Devotion of the three Ave
Since the thirteenth century, the faithful have liked to beg the Mother of the Lord by reciting each day, with perseverance, the three "Hail Marys". This prayer reminds us of our vocation to enter, like Mary, into a communion of Life with the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. At the start of the 20th century, the rise of devotion to Our Lady of the Trinity was born from the apostolic desire of Father Jean-Baptiste, Capuchin Brother of the Convent of Blois. He devoted his whole life to preaching and extending the prayer of the three Hail Marys.
Father Clovis de Provins succeeded him, whose action was exercised throughout the interwar period. He had the project and was the architect of the construction of the Basilica. The Work received from the Church the mission of spreading this devotion.
The history of construction is full of twists and turns. The very ambitious project of Father Clovis, for whom nothing seemed too good to honor Notre Dame and her faithful, was at the time accused of recklessness. The church was started in 1932 under the leadership of Charles-Henri Besnard. Its construction, interrupted for a while for poor workmanship and lawsuits, was resumed in 1935 by the architect Paul Rouvière who left his mark on the building. It was completed by Father Grégoire with the architect Yves-Marie Froidevaux in 1949, year of the consecration of the church and the title of Basilica was granted by Pius XII in 1956.
Paul Rouvière, visionary architect
From 1936, Paul Rouvière took over the work effectively at only 28 years old. It uses the following principles: to leave the fields of traditional actions, to use new materials, to use industrial production techniques, to banish the picturesque in order to favor the purity of forms, to invent a Modern Art. He used a particular material: bush-hammered concrete revealing the Loire gravel. Thanks to this process, the structures of the church have a personal and warm character that raw cement could never have given them. Paul Rouvière formed an artistic team around him to ensure the decoration of the Basilica.
St Michael the Archangel of concrete covered with copper, with a flaming sword raised to the sky, surmounts the ridge. It is the work of Lin Gualino.
The campanile, 60 m high, houses the large bourdon, its three younger daughters and the carillon of 48 bells. This unique carillon in Loir-et-Cher was produced by the Paccard workshops in Annecy.
The immense high relief of the Trinity of the Martel brothers concentrates in a striking synthesis the doctrine of the Basilica: the Virgin, at the foot of the Cross, leading humanity to the Holy Trinity.
The bas-reliefs by Anne-Marie Roux describe with grace and simplicity the three main Mysteries of the Virgin Mary: the Immaculate Conception, the Annunciation and the Assumption.
The statue of Notre-Dame with the symbol of the Trinity in its heart, executed by Anne-Marie Roux, was commissioned by Father Grégoire to create a chapel for pilgrims.
The Sanctuary has a unique set of 70 stained glass windows created by Louis Barillet and Jacques Le Chevallier. They are made of mosaics of small juxtaposed glasses, tinted and fired in the image of the techniques of the Middle Ages.
The mosaic, created by Louis Barillet, overhanging the choir represents the coronation of the Virgin, surrounded by angels and Prophets. The free space around the mosaic invites us to join the Kingdom of God.