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Chapel of the Virgin of Sailors

Historic site and monument, Chapel in Le Vauclin
  • The Macabou Chapel, or the Virgin of the Sailors' Chapel.

  • Situated on a rocky promontory, the Chapel of the Macabou or the Chapel of the Virgin of the Sailors dominates the Atlantic Ocean. The view is remarkable. Built in stone, it is dedicated to the people who perished at sea. The interior is full of ex-votos. Statues of the Virgin are honoured there. Preceded by a Calvary, it is a place of pilgrimage during Holy Week.

    You will make a stop there during the following hikes: Trace des caps N1, Macouba/Cap Macré, the boucle des Mornes, the boucle...
    Situated on a rocky promontory, the Chapel of the Macabou or the Chapel of the Virgin of the Sailors dominates the Atlantic Ocean. The view is remarkable. Built in stone, it is dedicated to the people who perished at sea. The interior is full of ex-votos. Statues of the Virgin are honoured there. Preceded by a Calvary, it is a place of pilgrimage during Holy Week.

    You will make a stop there during the following hikes: Trace des caps N1, Macouba/Cap Macré, the boucle des Mornes, the boucle de Marie Catherine and the boucle de Macabou.

    A bit of culture: What is an Ex-voto?
    Who has never noticed, when entering a seaside chapel, these models of boats, these small paintings or these engraved plaques, so many direct testimonies, at the end of a storm or a shipwreck. Addressed to a protective divinity, the marine ex-votos are from all times and all countries; depending on the time and place, they were offered to Poseidon, to Pelagic Isis, to Christ, to the Virgin, to the Saints, to Allah. Regardless of religion or culture, they tell us in their own way about this very special environment of the seafarers, this community of anguish, in which the votive act expresses at the same time the daily life, the foam of the days and the supernatural intervention that saves a crew. Storms, hurricanes, waterways, falling masts, naval battles: against all these risks of the sea, in the helpless ship there is now often only one recourse, prayer, and the promise, in the event of survival, to make a pilgrimage or to deposit in a temple or church an object, a pledge of faith, a reminder of the peril from which one has miraculously escaped.
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