[VIVE LA FRANCE] 1,000 years since pilgrims flocked to Chartres

[VIVE LA FRANCE] 1,000 years since pilgrims flocked to Chartres
[VIVE LA FRANCE] 1,000 years since pilgrims flocked to Chartres

“While the other Notre-Dame, that of Paris, regains its splendor, I invite you all to discover or rediscover this cathedral which stands like a beacon in the heart of Beauce and invites us to introspection and transcendence in front of this jewel of our cultural and religious heritage. » It is with these words that Stéphane Bern, now Eurélien, encourages pilgrims and visitors to (re)discover the crypt of Chartres Cathedral which is celebrating its millennium this year: “From my royal college in Percheron, at the foot of its nine-hundred-year-old abbey church, I wholeheartedly join in the fervor of the festivities that are coming for the millennium of Notre-Dame de Chartres and its crypt. »

1,000 years that pilgrims have flocked to Chartres to pray, since after the fire of 1020 which destroyed the cathedral, Saint Fulbert, bishop of Chartres, rebuilt the building in impressive proportions for the time to adapt to this influx . On the occasion of this millennium, a jubilee year opens in the Beauceron cathedral from September 8, 2024, feast of the Nativity of the Virgin, to August 15, 2025, feast of the Assumption. A year of festivities and spiritual proposals with a double objective. On the one hand, the attraction and conversion of numerous pilgrims with the Virgin Mary, the relic of her Veil has been exhibited there since the 9the century. A route will be set up to move from the crypt to the cathedral, from north to south, from bottom to top, from shadow to light, from the darkness of death to the joy of Heaven.

©Arnaud Hebert

Beautification of the crypt

And, on the other hand, a heritage issue with the beautification of the crypt: repair of the lighting, restoration of certain paintings, creation of a new stained glass window. All these projects are considered in conjunction with the regional department of Cultural Affairs. To do this, new works were commissioned from artists. The painter and sculptor Augustin Frison-Roche must create a new reliquary for the founding saints, a painting, an altar cross as well as a new tabernacle.

©Augustin Frison-Roche

And Fleur Nabert, sculptor, specialist in church fittings and liturgical furniture, will create a half-moon stained glass window in the chapel of the Holy Spirit. A dove in relief will take its place in the center of the bay. Enhanced with silver yellow (a material used since the 14the century), it will be surrounded by a halo of light.

©Fleur Nabert

“Chartres is one of those privileged places in Europe where the art and technique of the master builders translate and stimulate the faith of the Christian people”, recalled the holy Pope John Paul II (letter of August 15, 1994, addressed to the Bishop of Chartres Mgr Perrier). So, like a beacon on “the heavy sheet and the deep swell and the ocean of wheat”, the two spiers of Notre-Dame de Chartres will continue to guide pilgrims and visitors from far and wide. A true hymn of stone and light singing the glory of God and the dignity of man, this jewel of Gothic art will for a long time still attract the crowds who flock there, those who believe in Heaven as well as those who do not. don’t believe…

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