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Lost and found: the re/discovery of miraculous statues in early modern France
20 November, 2017, 6:30 pm - 9:00 pmFree
In 1625, a farmer in Brittany called Yves Nicolazic found a lost statue of St Anne in a field on his farm, following a series of spectral lights over the site. This became the most important pilgrimage shrine in Brittany, at Auray. It was one of a series of rediscoveries of lost statues in early modern Europe followed by the creation of pilgrimage sites. These findings occurred in a period of religious conflict between Protestants and Catholics, warfare, social and economic change.
The example at Auray, along with others in France, the Low Countries and Germany, reveal much about religious belief and practice in the early modern period but also how ordinary people responded to wider political events, social and economic pressures of their day. They also reveal how people in what seem to be remote rural communities, built religious and political identities in a period of great change and how that could alter rapidly over time. This has resonance for the revival of religious politics in the world today.