The priest of Cucugnan / Le curé de Cucugnan

The story of the priest of Cucugnan is based on an anecdote about a priest from … Ginestas:

Pan pan pan !
— Qui tusta debàs ?
— Lo paire Borràs.
— Qual demandatz ?
— De gents de Ginestàs.
— Aicí n’i a pas, anatz pus bas.
(En infèrn) — Intratz, intratz, n’i en manca pas.
Hercule Birat - Lo sermon del paire Boràs

Knock knock! / Who knocks on the door below ? / Father Bourras. / What do you want? / People from Ginestas. / There are none here. Go see below. / (In hell) Come in, do come in, there are many here.
But writers who came after Birat, as was the case for Roumanille, Daudet and Achille Mir, thought the name Cucugnan (lien page commune PTCM) had a more savoury ring to it! This is how Achille Mir begins his tale:
Monsur l’abat Martin, curat de Cucunhan
Èra bon coma lo bon pan,
E tot lo monde l’adorava.
Quand un parossian recoltava
A l’òrt, al camp, quicòm de bon,
Vite, vite, un present a monsur lo Ritor !
Al temps dals pòrcs, èra ’na manna ;
E sa madòna, la Marianna,
Qu’èra pas graciosa dos còps,
En vesent lombets, salcissòts,
Arribar ’la parabastada,
Bascalava coma ’na fada.
E paimens lo brave curat,
Tant cherit e tant onorat
De sa pichòta tropelada,
Aviá son ama entaïnada.
Cregatz qu’èra pas sens rason,
Car lo dimenge, a son sermon,
Pauquis de fidèls assistavan,
E los pus exacts i roncavan.
Achille Mir

Father Martin, the priest of Cucugnan, was a man of integrity, loved by all.
Unfortunately, not many people went to church on Sundays and those who did tended to snore …

But there is more to Cucugnan than its priest : there is lo Mètge (the physician) who, according to popular tradition as in plays (Prospèr Estieu, Max Roqueta) is said to be able to bring back from the dead the ones no one would wish to meet again!

In Cucugnan, the tale has been honoured with its personal outlet, the Fête du Conte in July, with a “Sermon Contest”! And last but not least, in the heart of the village, a theatrical/visual interpretation of the Sermon du Curé de Cucugnan is presented in the Théâtre Achille Mir.