"The Virgin of Cucugnan" Top 5 Page for this destination Languedoc-Roussillon Things to Do Tip by kokoryko
Languedoc-Roussillon Things to Do: 76 reviews and 211 photos
Apocalypse, XII-1, ff: ?Une femme enveloppée du soleil, la lune sous ses pieds, et une couronne de douze étoiles sur sa tête: Elle était enceinte, et elle criait, étant en travail et dans les douleurs de l'enfantement.? (A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered). The sculptor tried to express a bit of this, I guess. . . .
I dared to write ?world class? in the previous tip, it of course does not apply to the artistic quality of the statue you see on picture 1, but it is what inspired the artist, and the rarity of this representation.
Yes, it is Maria, she is pregnant. . . . . . We are used to see the Virgin with the baby or with the kid, and are even so used to this representation that we generally do not think she was pregnant sometime before. . . no? To me, she looks, quiet, peaceful, waiting for the happy event (picture 2), not like in St John?s vision; as the little boars next to the statue says: ?Virgin of the waiting?, 17th century.
The church of Cucugnan is a small, simple roman (with some gothic additions) church, dedicated to an almost anonymous saint: Ste Basilisse, who was tortured at the age of 9: she probably died virgin and did not give birth. . . . But she has no statue, so I replace her with a much better known saint: St John Baptist who is represented in this church (picture 3).
When I visited this church there was a small exhibition about pregnant virgins, with posters on the sides of the church (picture 4), explaining the origin and history of this local virgin and showing few of other known pregnant virgins in France. There is small book at the end of the exhibition, where you can leave your impressions and give information if you know about a pregnant virgin statue; the organisers would like to make an inventory of these statues.
I have a thought for Joseph: he was the real Saint, accepting not to sleep with his wife, accepting to see the growing and rounding belly of his wife, protecting the kid he was not the father of, accepting all that. . . . Joseph
?The moon under her feet?: there is an obvious moon crescent at her feet (picture 5), but what does this angel head represent? Thanks to tell me if you have an idea.
A bit of information and other things to do on the village website.
25 km East of Perpignan, on Road RD 117 (Direction, Quillan, Foix), turn right at the small village of Maury, drive up the Grau de Maury (Maury Pass), where you see Quéribus castle, then down, 2 km, it is the first village.
There are many ways to reach Cucugnan, and best is to travel with a good Michelin map: 1/200.000, Languedoc-Roussillon, N° 506 you get in most news stores, petrol stations or book stores.
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