Église Saint-Pierre, Saint-Chamond
(St Peter’s Church, Saint-Chamond)
Between place Saint-Pierre and quai de la Rive, Saint-Chamond, Loire, France (enter from place Saint-Pierre) [ Map ]
The historic stone church of Saint-Pierre (St Peter) at Saint-Chamond was first consecrated in 1609 as an extension of an older chapel dedicated to St Barbara. The bell tower was built between 1617 and 1645. Numerous small chapels surround the nave of this unusual church, which features some superb wood carvings, a coffered ceiling, and a floor made of old tombstones. A series of eighteenth century paintings portray aspects of the life of St Peter. The organ, built in 1834, was made by a member of the famous Callinet family of organ builders.
On more than one occasion, Eymard preached extraordinarily successful parish missions in the church of Saint-Pierre at Saint-Chamond. During his first mission, held from 29 March to 27 April 1851, large numbers of people returned to God. Eymard found himself in the church or confessional until 10 or 11pm every night, and then he had to begin his daily office. The work was exhausting and he had no time for himself, scarcely even for meals. ‘I left everything for souls’, he wrote to Marguerite Guillot.
During a later mission preached by Eymard at Saint-Chamond in February and March 1856, he confided to Fr Raymond de Cuers that he was ‘suffering and hoping’ while awaiting news from his Marist superior-general Fr Julien Favre, who had promised to put Eymard’s plans for a Eucharistic congregation before the pope on the condition that Eymard agreed to abide by the pope’s decision.
Église Saint-Pierre, St Chamond: Patrimoine de France (Heritage citation)
Ville de St Chamond (Town of Saint-Chamond) [French]