A monumental statue of the Madonna and Child stands in the village of Mas Rillier, in Central France. This 106 ft statue is the tallest in Europe, just a little shorter than famous statue of Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (125 ft).
In March 2020, this statue officially became a historical monument. To project a little hope and joy in the region during the pandemic, the city council decided to illuminate it with sparkling lights on December 8th, feast of the Immaculate Conception.
The story of this statue began in 1930 when the parish priest, Father Thomas, prayed to the Virgin Mary to be healed of tuberculosis. His prayer was answered, and in thanksgiving to Mary, he commissioned a monumental statue in her honor. A work of the sculptor Georges Serraz, the statue was inaugurated in 1941.
The technically impressive monument can be visited from the inside thanks to a staircase that leads up to Mary's crown. The illuminated statue has been called "Hope of the Hopeless."
Berengère Dommaigne, December 2020
Adapted from: Aleteia