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  • : le blog ut-pupillam-oculi par : Eric
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24 novembre 2007 6 24 /11 /novembre /2007 10:18
Nérac is a charming little town in Lot-et-Garonne ( South West of France ), near Agen. In the second half of the 18th Century, this nice classical-style Church of St. Nicholas was built. 


The paintings and frescoes are from the second half of the 19th century. Gustave de Lassale-Bordes was the main designer.Paintings of Adam and Eva, the apostles, and biblical stories are typical of the religiosity of that time.


The stain-glass windows were made by Joseph Villiet from 1853 to 1875. One of them as seen below represents Noah.

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18 novembre 2007 7 18 /11 /novembre /2007 01:36
Dès le IIème siècle, un monument funéraire rappelait le martyre de saint Pierre au Vatican et celui de saint Paul sur la Voie d' Ostie.
Au IVème siècle, le Pape Sylvestre fit élever des basiliques en ces lieux. Elle furent reconstruites au cours des âges. Rebâtie au XVIème siècle, la basilique de Saint-Pierre fut consacrée en 1626. Celle de Saint-Paul, rebâtie deux fois en 386 et après l' incendie de 1823, fut consacrée par le bienheureux Pie IX en 1854 deux jours après la définition du dogme de l' Immaculée Conception.


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11 novembre 2007 7 11 /11 /novembre /2007 19:08

St. Gregory of Tours ( 5th century ) tells us the story about St. Seurin ( or Severin from latin = Severinus ).

The bishop of Bordeaux St. Amand, around 398, was begging God to give him an auxiliary. Soon afterwards he met Seurin, who was born in Bordeaux, and was then the bishop of Sens. He introduced him into the cathedral and sang the psalms.

An oratory was built on the tombs of the saint bishops outside the ramparts. It was devastated by the Wisigoths in the middle of the 5th century. A cemetery was built around the oratory and then a suburb. It became under the Merovingians ( 508-639 ) " a fortress of Christianity. "
Around 980, the heirs of the Duke of Gascony, Sanche, built a new church under the name of St. Seurin with a roman crypt.
The nave was constructed in the 12th century.

The church was on the way of Santiago de Compostella and the relics were always venerated. The dukes were great benefactors of the sanctuary. The future Pope Clement V was one of the members of its chapter. And also Pierre Ruffi or in the 18th century Joseph Secondat de Montesquieu, brother of the great author.

At the beginning of the 11th century marvellous legends appeared, such as the sword of Roland ( la Chanson de Roland ) which was laid down on the altar of the church and then buried in the cemetery, among Roland' s companions.


At the beginning of the 15th century, the charming chapel of Our Lady of the Rose was built. There is a marvellous alabaster retable in it and beautiful stained-glass windows.

Unfortunately the church was in a bad state in the 18th century, so the floor was raised and the pillars were recovered by new stones. In 1828, the western porch was destroyed and a new fasad was erected by Poitevin with sculptures by Maggesi. Afterwards the cloister was demolished... 


In the crypt we can admire stone coffins from the 6th century and the relics of saint Fort. ( Fort meaning strong in French ).
The sacristy was built in the 18th century to replace the old one. It shelters an interesting collection of paintings figuring different popes, cardinals, bishops, etc.    

We also can admire near the choir a beautiful alabaster retable from the 15th century in the English style, and nice 15th-century sculptures. 


The Sacred Heart Chapel is from the 19th century.    


               Joan of Arc

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4 novembre 2007 7 04 /11 /novembre /2007 21:14

From 1864 to 1886 St. Mary' s Church in La Bastide ( right-bank of Bordeaux ) was built in a Byzantine style by Abadie, the architect of the basilica of Montmartre in Paris.
Its 56m bell-tower stands on the skyline of this working-class area. 25 statues by Mora represent the apostles and different saints together with the Blessed Virgin Mary.

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26 octobre 2007 5 26 /10 /octobre /2007 19:53

The Great Bell was the town belfry as far back as the 15th century. It replaced the old St. Eloi ( Ely ) Gate that opened onto the 13th-century ramparts and was used by pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostella.


On the right, stands the church ( 12th Century ) rebuilt in 1497. It was the main oratory of the Town Hall.
On July 24th every year, the Head of municipal corporation and his men ( les " jurats " ) took oath on the Lord' s Precious Body. Then they used to go on procession to St. Andrew's Cathedral.
On August 1st, they attended the Holy Spirit Mass and promised on the Cross to govern faithfully the town and to protect the poors.
This took an end under Louis XIV's reign, who nominated himself the Lord Mayor.
St. Jeanne of Lestonnac, who founded in 1607 the Congregation of Notre-Dame, was one of its famous parishioners.

Under the Revolution, the church was a warehouse.


In the middle of the 1970's the church was in a state of abandon, and the inside was ruined. In the 1980's the Bishop of Bordeaux of that time deconsacrated it. It was occupied afterwards by islamic squatters...
Now it is the main Church of Institut du Bon Pasteur, who restored it. The new Institute has permission to say Mass in Gregorian ( or St. Pius V ).



Cardinal Castrillon has recently ordained priests in St. Eloi Church.

Link :

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26 octobre 2007 5 26 /10 /octobre /2007 19:53
St. Martial Church is one of the first churches to be built after the French revolution. The first stone was blessed  May 1st, 1839, by Bishop Donnet who wanted a new sanctuary dedicated to St. Martial, apostle of Limoges, and founder of St. Andrew's Cathedral in Bordeaux.

With the first stone, was also blessed a medal to recall the anniversary of the consecration of the Kingdom of France to the Blessed Virgin Mary  by King Louis XIII.

The church opened in October 1840.

The architect was Michel Bonfin, whose father had built the Rohan Palace ( now the Town Hall, then the Bishop palace ).
Its Greek style was not praised when it was inaugurated, but intrepid Father Drivet, the first curate, was in need of a church as soon as possible.
Times have changed...Now the church is almost empty, and only on saturday evening and sunday morning can we hear mass.

In 1854 a tower-bell was erected. The church suffered during the British bombings of the Northern parts of Bordeaux in WW 2.
Inside the church we can admire an interesting wooden statue of St. Martial, and two old statues of Our Lady. 

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15 octobre 2007 1 15 /10 /octobre /2007 15:05

Like the one on the cathedral, the belltower of St. Michael' Church is an isolated construction, some 49 ft. away from the main building.
To the people of Bordeaux, it is known as the " spire  " . it is the tallest building in the south-west of France and has stood at over 370 ft. since the 15th century.
It was used for the first Chappe telegraph and, fot many years, its basement attracted visitors who came to see a rather macabre spectacle : mummies of parishioners...
A 22-bell peal mounted in 1865 rings melodiously out every 15 minutes.


On the north front, you can see fleurs-de-lys, symbol of France, as the Church was built in a part of the town, where people were predominently favourable to France, and not to England, who controlled the province untill 1453. There are also shells, symbol of the Order of St. Michael, patron of France, founded by Louis XI.


The church was built between 1384 and 1456. And after 1475, different chapels were built around the nave.The cathedra ( 1753 ), with a statue of St. Michael above it, is one of the most beautiful of the town. The church is furnished by nice 18th-century statues, paintings and ironwrought gates and railings.
The windows were damaged, in 1940 during the bombings of the town, and many were destroyed.
St. Joseph' s Chapel, near the nave, is remarkable by its sculptures and furniture.
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14 octobre 2007 7 14 /10 /octobre /2007 20:27
Once a Jesuit church and dedicated to St. Francis Xavier in 1676, it became St. Paul and a constitutional parish in 1791, then a warehouse ...In 1802, the new bishop d' Aviau restored the parish under the name of St. Paul-St. Francis Xavier and in 1845 it was reconsecrated. In 1852, it was given a bell-tower.


It is a small copy of the Gesu in Rome, ( 19m X 45m ). Its altar, flanked by marble columns supporting a canopy, comprises two magnificent pieces of sculpture by Guillaume Coustou II ( 1716-1777 ), son of Guillaume Coustou ( 1677-1746 ), the famous sculptor. It is the apotheosis of St. Francis Xavier, and an exquisite marble tabernacle. 


Next to the cathedra, you can see the beautiful chapel of St. Colombe ( Louis XV-style ). Next to the chancel, there are two elegant paintings by Jaurat ( 1697-1789 ) of the models of the Jesuit youth, St. Aloysius Gonzaga, and St. Stanislas Kotska.


Portrait of Guillaume II Coustou, by François-Hubert Drouais ( 1727-1775 ), Château de Versailles.

The church is now a Dominican church. The friars live in a Convent on the right of the church. Their library is open to the public.


Lien : http://www.dominicains-bx.com

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13 octobre 2007 6 13 /10 /octobre /2007 00:31
This exquisite church, designed by Pierre Michel du Plessis and  Fr Fontaine, was built between 1684 and 1707. It was the chapel of a Dominican convent and was named after Saint Dominique. After the Concordat, and the expulsion of the friars, it was renamed Notre-Dame, when it became a parish.



Its single barrel-vaulted nave highlights the elegance of the balustrade and wrought ironwork in the chancel.
It is usual to consider it as having a wordly charm, and François Mauriac asserted that it was a " harmonious and moderate church, warm in winter, a place to which those who succeed in establishing for themselves a life on earth that provides all the creature comforts, come to ensure that eternity will give them as much pleasure..."  


                                St. Paul


          Our Lady offering the Rosary to St. Dominic


 Virgin Chapel

Between 1712 and 1741 Friar André, op, who died at 91 y.o. was the interior designer. He was a talented painter.
The main altar ( 1751-1759 ) was designed by Jean-Baptiste Péru


 In this church the funerals of Catholic MP Albert de Mun were celebrated in October 1914

Many paintings, sculptures, and frescoes inside the church are just splendid !

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5 octobre 2007 5 05 /10 /octobre /2007 02:05
  Once the minster of the Benedictine abbey, the sumptuous Romanesque Holy Cross Church ( église Sainte-Croix ) was built between the 10th and the 13th Centuries. The interior, which has ribbed vaulting, contains some interesting Gothic capitals, a 16th-Century bas-relief, and fine 17th-Century paintings.
The church was restaured in the 19th Century by Paul Abadie.


The nave has five bays, two side aisles, a transept, and a nine-sided apse preceded by a bay and two apsidal chapels.


Between the south aisle and the transept, there is a Romanesque capital ( " Abraham' s sacrifice " ). Two more Romanesque capitals can be seen further on : " Daniel in the lions ", and " Jesus amidst the Pharisees ".

The minster was originally part of the Benedictine abbey. The monks settled in what was then an isolated spot in the 7th Century, far from any town, and it was in their abbey that circa 679, St. Monmolin, Abbot of Fleury-sur-Loire, now Saint-Benoît-sur-Loire, died when he was passing through Bordeaux.

Ravaged by the Vikings, the Benedictine monastery was destroyed, but the chapel containing the saint' s relics was left standing.

Two centuries later, the monastery came back in existence and its church thought to have been built between 1091 and 1120. The cloister was demolished during the French Revolution. Bishop d' Aviau reconsecrated the church at the beginning of the 19th Century.
In 1893 digs uncovered a number of stone tombs from the Merovingian period.

Famous organ, built by Dom Bedos de Celles ( 1706-1779 ).

From " Visiting Bordeaux ", Editions Sud-Ouest, 2007 
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