Chapels - The Seven Saints' chapel


It is in Vieux-Marché, a small town near Lannion in the north of Brittany.

It was erected in 1702 in the shape of the Latin Cross. Under the south transept 2½ meters above the nave, there is the crypt in which seven statues were found. They are now above the altar. They are dressed in rich gowns over which they wear long open sleeved coats tightened at the waist by fleur-de-lis adorned belts. They are bare-legged and they wear boots. Their names are Maximilien, Marc, Martinien, Denis, Jean, Séraphin, and Constantin.

The story

The Seven Saints

They were brothers and lived in a town called Éphèse at the time when Décius was the Roman Emperor. He asked them to abjure their faith and their law. They refused, so the tyrant decided to punish them with sword and fire. Yet they had already taken shelter in a cave and in his anger he had them walled in as if they had been dead.

They remained in that cave for 177 years, until the wall was knocked down. They were not dead : God had allowed them to sleep. People from Éphèse thought it was a miracle and praised God Almighty.

Since that day on, the seven brothers have been called the seven sleeping brothers.

The statues’ story

Those statues were discovered by farmers who did not think they were valuable. That is why they were laid on a stone at the bottom of the crypt. They soon became the object of a cult and of popular pilgrimages.

A statue

Instead of destroying those pagan idols, church people sanctified them and a Christian chapel was erected. A vicar from the neighbourhood knew about Éphèse seven sleeping brothers’ legend : he drew a parallel between that legend and the seven statues also kept in a cave for several centuries, so he dedicated the chapel to the seven sleeping brothers, calling it the Seven Saints.

For any further information, please contact :

Mairie de Plouaret
Place de l’église
22420 - Plouaret
Tel : (33) (0)2 96 46 62 02
Fax : (33) (0)2 96 38 89 67

The chapel is closed. The key is kept by a neighbour, on the right of the chapel.


Copyright©Lycée Brizeux, june 1998