On 10 July 1878, 10,000 people came to Bermont for a colorful and unforgettable pilgrimage to the little forest chapel...

On 10 July 1878, 10,000 people, responding from all corners of France to the invitation of Mgr BRIEY, Bishop of Saint-Die, crowded around the natal house of Jeanne d'Arc.  That evening, a procession of these 10,000 pilgrims set out towards Bermont: "This was, wrote a reporter of the period, an unforgettable day, the harmony and the picturesqueness of the songs interweaving each other over the entire course of the way, the multicoloured scintillation of the banners that are advanced through the winding of the paths, the imposing mass of the faithful which gather in the little valley of Bermont." The hour
of glory, did she proceed to toll for Bermont?  Some believed it.

But, after many evasions, they oriented themselves towards a national basilica in the Oak-Woods.  On the spot a committee of energetic men pushed it to its realization, by launching a hasty appeal to the country.  At their head, Ambroise BOULOUMIE, director-founder of the Eaux de Vittel, Pierre BUFFETET, Jules MICHEL, mayor of Greux.  They benefited from the support of Maurice BARRES, native of Charmes and from his eloquence at the national assembly.

These same men are equally resolved to save the chapel and hermitage of Bermont.  They create, to that end, in 1902 "the Association of Friends of Jeanne d'Arc" founded under the regime of the very recent law of 1901.  Mgr FOUCAULT, new Bishop of Saint-Die, approved "the Association of Friends of Jeanne d'Arc", its project to acquire Bermont and to preserve it.  As soon as the association was created, sir Olivier SAINSERE, Counsellor of State, nephew and heir of the restorer, is eager to cede the precious sanctuary to this association.