RETOUR.gif (1070 octets) Sainte Marie aux bois SITES.gif (2510 octets)

    The old Prémontrés abbey in Sainte MArie aux bois is located in the north-east of Pont-à-Mousson on the area of Vilcey sur Trey.

Founded in the 12nd century, it was transfered in Pont-à-Mousson in 1606.

From the 20th to the 23rd of August, 1914, Charles Péguy, a lieutenant of the 19th company of the 276th Inf.Div. established his quarters here.

STEMARIE.gif (9795 octets) The old abbaye can be visited on Sundays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m.


Charles Péguy  wrote several texts in the farm of Sainte Marie:

"Nous sommes en petit poste grand'garde au milieu des bois
We are in small posts, great guard in the middle of the woods
la grand'garde Sainte Marie.
the great Sainte Marie guard
Nous vivons dans une sorte de paix, dans grande ferme abandonnée
We live in a sort of peace, in a big isolated farm dans un calme temple et loin d'un plat tourment
and in a quiet temple and far from a low-land torment
l'attente d'une mort plus vivante que la vie
waiting for a death more lively than life
.... O Reine voici donc après la longue route
... O Queen so her is after this long walk
Le seul asile ouvert au creux de votre main.
The sole refuge open in the hollow of the hand

To Mrs Charles Péguy To Mrs G.FAVRE

Friday 21st of August, 1914. Everything is fine, splendid health, open-air life.

Quartered in a big rectangular farm in the middle of the woods we have not had news from the world for 4 days don't forget to keep me a complete file of newspapers.

I kiss you.

Your Péguy

Friday 21st of August, 1914

Quartered in a big rectangular farm in the middle of the woods we have not had news from the world for 4 days.

I almost met Ernest(*) but for one train.

The world is small, isn't it?

Kiss Thérèse. I kiss you very faithfully.

Your Péguy

(*)Ernest Psichari, Renan's grandson, killed on the battlefield the near Virton the day after this letter was written.


Bibliography Auteur Année
Avec Charles Péguy de la Lorraine à la Marne
With Charles Péguy from Lorraine to Marne
Victor Boudon 1916
Histoire de l'abbaye de Ste Marie aux bois
History of Ste Marie aux bois abbey
Michel Mazeran Le pays lorrain N°3 1986
Romanesque churches of Lorraine Book IV Hubert Collin 1986

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