The Chapel of Penitents

Chapelle - Calvaire - Edifice religieux

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Houses the shrines of Saint Théodore. A vault has been annexed as the burial place for the Penitent brothers. On the left-hand side, a 16th century inscription written in Provençal dialect and only deciphered in 1966 bears the words: 'Monseigneur de Fréjus granted 40 days of forgiveness'.

The Chapel of Penitents of Grimaud was founded in 1496 by Raymond Pastoris, stone mason. It sheltered a confraternity of white Penitents: an association of laymen active in religious and charitable works. One of their obligations was to bury the dead. They wore a heavy robe confined with a girdle, with a pointed hood concealing the face.The date of the construction of the chapel is engraved on the keystone of the archway over the door, (Above which we see a niche housing a statue of the Blessed Virgin and Child. The façade is decorated of a small delicate bell-cote with one bell flanked by two pinnacles in terracotta. An inscription on one of the basalt blocks to the left of the façade reads : “Monseigneur de Fréjus gave 40 days of indulgences…”

On entering the chapel we find ourselves in the ancient porch or narthex. The large openings were walled-up in order to create more places for the faithful. Looking to the left-hand side of the chapel we see the statue of Our Lady of the Seven Sorrows.  In the case underneath the relics of Saint Theodore : discovered in Rome in the middle of the 19th century.  Continuing we see on each side of the chapel two contemporary paintings by Anne Vernon, local artist living at Cogolin, To the left Saint Mary Magdalen and to the right Saint Lazarus : two Saints who, according to the tradition, arrived in Provence with the beginnings of Christianity. After there are two fine statues -Saint Roch on the left and Saint Theodore on the right. The magnificient 17th century altar piece is flanked by two reliquary busts : to the left Saint Speciosus and to the right an unidentified Saint. In the center of the reredos is the painting of the Pièta (1808) by Paul-Emile Barberi, an artist who was born in Rome and who died in Nice.

Chapelle des Penitents blancs
83310 Grimaud
Office de Tourisme
679 Route Nationale
83310 Grimaud