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In 1870, war broke out between France and Germany. The Council taking place at the Vatican broke up and the Pope, no longer protected by French troops, felt himself a prisoner in the Vatican City. France faced military defeat and occupation of part of the country by German troops. The response of MM. Alexandre Legentil and Hubert Rohault de Fleury was spiritual. They vowed to build a church consecrated to the Heart of Christ in reparation (i.e. in penitence for sins commited) since for them the misery of France stemmed more from spiritual than from political causes

Late 1872 : Cardinal Guibert, archbishop of Paris, approves this vow and chooses Montmartre.
Late 1873 : he obtains a parliamentary declaration of the public utility of the Basilica, thus enabling the land to be used to built the church

At the time, the building of a Basilica dedicated to the Heart of Christ is inusual compared with the serie of Basilicas dedicated to Mary built during the same period : Lourdes, Notre-Dame of Fourviere at Lyon, Notre-Dame of la Garde at Marseille.
The work was financed by gifts, often modests, from all over France.The names of the donors are carved in the stone.

Voir la galerie photo de Montmartre et du Sacré coeur

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Additional Photos by Jonathan Haider (jhaider) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 57 W: 51 N: 107] (1234)
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