Pilgrimages to Our Lady of Capelou

The history

- From the beginning, Capelou was the centre of a popular devotion maintained by miraculous cures, of which there are many anecdotal and written testimonies.

In this little part of the Périgord, the worship of the Virgin Mary has been traditionally vigorous: one only has to take note of the dedications of the abbey of Cadouin (Our Lady of the Nativity), the chapel of Capelou (Our Lady of Sorrows or Pieta) , the church of Belvès (Notre Dame de l'Assomption).

The revolutionary period led to the decline of Capelou.

- After 1860, the pilgrimage was reinstated thanks to a revival of the Catholic faith in France and pilgrimages to Capelou benefited from the influence of the abbey of Cadouin where crowds came to venerate the Holy Shroud until 1934.


- Many Périgourdins and travellers stop to pray at Notre Dame de Capelou.

- It is a popular stop on the rediscovered pilgramage paths of Saint Jacques and Rocamadour.

- And lastly, it is the site of the diocesan Marian pilgrimage the week of September 8th and attracts a large influx of pilgrims from the department of the Dordogne and beyond.

- In Capelou, the Virgin is invoked under the name of "Our Lady of Mercy". We pray the rosary of the seven pains.

See the parish website


Today we can see many ex-votos testimonies in the church of Capelou.

It was also on the general confidence of the miracles operated by Our Lady of Capelou that Bishop Dabert, bishop of Périgueux in the 19th century, applied to the Holy See to obtain the coronation of the Virgin of Capelou.

The plaques that have been preserved on the walls testify to the many graces received by pilgrims, graces which are still witnessed today.

At the presbytery of Belves, a register contains the testimony of these graces.

Let's just note a few examples:

- 1838, Jeanne AUBARD, of the canton of Villamblard, paralyzed on the right side for two years, is suddenly cured.

- 1848, Jean BORIE of Cassagne (Lot) who walks with two crutches, suddenly healed at the end of the mass.

- 1850, M. BOYER de Belves, blind, suddenly healed at the end of the mass.

- 1890, Marie LABRUNIE (de Castels) suddenly cured of her paralysis by dipping her hands in the fountain.

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