Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

11/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Sacred spot guards the relics of Mary Magdalene

The Basilique Ste-Madeleine or Basilica Church of St. Mary Magdalene in Vézelay is the largest Romanesque church in France. It is only 10 yards shorter than the Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris. Reportedly guarding the relics of St. Mary Magdalene, Vézelay was a major medieval pilgrimage destination and saw the launch of the Second and Third Crusades.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented. But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament) which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented. But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament) which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

11/15/2012 (1 year ago)

Published in Travel

Keywords: The Basilique Ste-Madeleine, Notre Dame, Mary Magdalene, Romanesque


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) The majority of the church's construction dates back to the 12th Century. The church has a Romanesque nave and Gothic choir, both full of light. The narthex is an impressive 4,000 square feet, nearly rivaling the Notre-Dame.

The church's basilica is also famed for its remarkable Romanesque sculptures that adorn the tympanums and capitals. There is also a beautiful view of Vézelay's lush valleys and rolling hills from the terrace behind the church.

An amalgamation of Romanesque, Gothic and 19th-century work, the west front is not nearly as interesting as the treasures inside. Built around 1150 in the Romanesque style, it was given a Gothic central gable and south tower in the 13th century. Restored in 1840 by Viollet-le-Duc, the builder also added a Romanesque-style tympanum of the Last Judgment to the central portal.

The spacious narthex or porch of the church contains three richly sculptured portals, dating from about 1115. The great central tympanum depicts the Mission of the Apostles, or the preaching the Good News that Christ commanded at Pentecost. In the center is a large figure of Christ seated within an almond-shaped halo. Bolts of lightning -- or either rays of light shoot out from Christ's hands and hit the apostles in the heads.

Providing a fascinating insight into the medieval worldview and popular legends of the time, the inner archivolt around the tympanum and the lintel below are populated with all the people of the world who will hear the message of Christ. These include the "Monstrous Race" of foreign lands, pictured as people with giant ears.

The pilgrims' route around the church is indicated by the majestic flowers over the north door. The north tympanum depicts the pilgrims to Emmaus and the Ascension of Christ, while the south tympanum depicts various scenes from the Nativity.

The nave, also constructed in the 12th century, is one of the oldest parts of the church. Its architecture is exceptionally attractive, with more light than most Romanesque interiors.

The measurements of the church were chosen to create a spectacular effect in the nave twice a year. Nine pools of light fall upon the center of the nave, precisely at noon on the summer solstice. This forms a path of light leading to the altar. At midday on the winter solstice, the pools of light rest on the upper capitals of the north arcade.

The vast majority of biblical capitals illustrate the Old Testament, with John the Baptist and the story of Lazarus and Dives being the only New Testament themes represented.

But the most famous capital at Vezelay combines the two: known as the Mystic Mill, it shows Moses grinding grain, which symbolizes the Old Testament into flour - the New Testament, which Paul solemnly collects in a sack.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for August 2014
Refugees:
That refugees, forced by violence to abandon their homes, may find a generous welcome and the protection of their rights.
Oceania: That Christians in Oceania may joyfully announce the faith to all the people of that region.



Comments


More Travel

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes Watch

Image of The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes was founded to aid pilgrims who were traveling to Lourdes.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes is an area of ground surrounding the shrine to Our Lady of Lourdes in the town of Lourdes, France. This ground is owned and administrated by the Roman Catholic Church, and has several functions, including devotional ... continue reading


The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe Watch

Image of The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is founded near where a apparition is believed to have appeared near Saint Juan Diego.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe is a Roman Catholic church, a minor basilica, and a National Shrine of Mexico to the north of Mexico City. It is one of the most important and most visited pilgrimage sites in Catholicism. The Basilica is visited by millions ... continue reading


The apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary at Fatima Watch

Image of Francisco Marto, along with hist sister Jacinto, and their cousin Lucia dos Santos, reported seeing an apparition of the Blessed Virgin Mary and angels.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Francisco Marto (June 11, 1908-April 4, 1919) and his sister Jacinta Marto (March 11, 1910-February 20, 1920), also known as Blessed Francisco Marto and Blessed Jacinta Marto, together with their cousin, Lúcia dos Santos (1907-2005) were the children from ... continue reading


The Church of St. James the Greater Watch

Image of The Church of St. James the Greater has been the site of numerous holy apparitions.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Apostle St. James the Greater, of whom the church of St. James in Medjugorje was dedicated, is the Patron Saint of Pilgrims. This is just one of many acts of God's providence that helps to reveal the larger picture behind the events of Medjugorje. LOS ... continue reading


St. Michael's Mount Watch

Image of St. Michael's Mount is located on an area that is supposedly part of a mythical kingdom that was destroyed by the sea.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St Michael's Mount is a tidal island located 366 meters, (400 yd) off the Mount's Bay coast of Cornwall in the United Kingdom. It is a civil parish and is united with the town of Marazion by a man-made causeway of granite setts, passable between mid-tide and low ... continue reading


St. Peter's Basilica Watch

Image of St. Peter's Basilica is considered the most Holy site in Catholicism and a marvel of Renaissance architecture.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

St. Peter's Basilica, is a Late Renaissance church located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world. It is regarded as one of the holiest Catholic sites. It has been described as "holding a unique ... continue reading


The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family Watch

Image of The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family has been under construction since 1882.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Basilica and Expiatory Church of the Holy Family is large, Roman Catholic Church in Barcelona, Spain. Although the church is incomplete, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in November of 2010 Pope Benedict XVI consecrated the church and proclaimed it a ... continue reading


Ireland's great contribution to European sculpture Watch

Image of The ruins of Monasterboice are the remains of an early, fifth century Christian settlement.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The historic ruins of Monasterboice are of an early Christian settlement in County Louth in Ireland, north of Drogheda. It was founded in the late fifth century by St. Buite who died around 521, and was an important center of religion and learning until the ... continue reading


Agia Triada Monastery Watch

Image of The monastery is devoted to the Life-Giving spring, Saint John the Theologian, and the Holy Trinity.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Agia Triada Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri peninsula in the Chania Prefecture, Crete, Greece. It also contains a museum. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The monastery, which means "Holy Trinity", was built in the 17th century by two ... continue reading


The Tower of David Watch

Image of The Tower of David has been demolished and rebuilt numerous times by the rulers of Jerusalem, including Arabs, Crusaders and Turks.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Tower of David is an ancient citadel located near the Jaffa Gate entrance to the Old City of Jerusalem. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Built to strengthen a strategically weak point in the Old City's defenses, the citadel was constructed during the second ... continue reading


All Travel News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Ezekiel 34:1-11
1 The word of Yahweh was addressed to me as ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
1 [Psalm Of David] Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack ... Read More

Gospel, Matthew 20:1-16
1 'Now the kingdom of Heaven is like a landowner ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for August 20th, 2014 Image

St. Bernard of Clairvaux
August 20: St. Bernard, Abbot and Doctor of the Church St. Bernard was born ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter