The plaster hill overlooking Paris in the north knew, in honor of Mars and Mercury, temples that still have some vestiges. Their names are one of the etymologies of the word Montmartre.
The second, Monte de los Mártires (Mons Martyrum), is due to Saint Denis, the first Christian apostle of the future capital, sent to Christianize this part of Gaul. He would have resided with his disciples in the plaster quarries. A very old opinion places in this place his martyrdom by decapitation.
The Abbey of Montmartre, consecrated in 1147, maintains its cult, renewed by the discovery of a cave marked with its name. This abbey knew during the 659 years of its existence, times of prosperity and vicissitudes, and its last abbess was guillotined when the French Revolution. In 1843, the last vestiges of the abbey disappeared. The current church of San Pedro de Montmartre, testifies, even today, the great hours of this abbey.
The most prestigious haunts of the religious history of France have passed through Montmartre.
San Germán, the queen Santa Clotilde, San Cloud, San Germán de Auxerre, San Hugo, San Bernardo and San Pedro Venerable, assisting the Pope Eugenio III who consecrated the church and the altar of the abbey, Saint Thomas Aquinas while he professed in the Sorbonne, Saint Joan of Arc during the siege of Paris, Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Saint Francis of Salles, Bérulle, Ollier, Blessed Maria de la Incarnación, Saint Vincent de Paul, Saint Luisa de Marillac, Saint John Eudes who had the celebration there first office in honor of the Sacred Heart …
On August 15, 1534, San Ignacio de Loyola, San Francisco Javier and some of his friends decided, after reflections, meditations and prayers, to unite by a triple vow of poverty, chastity and mutual consideration for the salvation of souls. They climbed the hill of Montmartre, particularly appreciated by St. Ignatius, for its solitary and sacred character. These first Jesuit fathers devoted themselves to God without reservation, pronounced their vows and made resolutions. This is how they founded the Society of Jesus.
And in modern times, during and after the construction of the basilica: Saint Teresa of Lisieux, who came in 1887 at the age of fifteen to pray in the crypt, Blessed Charles de Foucauld (window in the narthex), who consecrated himself to Sacred Heart the basilica in 1889 and came here a night of adoration in 1907, Giuseppe Roncalli, future Blessed John XXIII, when he was Apostolic Nuncio in France (1944-1953), and Pope John-Paul II, who became a pilgrim of the Sacred Heart during his apostolic trip in France, on June 1, 1980.