Sanctuaire de la Madone-D’Utelle

The Madone des Miracles is one of the three great Marian shrines of the ancient Comté de Nice. A legend lies behind the construction of the sanctuary.

Around the year 850, a Spanish vessel approached the coast of Provence. On reaching the mouth of the Var, the crew were surprised by a terrible storm. They prayed to the gods to save them, and vowed to build an oratory dedicated to the Virgin Mary if they survived. Mary appeared and showed them a mountain which dominated all the valleys in the region. The powerful Mother of God has saved them. Faithful to their promise, they erected a “Pylon” in commemoration. Later, the "Pylon" was expanded to become a chapel. Today, it is possible to see small star shaped stones at this place. Some have explained this phenomenon as a natural fact - fossils raised to a high altitude along with the Alpes Maritimes, while others see these small stars to be a gift from the Virgin Mary, so we can learn humility and simplicity. Today, the sanctuary is a key point of Christian worship attracting, each year, thousands of pilgrims. This site, the starting point for numerous treks, offers some beautiful views from the Alps to the Mediterranean sea.

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