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Our Lady of Liesse

Where:  Liesse, France

History:  

The statue was brought to Liesse by three Knights Hospitaller.

The three were brothers and members of the noble house of Eppes in Picardya. Sometime in the 12th century while protecting the fortress of Bersabee, near Ascalon, they were captured in a Saracene ambush and were taken to the Sultan of Egypt. The knights refused to convert to Islam, despite theological arguments and promises of gold and honor. Angels brought the three imprisoned knights a small statue of Our Lady of Consolation, a statue of Mother Mary. The Sultan decided to send his daughter Ismeria to the dungeon to convert the three knights. But they (the knights), preferred to talk about what unites our people of different religions. She learns about the Christian god aand is prompted to assist in the brother's escape.

 

During their flight all four fall asleep, and during their sleep are miraculously transported to Northern France. Awakening close to the Eppes’ castle in Picardy, their joy and that of their family is immense. Ismeria receives baptism in the cathedral of Laon. The knights preserved the statue of the Madonna, and built a handsome church to receive Our Lady of Liesse. According to a sixteenth century tradition, the knights were the sons of William, sire of Eppes. Their names were Jean, Hector, and Henri.