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Near Toulouse, on a precipice above the valley, is a shrine to Mary. Legend has it that the founder of this shrine had personally known Christ. History dates it in the twelfth century, while popular belief dates it in the first. THe eight-hundred-year-old statue of the seated Mother with Child resting in her lap is made of wood. The expression on Mary's face is one of sorrow. Over two hundred steps lead from the valley to this shrine and basilica. Charlemagne, St. Louis, and Henry II of England made their way to the top, and the faithful today climb the steps as part of their devotion. Spain and France have both claimed the Mother of Rocamadour for their patroness.
All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.