Madonna at Midnight

Rocamadour, the Dordogne, France.

Clutching precariously at the sheer walls of a gorge, Rocamadour is historically one of the most popular sites of pilgrimage. One object of veneration is a wooden “Black Madonna” in a cave chapel built into the side of the cliff. She may represent either persistent pagan influences or a reference to Mary Magdalene.

Traditionally, Black Madonnas were hidden and associated with darkness and fertility.