Sainte Bonnette

Bonnette, a goose keeper, during the Norman invasion in the 9th century, was going to save the city of Brivas. One morning, while crossing the Allier to go to Brioude, she was surprised to see the Barbarians arrive who questioned her about her intentions and where she was going. Bonnette admits that she goes to Brioude to visit the tomb of Ste Julien. Convinced that they would have nothing to fear from this puny creature, the Normans let her go, making her swear not to reveal their landing to anyone. Bonnette takes the oath but she imagines a trick to raise the alarm without being a perjurer. She leaves and, approaching Brioude, begins to call out to the stones that are in her path, shouting “Péïra, peïra, y te dize que l’eneme z’y dien la vidzéïra!” » (Pierre, Pierre, I tell you that the enemy is in the guardhouse).

The Brivadois first think that Alvier's shepherdess has lost her mind, but seeing her persistence in repeating these words with fear, they end up understanding the warning. They close the city gates. The Normans did not take long to arrive but they found the city in a state of defense and failed in their attempt and suffered a cruel defeat.

In memory of this event, the Brivadois wanted to show their gratitude to the shepherdess of Alvier but the latter, despising the honors of the world, resolved to give herself to God through the contemplative life.

She left her native village and retired to Brioude where she died at a young age.

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