Second looks are generally a worthwhile thing. Today Edmund and I decided to forgo the tourist sights and headed back to the Abbey of St. Michael of Frigolet. We have learned that it is impossible to see and take in everything the first time around especially when you have been out all day, are starting to get tired and hungry. So while we had a good look around yesterday today was all about taking our time, looking at each pillar and painting, stopping at each altar site and enjoying the quiet.
We took a picnic lunch with us today to sit under a tree in the big field that looks on to the cross. Several others had the same idea and there were a number of families enjoying the heat and beauty of the day in such a serene surroundings. With the exception of the wasps it was a lovely place to be. After our lunch Edmund wanted a siesta but didn’t much care for the ants along with the wasps so we wandered around the grounds until everything re-opened at two.
The Entrance to the Abbey as you cross the road
The Walls of the Abbey as you glance down the street
The Chapel bell tower with the statue overlooking
A close up
If you notice the opposite side of the tower there is another statue facing the opposite direction
The Walk way as you go into the Abbey grounds, walled on both sides
Archway leading to one of the side paths
The Walk way as you come in (I took this looking back)
The towers can be seen as you approach from the road
Once the church was open we went in to take in as much as we could. I am not sure that the brain can hold all those memories at once, fortunately we had the camera and Ipad. The stained glass was detailed, the paintings told a story and there was symbolism upon symbolism everywhere. The ceiling would have been great to view if you could have laid down and looked up to see the intricacies of the beams as well as the artwork and angels with huge wing spans. The columns had a different saint on the front and back. It is amazing and something to behold.
The splendor, magnificence and detail in this place really is awe inspiring. There is loving detail put into the story of the life of Jesus as it unfolds. Add to that the majesty of the ceiling and there are times when it all looks heavenly and you hope to see the angels before you and hear the heavenly choir. Visitors who come through speak in whispers and even that little sound can be heard clearly.
The Center Aisle
Here is some of the detailing on the columns. On one you can see a disciple
Tried to get some good detailing so the intricate work can be seen
This is one of the side altars dedicated to St. Teresa of Liseaux
the Altar for St. Michael as he holds Satan underfoot, again the detailing around
The Artwork above the altar of St. Joseph's chapel tells the story of Jesus' life here is the birth story
This was in one of the corners of the chapel ceiling
The High Altar
Another column with 3 saints and lots of detailing all around
No I did not lie on the floor like I was tempted but I think this one of the ceiling came out pretty good
The Ceiling and Stained glass above the door. Had to remember to turn around to look too!
And here is the window
the detailing that you walk through to get into the church, easy to miss if you don't look back
The sun shining through the trees on a very still day
Some things are worth repeating and this Abbey was one of those places for both Edmund and I. We have felt the presence of the divine as we participate in this pilgrimage and have found wonderful treasures along the route that we have been travelling. Our education time is quickly nearing its end here in France but we have finished it on the highest possible note here at Abbey St. Michael de Frigolet and we are happy to have deviated from the original plan and schedule to have found this place. In one of my earlier blogs I included the poem of Robert Frost The Road Not Taken and it really has made all the difference.