Visions of Love in Brittany

A delightful tale of a Candlemas novena that turned out well.

Bonjour From Brittany

The novena of Candlemas, covering the period from 24 January to 1 February, was a devotion once particularly performed by those young Bretons who wished to know who they were destined to marry and it was believed that there was no devotion more agreeable to the Virgin Mary than this novena which rewarded, with extraordinary favour, anyone paying her this tribute.

Once far more commonplace than popularly found today, a nine day period of devotional prayers, known as novenas, are sometimes observed in preparation for a Christian feast day. Such prayers, offered at the same time each day, are made to petition for special favours or to ask for a sign from God.

Perhaps best known for his 1820 adaptation of John Polidori’s tale The Vampyre, French author Charles Nodier described the novena of Candlemas in his Souvenirs de la Jeunesse (1832) and La Neuvaine de la Chandeleur (1839). He…

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