Louis IX, King of France, Saint

Given that St. Louis is the Patron Saint of New Orleans, and the Cathedral there is named after him, it seemed fitting to make a pilgrimage to his resting place. He’s at the Basilica of St. Denis, which contains the Royal Necropolis. It’s built over the grave of St. Denis, early Bishop of Paris.

stdenis3

Come to find out, there’s only a little bit of him left — part of a finger to be exact, and it’s in a beautiful reliquary in a special chapel which predominates the upper Sanctuary at the very crown of the church.

stdenis6

Almost all of the Catholic French monarchs are buried there including everyone’s favorite, Marie Antoinette. She’s in the middle, on the left.

stdenis5

Many of the tombs were originally decorated with these funereal statues. During the revolution they were saved by a savvy statesman who claimed them as national art treasures. The family remains were all removed, and the funereal statues / coffins were removed to a museum. Later, everything was moved back, but most of the monarchs’ remains have been placed in a large common ossuary, except for those who could be identified. For instance, the monarchs after Napoleon, and Marie Antionette and her husband Louis XVI, who were moved from the grave they were placed in quite unceremoniously after they were murdered, had their remains placed in their own graves here.

stdenis4

Here is a cape worn by Louis VII during some of the royal ceremonies of St. Denis, back in his day.

stdenis2

And below is from a print, showing how the Church was draped and made ready for the funeral of a Queen of France.
stdenis8

First Contact – France

When in France… not surprisingly, no one speaks English here! Oh well, nothing like learning a new language.

My first meal and first Church in France. Wow.
DSCN0230 This was at La Couronne, and every bite of every dish was a marvelous new experience.

Having a GPS is great except for the fact that it’s entirely possible to get to your destination without really knowing where you are in the meantime. Hence the fact I’m not quite sure which Church this is. But it’s tres jolie, and the point is, the organ looked rather old, but sounded magnificent while the organist was doodling around.

Well, I will have to post it later, the file is too big. Off into the day!

Update

The brief (yet large) video inside the Normandy Abbey.