At the summit of a hill just outside our village is the tiny Chapel of Saint Pierre.  It was built in the early 1800s.  Every year on the Feast Day of St. Pierre the village celebrates mass here, outside as the chapel would hold only about 10 people.  After mass there is a dinner with very mediocre food but much better wine.

The marker lists the date as 1805.
The chapel was apparently in a very deteriorated condition after 100+ years of neglect.  A small group of Abeilhan’s older set, who remembered how important the chapel was to their ancestors, took on the project to rehabilitate it.  Their pictures are on the chapel wall, most are dead now.   John remembers Uncle Nene, the fellow wearing a beret.  

 The chapel  is now fully restored with a new roof, repaired walls, and an ornate metal door.  The man who made the door was there to show off his work.
The priest said Mass under the trees.  We didn’t attend but could hear sweet French voices singing hymns.  The evening was cool and windy.  My friend Suzette tells me that every year during the Mass at St. Pierre’s you can barely hear the priest because of the cigales’ loud buzzing in the trees.  However, due to the cool weather this year the cicadas are late and so it is quiet except for the wind.

After mass is the dinner.  The majority of the crowd is on the elderly side, I guess we sit in.  We came prepared with our own silverware but most of the folks have brought their full dinner service including dishes and wine glasses.  We make do with paper plates and plastic glasses.  We are with a jolly crowd, our friends Jack and Linda, John S. and his new lady love, and four delightful Irish ladies.  We have a lovely time despite being very cold (I thought a sweater would be sufficient).  It is a long evening and there is no bathroom on site so several of us have to visit the bushes by the parking lot!  Everyone has a merry time.  This is a good tradition.

Leave a Reply.