From one epidemic to the next ... All the assistance was masked this Friday morning to attend the Mass for the renewal of the vows of the aldermen in the Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Marseille. These magistrates of the old regime had thus hoped to fight, 300 years ago, against the last great plague of the West, arrived in May 1720 by the ship Le Grand Saint-Antoine which brought the bacillus from Tripoli to Lebanon.
In two years, the death toll had been at least 90,000 dead in Provence, the epidemic taking half of the population of Marseille. "With the coronavirus that has touched us all in our personal and professional lives, this tercentenary takes on a particular flavor and emotion," explains the president of the Marseille Chamber of Commerce, CCI, which has resumed this annual ceremony since the 19th century. by offering a one kilo white wax candle struck with the city's coat of arms.
The last release of Jean-Claude Gaudin
“Today, we are respecting a wish taken 300 years ago by our predecessors during a dramatic period in the history of Marseille and which has now become a tradition. Present, Jean-Claude Gaudin, mayor since 1995 and who does not represent himself, carried out during this ceremony his last official outing as first magistrate.
On the occasion of this tercentenary of the plague, many events will be organized by the city of Marseille until next year: ephemeris of the plague on social networks and the website of the Museum of the History of Marseille, l 'Plague researchers' exhibition in the same museum in October and highlighting the anchor of Grand-Saint-Antoine in January.