Today we visited the gardens and palace of Versailles, and then drove to Chartres to see the Cathedral and have Mass (Sunday Vigil) in the Crypt Chapel. More will be posted tomorrow!
After Versailles, we rode to the town of Chartres, whose cathedral purports to contain the veil Mary was wearing when she gave birth to Jesus. The cathedral is famous for its labyrinth- a means of prayer by walking though a patterned path into the center (to find God at our center) and then back out into action.
The stained glass windows here are also a reason for many visitors. Beautiful colors and interesting scenes abound!
Yesterday, Versailles was our first stop. What a story of excess! The gardens were beautiful, enormous and delightful to stroll through. There was classical music playing from speakers hidden in the hedges, making me feel rather regal as I sauntered through!
The palace/chateau was so very crowded with tour groups and other visitors, and yet we could still appreciate the abundance of art and extravagance in every room. I mean, if the gates look like the photo above.... Then this bedroom is just to be expected!
Today we visited 3 churches in Paris: Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle and Sacre Coeur. Each was so different in style, and yet unified in the builders' desire to give glory to God in the design and beauty.
At Sacre Coeur, we celebrated mass in the crypt chapel. Spare and dim, with the back wall composed of the stones that support this massive church, the message for today was equally simple yet foundational: Jesus. Today is the optional memorial of St Teresa of Calcutta, and we were reminded of her single hearted focus on Jesus as the source of her strength and abilities.
Our guide Veronique changed our schedule up a bit, to get us out of the bus and relishing our first views of Paris by boat! She was also able to add a visit to the Chapel of the Miraculous Medal, not originally on our itinerary.
Then it was time to check into our hotel, the Opera Cadet, get settled, and walk around the corner for yet another delicious dinner. Each evening, different people share tables and stories and laughter.
A couple hours later, we arrived at Giverny, and had time to wander around the pond, gardens and house. Delightful. Every few yards yielded a new example of beauty. Flowers of nearly every color tumbled over one another, or reached high into the sky demanding attention. Monet supposedly said that he was only good at two things: gardening and painting. He certainly was a master at both.