Saturday, May 31, 2014
This festival existed in the 13th century. Established in 1389 by Pope Urban VI, it was celebrated on June 27 in Paris, elsewhere on April 28, often on July 2. Now located on May 31, after the Annunciation and before the birth of Saint John the Baptist, it is also the last day of the month of Mary.
– 8:00 : Mass of the Visitation in the choir presided over by Father Romuald EBO, student priest
– 9:00 : Mass of the Visitation in the choir presided over by Father Alexis GBEWADINOU, student priest
– 12:00 : Mass of the Visitation at the main altar presided over by Father Jean POUTOT, chaplain
– 17h45 : Vespers of the Visitation at the main altar presided over by Father Jean-Pierre CAVEAU, chaplain
Maîtrise Notre-Dame de Paris, Organ of Choir: Johann Vexo
– 18h30 : Mass of the Visitation at the main altar presided over by Father Jean POUTOT
Gospel of the Feast of the Visitation
in the Gospel of Luke (chapter 1; verses 39 to 56)
In those days Mary set off quickly to a city in the mountain of Judea. She entered Zechariah's house and greeted Elizabeth.
Now, when Elizabeth heard Mary's greeting, the child trembled in her. Then Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and cried out with a loud voice: "You are blessed among all women, and the fruit of your womb is blessed. How do I have this happiness that the mother of my Lord comes to me? For when I heard your words of greeting, the child shuddered with joy within me. Blessed is she who believed in the fulfillment of the words spoken to her by the Lord. »
Mary then said: "My soul exalts the Lord, my spirit exalts in God my Savior. He has looked at his humble servant; from now on all ages will call me blessed. The Mighty One did wonders for me; Holy is his name! His love extends from age to age on those who fear him. Deploying the strength of his arm, he scatters the beautiful ones. He overthrows the powerful from their thrones, he lifts up the humble. He fills the hungry with good things, sends the rich away empty-handed. He raises Israel his servant, he remembers his love, the promise made to our fathers, in favor of Abraham and his race forever. »
Mary stayed with Elizabeth for about three months and then returned home.
The Visitation by Jean Jouvenet (1716)
Among the monumental paintings still preserved in the cathedral of its decoration then in place at the end of the 18th century is the Visitationalso known as Magnificatpainted by Jean JOUVENET in 1716.
Trained in Charles Le Brun's studio, Jouvenet (1644-1717) participated in the decoration of the royal residences. A member of the Painting Academy in 1675, he became an official court painter at the end of the 17th century. Louis XIV entrusted him with many works, in particular at the Saint-Louis des Invalides church and the Château de Versailles; in 1705 he was appointed director of the Académie de peinture. In 1713, a stroke made him paralytic in his right arm. Unable to bring himself to stop painting, he managed to make his left hand as skillful, as evidenced in 1716 by the realization of this Visitation for the cathedral choir.
The scene takes place as described in Luke's gospel, in the house of Zechariah, Elisabeth's husband, to whom the Virgin, her cousin, visits. The centre of the painting is dominated by the Virgin Mary, standing with her arms and face turned towards Heaven, pronouncing the words of the Magnificat,"My soul exalts the Lord, my spirit exalts in God my Savior...". The figure of the Virgin Mary, beautiful and majestic, was copied by Jouvenet from the one he painted for the painting depicting the descent of the Holy Spirit into the chapel of the Palace of Versailles, above the king's gallery, and to the left of the Virgin Mary, Elizabeth, filled with the Holy Spirit, bowed her head with deference, behind her Zechariah her husband. On the other hand, Saint Joseph, husband of the Virgin Mary, still holding in his hand the bridle of the donkey that has led the couple hastily to this city in the Judean mountains. Various characters, including Jouvenet himself and the canon of La Porte, who commissioned the painting in 1709, appear on the composition.
This painting is now visible on the west wall of the Saint-Guillaume chapel.