The famous people who passed through the basilica

The illustrious visitors


Since its foundation by King Louis XIII in 1629, Our Lady of Victories Church has seen many men and women, pilgrims and seekers of meaning, some of whom are better known than others…

« When I come to Paris, I never fail to go to Our Lady of Victories to say my rosary. »

The artists who have passed through Our Lady of Victories:

  • The musician Jean-Baptiste Lully, who died in 1687, is buried in this church. His sarcophagus is located high up in the Saint-Jean chapel, on the left of the nave just after the Sainte-Thérèse chapel. The vault of the Lully family, located further on in the chapel of Our Lady of Sorrows, was desecrated during the exactions of the Commune.
  • In 1778, the young Mozart was in Paris with his mother. On July the 3rd he writes to his father:

    « When I come to Paris, I never fail to go to Our Lady of Victories to say my rosary. »

  • The composer and pianist Franz Liszt also visited the basilica.
  • The writer Colette wrote in 1942:

    « The most trodden path from the Royal Palace leads to Our Lady of Victories. It is a church where, as at the village fountain, all thirsts go to drink. No one has any scruples about giving the crowned Virgin a short leisure, an oration… The church is hot with supplications, candles and gratitude. Between services, the silence is great, but every stone is engraved and speaks. »

Many military and politicians have gone basic:

  • Marshals Pelissier, Mac Mahon and Foch, General Gallieni and on September the 1st, 1944 General De Gaulle accompanied by Generals Koenig and Chaban-Delmas. The signature of the leader of Free France appears in the guestbook of the basilica (photo opposite).
  • A great French Resistance fighter and minister of General De Gaulle, Edmond Michelet, came here. There is an ex-voto in the chapel of the Virgin.
  • The scientists Louis Pasteur (inventor of the rabies vaccine), André-Marie Ampère (creator of the vocabulary of electricity) and Johannes Kepler (astronomer).
  • And of course, many French crowned heads have passed through Our Lady of Victories over the centuries: Queen Anne of Austria, wife of Louis XIII, Louis XIV and his wife Queen Therese, Queen Marie Leczinska wife of Louis XV who used to stand in a gallery. King Charles X and Empress Eugenie, wife of Napoleon III.
Le général Charles De Gaulle, à Notre-Dame des Victoires le 1er septembre 1944 pour une messe d'action de grâce. À ses côtés, on reconnaît les généraux Pierre Koenig (derrière le cierge) et Jacques Chaban-Delmas ainsi que le père Léopold Bruckberger, célèbre dominicain et résistant.

General Charles De Gaulle, arriving at Our Lady of Victories on September the 1st, 1944 for a thanksgiving mass. At his side, one can recognize Generals Pierre Koenig (behind the candle) and Jacques Chaban-Delmas as well as Father Léopold Bruckberger, a famous Dominican and Resistance fighter.

Of course, religious people came in great numbers, among whom we can mention :

  • Pope Saint John XXIII, then Apostolic Nuncio to France Angelo Roncalli, came to Our Lady of Victories in 1952. His signature appears in the guestbook of the basilica.
  • On April the 18th, 1883, Saint John Bosco, an Italian priest and founder of the Salesians, celebrated Mass at the altar of the Virgin Mary. During the service, he heard the young Louis Colle, who had died a short time earlier, say to him: « This is the house of blessings and graces ».
  • Saint Therese of Lisieux, on November the 4th, 1887, comes to Our Lady of Victories accompanied by her father, Saint Louis Martin, and her sister.
  • Saint Theophane Vénard, a priest of the foreign missions, entrusted his ministry to Our Lady of Victories before leaving for Tonkin (now Vietnam) in 1853 where he died a martyr.
  • In 1833, Blessed Frederic Ozanam founded the Conferences of Saint Vincent de Paul with the support of Father Desgenettes.
  • The abbot Roussel, the founder of the Orphans of Auteuil, celebrated his first mass at Our Lady of Victories. His spiritual director was Father Desgenettes.
  • The abbot Pierre celebrates his 60th anniversary of priesthood on October 14, 1995 at Our Lady of Victories .