Saint Révérien was a Benedictine Cluniac priory on the Compostela road thirty miles south west of Vézelay. Pilgrims who went by way of the Limoges Road took two principal routes as they made their way from the great shrine of Mary Magdalene on their way to Galicia. Due west lay the crossing over the Loire at La Charité and south, the route was directed towards the city of Nevers. Those pilgrims who passed by Saint Révérien would have been traveling towards Nevers.
The shrine of Saint Reverianus had originally been donated in 886 to the cathedral of Saint-Cyr at Nevers by the emperor Charles the Bald. It was acquired by Cluny in 1076 and monks were installed at the new priory.
Reverianus was a Christian who had been sent from Italy by Pope Felix as a missionary in the third century to assist in the evangelisation of the Aedui Gauls of Burgundy. In about 273 he had been martyred by order of the Emperor Aurelian. According to legend he was a cephalophorous martyr, that is after execution by decapitation he rose and carried his own head.
An oratory had been built over his tomb and the relics of Reverianus attracted visitors for the miracle working oil they produced.
A new Romanesque church was built in the twelfth century and masons and sculptors arrived from the nearby Cluniac centre at La Charité. This accounts for the remarkable quality of the capital carvings in the nave and ambulatory which bear the hallmarks of the Burgundian Cluniac style.