I have loads of photos to share from my recent travels, but for the time being I’ll just post a few that I took today, as I visited various Marian images in the city of Paris, France.
Mass this morning was at the Shrine of Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. I like to celebrate Mass there and the sisters are very accommodating. No photos there. But from there I went on to the Basilica of Our Lady of Victories, Paris’ Marian shrine, where I took part in Eucharistic adoration and the rosary that followed (they pray the entire rosary – i.e. all four sets of mysteries; I stayed only for the joyful mysteries). I’ve posted various about Our Lady of Victories on various prior occasions. Here is a photo of the famous crowned statue of Our Lady there, which I took this morning:
After the obligatory stop in the Catholic gift shop across the street, in which I bought a beautiful but over-priced greeting card, I made my way over to the great and monumental church of St. Eustace (in French, Saint-Eustache). A baptism was taking place there. Baptisms of infants always make me a bit farklempt – so beautiful. Anyway, here is a photo I took of a pietà on a side altar. Note that the image is repeated in one of the window panels above it:
The baptism had an organ accompanist and a cantor, so they sang the short Litany of the Saints, the “Laudate Dominum” after the baptism took place, as well as various other beautiful things. It was very well done. We should have (good) music with our baptisms back home. It might help to attract some of the attendees back to the Church.
Near the back entrance of Saint-Eustache there is this dignified image of Our Lady of Lourdes. I photographed it at an angle that also helps you to appreciate the height of the church – one of the wonderful features of gothic churches, which lift our minds to heaven:
From there I went on to visit the famous Sainte-Chapelle, which of course has scaffolding over part of the outside and is half-filled with it inside. And no, they did not charge me half-price to get in! I’ll post photos of it on another day.
Then, since I was already on the Île de la Cité (City Island – the island in the Seine River on which Notre Dame Cathedral and the Sainte Chapelle are located), I waffled a bit as to whether I should visit Notre Dame again or just head back to where I am staying. Fortunately, I chose to go to Notre Dame. Even though there was the usual long line to get in, when I finally got inside they were about 15 minutes away from starting Vespers. So I stayed for that.
Here is the famous rose window, with its statue of Our Lady beneath it, as I saw it from the waiting line:
Finally, a shot of the dramatic pietà on Notre Dame’s high altar:
Vespers was beautifully sung, and after finishing it I headed back to wear I am staying. Now: time for dinner!