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Thirty miles from Vézelay pilgrims reached the Cluniac priory of Saint Révérien.

Saint Révérien was a mere ten miles from the Benedictine abbey of Saint Léonard at Corbigny, however pilgrims may have been persuaded to avoid making their halt there and press on to Saint Révérien, since the authenticity of the relics at the former were in dispute.

The Liber Sancti Iacobi makes a special point of declaring the Corbigny relics to be fake in favour of those at Noblat near Limoges, “Not having been able to obtain his relics”, the author states, “they worship, in lieu of the remains of Saint Léonard of Limoges, the remains of a certain man by the name of Léotard”

Reverianus was a third century missionary to Gaul from Italy who together with ten followers and a priest named Paulus had helped to evangelize the area around Autun. In about 273 he had been martyred by order of the Emperor Aurelian.

An oratory built over his tomb and the relics of Reverianus attracted visitors for the miracle working oil they produced.

The site developed into a Benedictine monastery and in 1055 became part of the Cluniac Order. A new church was built and masons and sculptors arrived from the nearby Cluniac centre at La Charité-sur-Loire. This accounts for the remarkable quality of the capital carvings in the nave and ambulatory which bear the hallmarks of the Burgundian Cluniac style.

This may be seen as evidence of Cluny’s desire to be a controlling influence on the Compostelan pilgrimage.

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