Notre Dame des Victoires began as the convent church of the Augustinian fathers. It was financed by Louis XIII in 1629 in thanks-giving to the Virgin Mary for his many military victories, hence the name, Our Lady of Victories.
During the French Revolution, Notre Dame des Victoires was one of the many churches which underwent radical changes. The Augustinians were expelled and the church was turned into a stock market.
After 1809 and the Restoration of the Monarchy, it became a parish church. However, due to its location in a business district, it attracted few parishioners which resulted in, among other things, financial difficulties.
In 1836, the parish priest, Father Charles Eléonore Dufriche Desgenettes, having lost nearly all hope for his floundering parish, dedicated the church to the devotion of the Immaculate Heart of Mary.
From that moment on, the church became a place of pilgrimage and many people visited it assuring its future and making it a special place of devotion.
Among the more famous pilgrims were Saint John Bosco and Ste. Theresa of the Child Jesus.
The Church was designated a Basilica in 1927 and continues to be a place of pilgrimage, receiving and welcoming people from the world over.
Art Works in Notre Dame des Victoires
The church houses a series of monumental paintings by the artist Carl Van Loo.
They date from the 18th century and depict the life of Saint Augustine, and one depicting the siege of La Rochelle under Louis XIII.
There is a cenotaph, or monumental tomb by the artist Jean Baptiste Lulli.
The church also commemorates the place of healing of Ste. Theresa.
The church is open from 7:30 a.m.-7:30 p.m.
For further information, visit the Notre Dame des Victoires website.
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