virgin" ordered by the Bishop of Clermont in 946, and has been dated to c1170. The "Golden Virgin" of Clermont Ferrand was melted down for coins during the French Revolution.

Restoration work on this Madonna in 1959 discovered that it is made from silver gilt and enamelled walnut wood. The Virgin sits on a throne with Romanesque arches that are symbolic of the church. This statue has been a popular cult object since the Middle Ages and is carried through the streets of Orcival on Ascension Thursday.1