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Did you know about France’s mountaintop madonnas?

How did these stunning statues get to such altitudes?

Watching over elevated vistas throughout France, several statues of the Blessed Mother stand firm despite wind, rain, snow, and fog. Some of them spend the years in quiet guardianship; others receive yearly visits from devoted pilgrims. Many of the madonnas can be seen and revered from a long way off.

The first mountaintop madonnas appeared in the 19th century, when France’s devotion to the Blessed Mother was at its peak. Catholics who wished to express their devotion, fulfill a promise, or thank the Blessed Mother for answered prayers carried these statues up the mountain. The grueling hike, culminating in the triumphant erection of the madonna, was a beautiful mark of devotion in itself.

Since then, various statues of the Blessed Mother have been erected in high places. Some of these are impressive feats of engineering, such as Our Lady of Puy-en-Velay, who was the tallest iron statue in the world before the manufacture of the Statue of Liberty.

The presence of the statues reminds us that the Blessed Mother is, indeed, our loving Mother. From the moment of her fiat she spread her protecting mantle over us, and since then has been ever-ready to aid and defend us. Just as her statues brave the stony, perilous mountain passes and the alpine weather, so does she stand by us through everything that seems impossible.

We all need this consoling, enheartening reminder from time to time. Since we can’t all be in view of a mountaintop madonna, we’ve selected a beautiful Marian statue to preside over your home—a far more accessible and equally fruitful place of pilgrimage. Let our Immaculate Heart of Mary statue watch over your domestic vistas. Her loving expression will remind you daily that your Mother is near. Erect your Madonna today with The Catholic Company!

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