PARAY-LE-MONIAL, a town of east-central France in the department of Saone-et-Loire, 58 m. W.N.W. of Macon by the Paris-Lyon railway, on which it is a junction for Moulins, Lozanne, Clermont and Roanne. Pop. (1906), 3382. It lies on the slope of a hiU on the right bank of the Bourbince and has a port on the Canal du Centre. The chief building in the town is the priory church of St Pierre. Erected in the 12th century in the Romanesque style of Burgundy, it closely resembles the abbey church of Cluny in the length of the transepts, the height of the vaulting and the general plan. The town is the centre of a district important for its horse-raising; bricks, tiles and mosaics are the chief manufactures of the town. In the 10th century a Benedictine priory was founded at Paray-le-Monial. In the 16th century the town was an industrial centre, but its prosperity was retarded by the wars of rehgion and still more by the revocation of the edict of Nantes. In 1685 the visions of Marguerite Marie Alacoque, a nun of the convent of the Visitation, who believed herself to possess the Sacred Heart of Jesus, attracted religious gatherings to the town, and yearly pilgrimages to Paray-le-Monial still take place.
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)