“As a body is one though it has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though many, are one body, so also Christ. For in one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit. Now the body is not a single part, but many.” (1 Cor 12:12-14)
Cathedral Notre-Dame de Paris
The Cathedral with its sculptures and stained glass windows show the heavy influence of naturalism, unlike that of earlier Romanesque architecture. It was one of the very first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction took place throughout the Gothic period. Construction started in 1143 and was completed by the mid 1300s. The 17th century organ is still entirely functional. The cathedral treasury contains a reliquary, which houses some of Catholicism’s most important relics, including the purported Crown of Thorns, a fragment of the True Cross, and one of the Holy Nails. St. Joan of Arc was beatified here. It is one of the first buildings in the world to have a “flying buttress” to support the cathedral’s walls that continued to grow in height. Many gargoyles and chimeras were designed on the outside with spouts for water run-off or as column supports. You can climb 387 steps to the top to view the gargoyles and the bell closely and enjoy a beautiful view of the city.
Do I love and pray for my community and church?
The Sainte-Chapelle or “Holy Chapel”, a two story palace chapel on the Île de la Cité (now part of La Conciergerie), was built to house Louis IX’s collection of relics of Christ. The Sainte-Chapelle is one of the earliest surviving buildings of the Capetian royal palace on the Île de la Cité. It has one of the most extensive 13th-century stained glass collections anywhere in the world. The chapel is an example of Rayonnant Gothic architecture. Fifteen huge mid-13th-century stained glass windows fill the nave and apse, while a large rose window with Flamboyant (flaming) tracery dominates the western wall. The stained glass windows starts at the western bay of the north wall with scenes from the Book of Genesis. The next ten windows of the nave follow clockwise with scenes from Exodus, Joseph, Numbers/Leviticus, Joshua/Deuteronomy, Judges, (moving to the south wall) Jeremiah/Tobias, Judith/Job, Esther, David and the Book of Kings. The final window, occupying the westernmost bay of the south wall brings this narrative of sacral kingship right up to date with a series of scenes showing the rediscovery of Christ’s relics, the miracles they performed, and their relocation to Paris in the hands of King Louis himself. The three windows of the eastern apse illustrate the New Testament, featuring scenes of The Passion (centre) with the Infancy of Christ (left) and the Life of John the Evangelist (right)
Am I involved in my Church? Where might I be called to get involved more? “For to everyone who has, more will be given” (Mt 25:29)
The Basilica of the Sacred Heart of Paris dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in Paris. The basilica is located at the summit of Montmartre- the highest point of the city. Construction began in 1875 and was finished in 1914. It was consecrated after the end of World War I in 1919. The mosaic in the apse entitled Christ in Majesty is among the largest in the world. There are 270 steps to the top of the dome, which offers an impressive panoramic view of Paris. Perpetual adoration of the Blessed Sacrament has continued uninterrupted in the basilica since 1885 (132 years). No photography is allowed inside of the Basilica.
Where might my community be called to grow in faith, hope and charity?
“God says: I have willed that one should need another and that all should be my ministers in distributing the graces and gifts they have received from me.” St Catherine of Sienna
Worship and Praise at Picpus
“Our understanding is limited: thus the Spirit’s mission is to introduce the Church, in an ever new way from generation to generation, into the greatness of Christ’s mystery.” Pope Benedict XVI
Food and Friendship at Picpus
“No one is without a family in this world: the Church is a home and family for everyone, especially those who `labor and are heavy laden’.” St. John Paul II