Tuesday, August 21, 2012
PARIS AND THE CHURCH - PART II
|BISHOP JACQUES BOSSUET - THE LION OF MEAUX|
In a typically schizophrenic evolution of Parisian society the Jardin du Luxembourg area has become a centre for many Catholic institutions, whilst Place Saint Sulpice and its fountain have become a focus of radical Left Wing political demonstrations during times of unrest. Two of the famous ecclesiastics featured on the fountain are Bishops Fenelon and Bossuet ( "the Lion of Meaux") who were, for long fiercely opposed in a very public doctrinal argument , which the saintly and orthodox Bossuet won, being vindicated by the Inquisition. Fenelon, who was twenty four years younger than Bossuet, acknowledged his errors, and publicly recanted and held his peace thereafter. However, given this fact it is odd that Fenelon 's statue is the one facing the church and Bishop Bossuet looks off on the left hand face from Fenelon.
|THE SANCTUARY - SAINT SULPICE|
|YOUR SCRIBE CONTEMPLATES THE SANCTUARY|
WHILST STANDING OPPOSITE THE SUPERB PULPIT
|DETAIL OF THE HIGH ALTAR FRONTAL|
The Organ above the entrance is a very highly-regarded instrument, and on the day we visited in 2009, it was being tuned note by note. As we were about to leave the great church a magnificent note sounding like the siren of a vast ocean liner reverberated through the church - it was truly awesome!
We had the opportunity to look into the Sacristy and to admire the superb cabinet work of the Vestment Presses and drawers.
|NATURAL LIGHT ABOUNDS SPOILING THIS PHOTO OF THE BEAUTIFUL CABINET WORK|
IN THE VESTMENT PRESSES AND DRAWERS IN THE SACRISTY
Saint Sulpice has had a very rich history. The terrible events of the French Revolution ensured that. There is in the church a memorial to the Carmelite Fathers dragged out of their nearby Monastery and executed during the Revolution. If one needed any further memorial / reminder, when we stayed in the area in 1986 we looked out from a bagwash laundry onto the wall of that same Monastery upon which was a fresh black piece of graffiti calling in French for "Death to the Fathers". It is interesting to note that for a considerable time the renowned Pere Lacordaire was based in the same Monastery whilst preaching at Notre Dame.
|SPLENDID ARCHITECTURAL DETAIL|
SAINT SULPICE, PARIS