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Our Lady of the Rosary

Salaün, the Fool of Our Lady

Around the middle of the 14th century, in a clearing in the Lesnevian forest in the territory of Elestrec in Brittany (France), lived a man named Salaün. The inhabitants called him familiarly “The Fool of the Wood ” (Fol ar Coat).

Considered as an “innocent”, Salaün begged his bread from farm to farm. He asked for alms, repeating tirelessly: “Ave Maria! Salaün would eat a piece of bread!”

He liked to swing on the branch of a tree, above the fountain, and he sang in full voice: “O Maria!” At the same time, he would immerse himself in water up to his shoulders.

His death in 1358 (at the age of 48) left people indifferent. He was buried in the village of Lannuchen which occupies the former site of the cemetery and church of Elestrec (former parish of Folgoët), near the manor of Kergoff. Today, the calvary can still be seen framed by the four ovoid stones that come from his tomb. But shortly after his death, a lily was discovered on his grave, near the oak tree where he used to swing and the fountain where he used to dip his bread, with these words written in gold letters: “AVE MARIA”. When the tomb was opened, it was found that the lily had taken root in the mouth of the deceased. The miracle quickly attracted the crowds and they wanted to build a chapel on the tomb of the “innocent”.

Aware of the wonders that were taking place in Folgoët, John IV of Monfort, to be forgiven for the exactions committed by his allies in all of Leon during the war: pillaging of churches, monasteries, and to fulfill his vow to build a sanctuary to Our Lady, favored the construction of the present church of Our Lady of Folgoët.

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