This fortress like abbey dates to the late 5th century. History has it that the then bishop of Aix, Lazarus, brought a monk, John Cassian, to France. Jean Cassien is said to be the founder of this monastery, built to honor matyr and local soldier, Saint Victor, executed in 290 AD.
|Picture of Saint Victor|
There is a shrine that consists of the remains of various saints including the skull of St Jean Cassien himself and St. Victor.
Inside the abbey
Below the church are the crypts and catacombs. It begun as a Hellenic necropolis in the 2nd century BC and continued to be used by early Christians. It’s open to the public for a one euro door charge, which I thought was well worth the experience.
|Remnants of another sacophagus|
Art on the ceiling & walls
Why are there modern day pews inside the crypt?
Another sarcophagus, this one appears to belong to a child or a very small adult.
Hole in the wall. It’s likely a body was exhumed from here.
On the most important day of the calendar, February 2nd, there is an important pilgrimage here. It’s Candlemas, a procession that leaves the Vieux Port and arrives at Saint Victor Abbey via Rue Sainte. The Black Madonna, normally kept in the crypt of Saint Victor Abbey, is cloaked in green and leads the procession.
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