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The Chapelle la Providence

Historic site and monument, Religious heritage, Chapel in Montagnier 

  • The first chapel was located in the attic of the central building and dated back to 1940. It was designed by Louis Gard. Before that it was a simple room used as a place of worship with four prayer desks.

  • For convenience, the chapel was moved down to the ground floor of the building into a new wing, under the direction of Cyrille Gard, an architect based in Bagnes. Some of the parishioners and the Sisters especially remember the weekly hustle and bustle on Sunday mornings, when they had to rush breakfast, move the tables from the little refectory attached to the chapel and set out the chairs in the corridor in lines.

    In the end, given the increased number of lodgers and local people...
    For convenience, the chapel was moved down to the ground floor of the building into a new wing, under the direction of Cyrille Gard, an architect based in Bagnes. Some of the parishioners and the Sisters especially remember the weekly hustle and bustle on Sunday mornings, when they had to rush breakfast, move the tables from the little refectory attached to the chapel and set out the chairs in the corridor in lines.

    In the end, given the increased number of lodgers and local people attending services, it was necessary to build the current chapel in 1960–1961.

    Benefiting from an original and bold design by Cyrille Gard, this chapel radiates joy and hope. The chapel takes the form of a circle, closed off at either end, where the people of God occupy a central place in the heart of the mother church. But to keep you from going around in circles, the chapel connects to the lodger’s house on the south side and opens up onto the sanctuary on the north side. This creates a link between the day-to-day life of the house and Christ, who is present in the tabernacle and worshipped at the altar. The chapel has become a place to meet God in all his humanity; it is there that Christ is worshipped and adored.

    Thanks to its “dalle de verre” coloured tiles, produced by the Fleckner glass-making workshop in Fribourg, the chapel benefits from a generous amount of natural light. The panes of different-coloured glass are set in the concrete, which creates strength and light. The walls are decorated simply: enough to create an atmosphere, but not so much that they distract from the choir.

    The frieze in the glass panel (designed by the artist Joseph Gautschi) evokes the Litanies of the Blessed Virgin against a blue-toned background.

    On the east side one sees the symbol of the Daughters of Charity, the Miraculous Medal, and the following invocations appearing one after the other: Queen of Peace, Mystical Rose, Morning Star, Tabernacle of the Most High. On the western side, one can find the appellations: Singular Vessel of Devotion, the Ark of the Convent, Heart Pierced with Sorrows, Mirror of Justice and the acronym A M (Ave Maria) and P X.

    On the rostrum are two stained-glass windows from the old chapel, the work of Canon Michellod, depicting the Annunciation.

    The furnishings in sanctuary were provided by M. Gautschi: a golden-bronze tabernacle with a mosaic of the Four Evangelists, the ambon and the cross made from Saxon stone, and the altar made from Italian stone.

    The Way of the Cross came from the former chapel and is the work of a Tyrolean artist who was, in 1960, asked to depict the Virgin Mary and Saint Joseph. The same artist also modelled the characters in the nativity, finished recently by the Bruchez brothers from Le Cotterg. The chapel is dedicated to the Virgin of the Miraculous Medal in homage to the nuns who were once known as the Sisters of Saint Vincent de Paul and who worked in the house during the 20th century.
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