Against the plague, a procession

Rieux-Minervois has been perpetuating this tradition for more than 300 years now: every year since 1714, on the Tuesday after Easter, the commune of Aude has organized the procession of the Vow to save oneself from the plague.
It must be said that the epidemic that raged almost three centuries ago has left its mark on people's minds, with dozens of deaths and whole families disappearing.
It was then, in desperation, that a procession was organized in the chapel at the end of the bridge to promise the Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Seven Sorrows, whose statue adorns the chapel, to renew this procession every year if it would stop the epidemic.
The epidemic was thus stopped.
Since then, the faithful perpetuate the tradition.


Our Lady of Seven Sorrows

According to tradition, it was one of the members of the de Noailles family, originally from Rieux, who found himself at sea, assailed by a violent storm, and vowed to build a chapel in honor of Notre-Dame-des-Sept-Douleurs, if it would prevent the shipwreck.

Shipwreck averted, chapel erected...

During the Revolution, the chapel lost all its furniture, all its ornaments and its bell. Reopened to worship after the Concordat, in 1801, it was restored and enlarged. The abbot Francès, priest of Rieux between 1858 and 1865, extended the nave of the church by bringing the new facade near the river. A large ogival iron door is placed on the façade with openings on both sides to light the interior and a four-lobed rose window with a stained glass window representing Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows is placed above the portal. At the top of the façade a group of Mater Dolorosa was placed. The sanctuary was restored by Abbot Haubin, priest of Rieux between 1865 and 1877, but the altarpiece disappeared, only the statue of the Virgin remained. The chapel was damaged during the flood of 1875. The entire front of the chapel had to be rebuilt. Its top received a new statue of Pietà which was blessed on March 27, 1887 by Bishop Billard, Bishop of Carcassonne. The chapel is 22.31 m long and 6.50 m wide.


Translated with

(free version)


Also to be seen in the department

Les 24 coups de minuit

placeSalles d’aude - Aude 
label Amazing... isn't it?  
Le Musée de l'Inquisition

The Museum of the Inquisition, Museum of Torture

placeCarcassonne - Aude 
label Museums & Collections Amazing... isn't it?  
Le pigeonnier

The Missing Treasures of the Revolution

placeVillelongue-d’Aude – Aude 
label Legends, stories & Treasures Cathar country Religious, mystical & pagan cults  

Nore, petite fée bienfaitrice et Bug et Arach, lutins astucieux

placeBugarach - Aude 
label Legends, stories & Treasures Religious, mystical & pagan cults  

Discover the regions of the Great South