The stained glass windows of the cloister

During the Grand restoration campaign of the Cathedral undertaken by Lassus and Viollet-le-Duc, the sacristy was rebuilt entirely (the local precedents, raised by Soufflot in 1758, had been enormously damaged after the riots of 29 July 1830 and especially on 14 February 1831 where the archbishops Palace and the sacristy were looted and destroyed) between 1845 and 1850 in a style neo-Gothic on the southern flank of the choir.

The buildings are arranged around a small cloister square of which two arms give access to the Cathedral. The arches of this cloister are lined with eighteen verrières who were executed by Gérente according to the cartons of Steinheil.

These glass roofs represent the Legend of Saint Genevieve , patron saint of the city of Paris. Beneath each stained-glass window, a Latin inscription narrat the scene.

At the medallion of the main Bay of the cloister, Gérente realized, always on the drawings of Steinhel, a stained glass window taking up the scene of the coronation of the Virgin.

Only the last six scenes of the life of St. Genevieve are accessible to visitors in the Treasury corridor.

Below, the eighteen scenes, their commentary is inspired by the one that Marcel Aubert made (Notre-Dame de Paris, historical and archaeological record. Chez Longuet, 1909).

 

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1. Sainte Geneviève has just been born, in Nanterre near Paris. We are in 423. She is lying next to her mother, Gallo-Roman, and her father, Frank. At their side, appears Saint Germain of Auxerre and the angels who sing the praise of the Holy.

1. Sainte Geneviève has just been born, in Nanterre near Paris. We are in 423. She is lying next to her mother, Gallo-Roman, and her father, Frank. At their side, appears Saint Germain of Auxerre and the angels who sing the praise of the Holy.

 

2. a few years later, in 429, the Bishops of Saint Germain of Auxerre and Saint Loup de Troyes, going to England to fight heresy, rest in Nanterre. In the midst of the crowd, Saint Germain distinguishes Geneviève, blessed her, and announces the glorious mission to which God calls him and gives him a miraculous medal marked by the sign of the cross.

2. a few years later, in 429, the Bishops of Saint Germain of Auxerre and Saint Loup de Troyes, going to England to fight heresy, rest in Nanterre. In the midst of the crowd, Saint Germain distinguishes Geneviève, blessed her, and announces the glorious mission to which God calls him and gives him a miraculous medal marked by the sign of the cross.

 

3. a solemn Feast day, St. Genevieve wishes to follow her mother to the Church; the latter wanting to prevent it, beating it, carried away by its anger. God punished him immediately by making her blind, and it was only eighteen months later, on the prayers of his daughter, that she would regain her sight.

3. a solemn Feast day, St. Genevieve wishes to follow her mother to the Church; the latter wanting to prevent it, beating it, carried away by its anger. God punished him immediately by making her blind, and it was only eighteen months later, on the prayers of his daughter, that she would regain her sight.

 

4. after the death of his parents, Sainte Geneviève comes to live in Paris, at her godmother's. She falls seriously ill, and for three days remains as dead. When she recovered, she recounted that an Angel had transported her to paradise and that she had contemplated the delights and joys that God reserved for his elect.

4. after the death of his parents, Saint Genevieve comes to live in Paris, at her godmother's. She falls seriously ill, and for three days remains as dead. When she recovered, she recounted that an Angel had transported her to paradise and that she had contemplated the delights and joys that God reserved for his elect.

5. but the Parisians, instead of honoring the Saint for her merits, mutate against her, and when, at the announcement of the arrival of the Huns and their Chief Attila in 451, she exhorts them to the resistance, they decide to get rid of them. They already deliberate between them if they stoned her or if they drag her to the Seine, when the Archdeacon arrives from Auxerre, who says to them,

5. but the Parisians, instead of honoring the Saint for her merits, mutate against her, and when, at the announcement of the arrival of the Huns and their Chief Attila in 451, she exhorts them to the resistance, they decide to get rid of them. They already deliberate between them if they stoned her or if they drag her to the Seine, when the Archdeacon arrives from Auxerre, who says to them, "keep yourselves well of committing such a horrible deed; the one you want to punish as a criminal has been elected from God from the bosom of her mother, as we have often heard from Germain our blessed Bishop, and here are sacred and blessed gifts that I bring to him from him. "these words all renounce their primer s designs, and they listen to St. Genevieve (6) who begs them not to abandon the city.

 

6. following the words of the Archdeacon of Auxerre (5), the Parisians renounce their evil designs, and they listen to Saint Genevieve who begs them not to abandon the city.

6. following the words of the Archdeacon of Auxerre (5), the Parisians renounce their evil designs, and they listen to St. Genevieve who begs them not to abandon the city.

 

7. However, the Saint and her companions obtain from heaven, through their prayers, their fasting and their Vigil, the remoteness of the barbarians.

7. However, the Saint and her companions obtain from heaven, through their prayers, their fasting and their Vigil, the remoteness of the barbarians.

 

8. as St. Genevieve was going to pray at night, holding a lighted candle in her hand, the devil extinguished the torch, but an Angel immediately turned it back on.

8. as St. Genevieve was going to pray at night, holding a lighted candle in her hand, the devil extinguished the torch, but an Angel immediately turned it back on.

 

9. King Childeric held St. Genevieve in singular esteem and knew nothing to refuse him, fearing one day that she would take away prisoners he wanted to kill, he came out of Paris with them and closed the doors behind him, but having knowledge she rushes to her afterwards. The doors miraculously open before her, and she soon brings back the unfortunate ones (10), to whom the King granted life.

9. King Childeric held St. Genevieve in singular esteem and knew nothing to refuse him, fearing one day that she would kidnap him from the prisoners he wanted to kill, he came out of Paris with them and closed the doors behind him, but having knowledge she rushes to her afterwards. The doors miraculously open before her, and she soon brings back the unfortunate ones (10), to whom the King granted life.

 

10. St. Genevieve brings the condemned (9) before the King who grants them life.

10. St. Genevieve brings the condemned (9) before the King who grants them life.

 

11. almost thirty years after the expulsion of Attila and the Huns, Clovis, still idolatrous, assiege Paris. During this terrible siege, several quarters are prey to flames and famine is cruelly rampant. St. Genevieve goes to Arcis-sur-Aube to rescue her countrymen.

11. almost thirty years after the expulsion of Attila and the Huns, Clovis, still idolatrous, assiege Paris. During this terrible siege, several quarters are prey to flames and famine is cruelly rampant. St. Genevieve goes to Arcis-sur-Aube to rescue her countrymen.

 

12. on the road (11), arriving in a certain place of the river where a tree makes navigation very perilous, it orders the boatmen to stop and she commands the tree to fall down; two hideous monsters escape by spreading in the air a foul odor; and since then there has never been a shipwreck at this place.

12. on the road (11), arriving in a certain place of the river where a tree makes navigation very perilous, it orders the boatmen to stop and she commands the tree to fall down; two hideous monsters escape by spreading in the air a foul odor; and since then there has never been a shipwreck at this place.

 

13. soon after the Holy woman earns supplies to the starving city and distributes bread to the poor.

13. soon after the Holy woman earns supplies to the starving city and distributes bread to the poor.

 

14. many miracles are still occurring through St. Genevieve. It gives sight to a man and a young girl.

14. many miracles are still occurring through St. Genevieve. It gives sight to a man and a young girl.

 

15. another miracle, as the workers raise under the direction of the Holy one chapel in Saint Denis, the drink is lacking; Genevieve goes into prayer, and the vases are filled.

15. another miracle, as the workers raise under the direction of the Holy one chapel in Saint Denis, the drink is lacking; Genevieve goes into prayer, and the vases are filled.

 

16. it is still the rain that falls during the harvest and threatens to destroy the harvest; the Holy woman prostrate herself to the ground and obtains from the heavens that the scourge recedes.

16. it is still the rain that falls during the harvest and threatens to destroy the harvest; the Holy woman prostrate herself to the ground and obtains from the heavens that the scourge recedes.

 

17. at about 512, Sainte Geneviève, then over eighty years old, died in the midst of those whom she had always protected; One places on his tomb a lamp whose oil burns incessantly, without it being necessary to renew it.

17. at about 512, Saint Genevieve, then over eighty years old, died in the midst of those whom she had always protected; One places on his tomb a lamp whose oil burns incessantly, without it being necessary to renew it.

 

18. after her death, she remained the patron saint of Paris; many times his shrine is carried in procession to keep away from the city a plague or to draw on these inhabitants the blessings of heaven. His tomb is a very popular place of pilgrimage: the sick, the blind and the possessed of fire,

18. after her death, she remained the patron saint of Paris; many times his shrine is carried in procession to keep away from the city a plague or to draw on these inhabitants the blessings of heaven. His tomb is a very popular place of pilgrimage: the sick, the blind and the possessed of fire, "the ardent", are urged to obtain through his intercession the healing of their evils.

 

NDP 2007 02 21-145

 

Light a candle at Notre-Dame