The Statue of Saint Peter in Treyvaux
Treyvaux was an olden village established in the 9th century during the kingdom of Charlemagne around a chapel devoted to St. Peter.
The Back Plague came from the distant Orient In the 14th century and struck Western Europe awakening sickness and death with its arrival. The plague started to break out in Treyvaux, and the inhabitants of the village left to find refuge in the forest. In the forest, they reached a clearing where three rivers met. When they were sure that the plague threat was not following them anymore, they built new houses in the clearing.
For the time being, the village had a priest who had stubbornly decided to remain in his vicarage in the old village, surviving the deathly plague. After a while, he asked his parishioners to come back to their former homes. They refused to do so but tried their best to motivate the priest to join them instead. To encourage the priest, they went back to bring the two consecrated relics of St. Peter to erect them in their new village.
The statue of St. Peter disappeared
A bizarre accident, however, happened the day after! The statue of St. Peter disappeared, and all the villagers started to look for it until it was found where it already was: in the old chapel! The event led to serious soul-searching among the people wondering whether they should consider it a sign to return to their previous place, or they should follow their new destiny and install the St. Peter once more in the new place.
In the end, they came with the idea that a donkey decides where the statue belonged. They fastened the statute to the donkey’s back and followed it while it walked towards the forest. The donkey led the parishioners to a mysterious route with a small glade covered with moss and bushes in which the donkey finally kneeled down. The villagers received the message they were waiting for: This was the place that St. Peter had opted for his sanctuary to be built.
A long time has now passed away from that strange event, and nobody can be assured of what really happened; but could this story be behind the nickname of the inhabitants of Treyvaux? They are known as “donkeys”, a nickname they are so proud of it.