Posted by: anna | September 30, 2009

St Gervais

There is quite a break in the British saints section of the Moscow calendar just now, which gives me a chance to finish thinking about and catching up on last week’s adventures sur le Continent.

Another church we visited in Paris was St-Gervais-et-St-Protais in the Marais, home of the Franciscan Fraternités Monastiques de Jérusalem. What I did not know was the great Couperin tradition attached to this church and its organs! But I couldn’t have looked at or heard the organ anyway, so perhaps it was as well not to be frustrated. And I know now; for the next visit to Paris I must check Pariscope for organ recitals. The French Wikipedia article has links to lots of history and photos of the church, and there may be some pending from AP. Ken Broadhurst has good photos of some of the glass, which I liked but couldn’t see well as it was an overcast day – he has a good camera! In fact the more I look the more I want to go back, because it has misericords as well. It was very quiet, and unlike most churches one goes into, is palpably first and foremost a house of prayer. But they don’t mind visitors as long as you don’t venerate the icons…

So, SS Gervase and Protais, another introduction and an impetus to learn more. The feast of SS Nazarius, Gervase, Protase, and Celsus of Milan are coming up on 14 October, so I’ll link back here then, but the story is not a long one. Of course I have another connection to St Gervais, who seems to have been separated from his twin in the name of St-Gervais-les-bains, in the Haute-Savoie, the nearest town to the college chalet. The town is named for the dedication of one of its churches; there is some history (in French) here. And indeed St Protais is there too. I suppose calling a little town St-Gervais-et-St-Protais-les-Bains would be unwieldy. In five visits to the immediate area I have yet to explore St Gervais properly – perhaps if I am fortunate enough to be asked again I will go a day early and stay in the town to discover it a bit. Going back later is not a good idea, as one does not usually look one’s civilised best after 10 days working at the chalet!

Saint Gervais et Saint Protais, priez pour nous!

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