In the Middle Ages the sanctuary of the Black Madonna became a destination stop on the pilgrimage route to Santiago de Compostella. Ssaints, kings, and queens have come here seeking the blessings of the Vierge Noire including St. Bernard of Clairveaux, Ignatius of Loyola, St. Louis, Blanche of Castile- and in our own time, the composers Francois Poulenc and Olivier Messiaen who each wrote music inspired by their encounter with this disarmingly small but incredibly powerful figure.
This breathtaking site is cradled in the rocky side of a steep river gorge. In the 12 th century, the remains of a certain Blessed Amadour were found here, buried next to a prayer cave dedicated to Mother Mary. Hence the name Roc-Amadour (Rock of Amadour) One legend claims that the bones belonged to none other than Zacchaeus, the disciple of Jesus mentioned in the Bible. whose wife, Veronica, wiped the face of Jesus on his way to his crucifixion.
By the 12th century, over 120 miracles attributed to Our Lady of Rocamadour had been chronicled: the healing of the sick, curing of the insane, and restoration of dead babies, and miraculous freeing of penitent captives are only some of the claims.