In Nice, where yesterday 84 people were killed as they celebrated Bastille Day, there is a church of Notre Dame de France. The tag of the photograph on the Internet says that he church was named so 1943 by a Monseigneur Bémond during the Nazi occupation; quel courage! ends the comment. Quite so.
There are two statues of Notre Dame de France, one in le Puy-en-Velay, constructed from iron from cannons used in the Crimean War. The other statue, known as Notre Dame de l’Esperance (Our Lady of Hope) is in the village of Pontmain, where Our Lady appeared, as she does, to some children. The apparition occurred during the Franco-Prussian War and was seen as a miraculous intervention at a point when the area was under threat of Prussian attack. The village is now home to a basilica, which is also the site of pilgrimage.
In London’s West End, the Church of Our Lady of Hope will be holding masses for the victims of the Nice attack. Our Lady of Hope, pray for us.