Montmartre is the hill overlooking Paris, north of the river Seine. The name comes from Saint Denis, the first bishop of Paris. Tradition holds that he and his companions died here giving it its name, that is, of Montmartre, “the mount of martyrs”.
In 1870, war broke out between France and Germany, and France was invaded. The idea took hold that the ordeals incurred by France were due to its spiritual faults rather than only political ones. This gave birth to the construction of a basilica dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, thanks to the initiative of several lay people and to the support of the bishop of Paris. This project was seen as atonement and also as the force of hope and spiritual renewal. In 1872, the archbishop of Paris approved the project and chose the hill of Montmartre for the site. The financing of the edifice was through individual gifts (often modest ones) from people all over France. Their names are engraved in the stone of the basilica.
This high spiritual site is dear to Parisian Christians. For over 120 years and without stopping, the Blessed Sacrament has been exposed and adored. People relay, 24/7. Several times a day, the devotion is led by the sisters of Montmartre. The nuns watch over the city of Paris and its inhabitants of the neighborhood with prayer. Montmartre, a Paris “village”, was the scene for the renowned movie “The fabulous destiny of Amélie Poulain”.
The basilica of Sacred Heart of Montmartre can't be missed in your pilgrimage in France !