Friday, January 13, 2012

Paris avec Philippe

My friend Philip Johnson, pictured below, is a seminarian for the Diocese of Raleigh and invited me to join him for a Christmas voyage to France.

Philip studied French and spent some time studying in Paris so did a good job navigating the Metro as well as helping me learn how to make the nasal "tro" sound in "Metro". Takes a lot of practice but I think I've almost got it down. He had to put up with listening to me.

Our view of the roof and spire of La Sainte-Chapelle while we waited in the queue to enter. Louis IX built the masterpiece to house his relics of the Passion of Our Lord and, in particular the crown of thorns. I chatted with two Italian priests from Milano while we passed the time.

The exterior apse of the chapel is more beautiful than the facade. The chapel is the only remaining structure of Louis' palace.

Well, maybe not; you decide. The chapel is significant principally for its gothic windows, considered a masterpiece of the style designed to maximize the amount of light entering the structure and to make it seem almost as if the walls disappear, the roof of the chapel floating on light.

Two angels on the carved wood baldacchino over the sanctuary hold an image of the crown of thorns, central symbol of Christian devotion according to Louis' conception for the chapel. The furnishings do not remain as the chapel was partially destroyed during the demonic reign of terror in the French revolution.

The rose window. Nothing I could offer by way of description would do it justice. Just look and find out more about what the word "awe" can mean.

Come back soon for more of Paris and France.

Au revoir, mon amis!


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