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Places to Visit Details

Dassa, Benin

Pilgrimage to the Marian Cave of Dassa

The Notre-Dame d'Arigbo cave is a Catholic pilgrimage site located in Dassa-Zoumè, in the Hills, Benin. It becomes a place of pilgrimage in 1954, Marian year, on the initiative of Mgr Louis Parisot. According to the story, it would be following the mysterious appearance of an image of the Virgin in February 1954 that Mgr. Louis Parisot, the first bishop of Dahomey, solemnly blessed the natural cave of Dassa in the presence of a crowd estimated at nearly 6,000 people.

Having erected a large luminous cross at the top of the mountain and decided that this new Grotto of Lourdes would henceforth be the privileged center of the great Dahomean pilgrimages in honor of the Virgin Mary, he then founded the Dassa-Zoumè pilgrimage and thus Arigbo a high place of prayer and Marian piety with the help of Father Germain Boucheix, the brother of Bishop Noël Boucheix. Since then, every year, during Ascension and Assumption, tens of thousands of faithful gather on the spot. Pilgrims come mainly from Benin, Togo, Niger and Burkina Faso.

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