Place du Martyr 106
01 January - 31 December
Mon 8.00 - 19.00
Tue 8.00 - 19.00
Wed 8.00 - 19.00
Thu 8.00 - 19.00
Fri 8.00 - 19.00
Sat 8.00 - 19.00
Sun 8.00 - 19.00
Built in 1650, this church takes its name from the Franciscan friars who had built a monastery here. The building has experienced many restorations and alterations.
It is a long edifice in quarried limestone with a single nave and a clock tower, which was added against the façade in 1892.
Inside, is a chapel for the Virgin, a place for pilgrimages, and excellent objects coming from various sanctuaries in the Verviers and Liege area. The church is well known above all for its celebrated statue of the Black Virgin and child, a17th century sculpture, which is placed in a niche on the façade. The statue is black as it was stained by the smoke of candles, by pollution and by a fire and finally, during its restoration, it was painted black. It is famous as a miracle occurred in the church during the earthquake of 18th September 1692.While the locals ran for refuge in the church, the faithful had the impression that the position of the virgin and child had changed and that they faced each other, that their hands had moved closer and touched and that the chest of the baby Jesus faced his mother.
The origins of this church date back to the end of the 17th century but it was subsequently modified many times, including the bell tower added against the facade in 1892. At the time, the wool industry was in full swing, so some parishioners were relatively wealthy and could afford new buildings. Within this tower, the architect designed a large chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary. This place of worship is still very popular with Verviers today. They come to light a candle or recite a prayer.
On the balcony of the first floor, visitors can see a real theatre performance: t H.wee black statues stand opposite each other. Both represent the Blessed Virgin with the Child and resemble each other at first sight. However, the poses of the Child Jesus and of the Blessed Virgin always differ from each other. In the back part both are seated down and look tightly in front of them.
The second whole shows the child Jesus who is close to the Virgin and has a sceptre that holds back his Mother.
It is the "before" and "after" of the earthquake.
The dark shades are the result of the daily swings (smoke from candles, pollution, fire) and of a recent restoration, where the black colour leads to uniformity.
According to legend, a miracle occurred during the great earthquake on September 18, 1692: the image of the Virgin and the Child had changed. They had come together for a shorter time.
Afterwards this miracle was confirmed by many residents who had sought refuge in the church.
Since then, a commemorative plaque has been placed in this chapel to tell the story of this event and a statue has been sculpted to represent the state of the church as it used to be.
4860 Wegnez (Pepinster)
The Verviers region at the time of the industrial revolution (walking tour) - Follow in the footsteps of the great figures of 19th century Verviers industry