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FRANCE FRANCE
région: Pays de la Loire  
département: 72, Sarthe  

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Vion

ru: Вион uk: Віон

2707 Vion: Notre-Dame-du-Chêne Vion is situated at an elevation of 41 m in the southwest of the département de la Sarthe, arrondissement La Flèche, canton Sablé-sur-Sarthe. The municipality has a population of about 1,400 (2008).

In the Middle Ages, Vion was under the rule of the House of Anjou, its parish being part of the seneschalsy (sénéchaussée) of La Flèche. During the Ancien Régime it was attached to the pays d'élection of La Flèche. During the French Revolution Vion became part of the newly established département de la Sarthe. With the Concordat of 1801 the parish of Vion was detached from the diocese of Angers and was incorporated into the diocese of Mans.

Vion is a major Catholic pilgrimage site in France. The pilgrimage to Notre-Dame-du-Chêne (Our Lady of the Oak) goes back to the 15th century. According to the legend, the shepherds of the area who liked to pray here one day saw a number of doves fluttering around an oak, and at night bright lights crowned by a diademe was seen above the oak. In 1494 a statuette of Our Lady was placed in the trunk of the oak which soon attracted many visitors. One day, a little boy took the flowers from the statue, but when walking away was seized with a stiff neck. Only when he returned the flowers his disease disappeared. A number of times the statue was taken to the parish church, but miraculously returned to the oak by the next day. The first chapel in this pace was built in 1515. The present church was built in 1860. The church obtained the status of a Basilica minor on 9 April 1894. Parts of an oak, which are believed to be remains of the original miraculous oak, are kept in the basilica.

(see also list of other basilicae minores depicted on glasses of this collection)

The labeling of the picture of the glass ("Pèlerinage de N. D. du Chène, Statue de N. D. du Chène, Couronnée le 6 Octobre 1809") refers to the date when the statue of Our Lady of the Oak was crowned.

[http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vion_(Sarthe), http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Basilique_Notre-Dame_du_Chêne, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_basilicas_in_France, http://archives72.centredoc.fr/opac/index.php?lvl=categ_see&id=6727]


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