Statue of Saint Marguerite


Saint Marguerite's legendSaint Marguerite, whose name is also Saint Marine, is the patron saint of the parish of Nadrin. The current church of this village has an ancient wooden statue of the saint that comes from the ancient church of Ollomont, that has nowadays nearly completely disappeared.The saint is still honoured and fervently prayed there. Her day is on July 20, the anniversary of her death. The fest of the village takes place on the sunday that comes after that day.Saint Marine was born in Syria at a perdiod where Rome was still the master of the world. By then, the Eastern province was ruled by the Roman prefect, Olybrius. Among the priests of a temple that was dedicated to Diane, there was Maxim, a firnd of the prefect who had scandalously got rich by keeping for him the faithful's gifts.Marine was Maxim's daughter. As she had lost her mother at birth, she got left to a devoted wet nurse's care. This nurse was christian and she taught Marine the new religion. When she was about 14, Marine dedicated herself to Christ.Soon after that, she asked her father the permission to go and live in a christian community. Maxim who was outraged at anger turned her out of his house. Her nurse joined her. The soldiers Maxim sent after them never could find them. They walked together during 30 days towards the straights. When they arrived in Byzantinum, a boatman carried them in his bark on the European bank. The nurse who was old and exhausted couldn't go further. she died in Marine's arms, begging her to escape even further. Then, Marine made the vow to go west up to the extreme limit of the empire and to make a charity act everyday on profit of her brothers.She crossed all the countries rome had conquired without staying nowhere. At every stop, he searched how to be useful to every person she met. After a 2-year-long journey, she reached the severe, hard and very wooded Ardennes, where all contrasted with her flowered and cheerful Country she had escaped from. She thought this Country was the ends of the earth. by following the meanders of the Ourthe river, Marine reached one day the wildest part of the valley (the confluence of the two Ourthes and Maboge). There, she saw a high schist peak that was planted on the bank of the river, and that looked like a menhir. At the foot of this rock, she noticed a hollow that was quite huge and high with a good southern aspect that looked like a sure shelter. She felt that it was the sigh she had to stop her walk and that she had to set up there for a while.She soon saw some woodcutters and fishermen passing near her refuge, and she spoke kindly to them. They were of a sharp and nervous race and of medium height: they were Celts. They lived in humble houses that were grouped around a spring from the top of the small valley that ended up to her refuge. The setting up of the young Marine in the cave was a major event for these people. They saw in her a beneficial fairy. They made her tell her childhood and her past tribulations. Marine talked them about God, about Christ who died for redeeming men. She acted for helping them having an easier life, she taught them some very efficent work processes she knew from her Country and she gave them some culture secrets she had dioscovered during her nomadic life. The village and its surroundings changed soon of aspect. The earth became more generous, the brooklet got canalized and it made the wheel of a mill turning round. the workers cleared the hill for cultivation. The meadows got irrigated, the cattle got more plentiful. Marguerite knew the name of the plants you had to macerate for curing; she taght women how to spin, how to knitt, to preapre more substantial food. She playe dwith the children and told them nice tales. everybody loved her and venerated her. One day, she told the people of village that was soonn going to have to leave them fopro going back to her Country. They got desolated and implored her to stay. But she was resolved. It happened a moring in summer that nobody saw her coming in the village. Some people who were upset went down the meadows hoping to see her praying in her cave, but it was empty. Marguerite had gone for ever. She set out back for East. When she got back in her Country, she was brought face to face with Olybrius who wanted her for wife. She refused firmly but kindly the prefect's intentions who got furious and decided to torture her. She was stricken with a birtch, ripped by Syrian slaves' nails. The prefect wanted to burn her body, but she didn't suffer the fire. So Olybrius, who was quivering with anger, had her beheaded by the executioner. She died on July 20 on the 5th year of Emperor Aurelian's reign. Here is now what people say about the Venerable statue of the saint.A very long time ago, an inhabitant of Ollomont would have discovered a great statue representing Saint Marguerite, in the cave. It was so heavy that he couldn't lift it. He went at the village for asking for help. But the surprizing information had spread. When the inhabitants arrived at the cave, they discovered woodcutters from the opposite village (Hubermont) who had placed the statue on a wagon and who were going towards the ford for bringing it to their church. But the 4 horses were getting tangled up in the stones of the ford; Even the woodcutters were stricking them with a whip and pushing the wagon, they couldn't go forward. The wagon was getting stuck in the ruts as if the statue was too heavy.So the Ollomont inhabitants loaded it onto a little wagon with hay to which they hitched up two white oxes. The oxes could climbed nimbly the way without effort whereas, downwards, the men from Hubertmont stayed tacken aback and filled with dismay. the oxes stopped by theyselves at the entry of the cemetry in front of the little church of Ollomont, showing then that the statue had to stay on the altar.People put a statue in plaster on the saint on the top of the cave where she used to shelter.

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