On our travels to the South of France every year, I discovered a beautiful little church many years ago. It’s a very small 11th century church, with a 4th century chapel, and miracles are said to have happened there. There is a book where you can write your name (or that of someone you love and care about), if you wish them to pray for you, or are hoping for a miracle.
It’s a very simple stone church, with a lovely altar, and a second altar with a statue of St. Mary holding a ship in her hand. Sailors are said to have gone there for centuries, praying to be safe at sea, or their wives, praying for their safe return. The church is called Notre Dame de la Garoupe, or Notre Dame de Bon Port (Our Lady of Safe Harbour). And it sits high on a hill overlooking the whole Coastline of the south of France. It sits above Cap d’Antibes. And I happened on it purely by accident many years ago, and fell in love with it immediately. There is an enormous feeling of peace inside, and outside locals sit at little tables, drinking lemonade or eating ice cream, looking at the incredibly beautiful view. I always have a feeling that good things happened there, and continue to do so. (It would be a gorgeous place to get married, in a simple ceremony).
One of the things I love about it is that on the walls, people have attached framed messages of thanks for the miracles they have experienced as a result of their prayers there. Some are engraved in marble, or wood, or simply written or painted and framed. One of my favorites is from a man in the 16th century, thanking for his successful escape from prison, and the good life he had thereafter. That one always makes me smile.
I go there every year, and if you’re in the area, I highly recommend it as a tourist spot (it’s undiscovered), for the spectacular view, the feeling of peace and warmth if you worship there, or just for the good vibes. I make a point of going to that little church on our summer vacation every year, and wanted to share it with you.