INSIDE THE CHURCH
Triptyque à disposition des visiteurs - téléchargeable
Visitor friend, hello!
A church is not an ordinary house, it is a sacred place. Even if you are an unbeliever, we offer you the route of the believer; to explore in more detail stained glass, the furniture and special features of the church.
The baptismal fonts
Coming through the door from St Martin Square, we head on the left, towards the "baptismal fonts", moved in the twentieth century to the Romanesque tower. Through a narrow opening we find a stained glass window where Louis Barillet representes Saint Paul. (M)
Built in 1936 in red stone called "Grisons", the walls rise and join to form a small dome. On the floor, the tiles recall the Father, Son and the Spirit. The Christian is baptized in the name of the Trinity.
On the wall, a more modern mosaic evokes in the traditional way, the baptism of Jesus by John the Baptist in the River Jordan. The baptismal "fountain" is reduced to a cistern dug in a carved green marble block from Greece. In the wrought iron gates, we can identify the beginning and ending of the Greek alphabet: A (alpha) and W (Omega). It’s the way of saying that Christ is the fullness (beginning and the end) of the universe.
The monumental altarpiece XVII°
The altarpiece is a kind of representation of the Christian life and hope. It is dated 1656. This altarpiece has since then obscured the windows of the original building. It is to be seen as a horizon that highlights the altar (place of celebration of the Mass), the tabernacle (reserve for the Blessed Sacrament, and sometimes the place for the Holy Scriptures), the picture (which shows a gospel scene of the descent from the Cross) C , statues of saints that represent the Church proceeding and even ascending to the Kingdom of God (Saint Martin et Saint Porcien ).
On the wings of the altarpiece, modestly decorated, we can recognize two saints particularly invoked during the fatal epidemics of plague: Saint Sebastien et Saint Roch the Saints who have lacerated skin.
On either side of the pediment, garlands of vines and wheat tumble. It is an evocation of the Eucharist, the sacrament of the Mass that unites heaven and earth. In the middle of the pediment three cherubs support a shield painted with the letters JHS (Jesus, Savior of men).
Finally, at the top, in the center of a triumphal decoration, Jesus stands, holding in one hand the globe whilst raising his right hand, indicating His power to teach.
Jesus, from top to bottom of the altarpiece, is the one who gives meaning to this entire decor.
Two small baroque altarpieces XVII°
To the right of the central altarpiece, under the stained glass window of Saint Porcien an altar-tomb is surmounted by a picture of the guardian angel of paradise chasing Adam and Eve b . It is flanked by two garlands of fruit. Two highly decorated columns support an entablature in which rests a trapezoidal pediment with ornaments in the shape of denticles.
To the left of the central altarpiece, on an altar-tomb decorated with a medallion bearing in bas-relief Mother and Child, we find a painting of the Assumption of Mary d. Columns highly decorated support an entablature. The extremities slightly stilted, carry fire pots, ornaments that are frequently seen on baroque altars. This altar is built in the "Marian space" of the church
The Stained glass windows – The Statues
Returning to the stained glass windows on the right of the church, they illustrate holiness. Stained glass windows and altarpieces are also religious teaching aids for the parishioners did not know all to read!
We can see in the windows exposed to the south (on the side of St. Martin’s Square) that Max Ingrand, favours warm colors (red, yellow, gold) and for the rest cool colors (blue and green), on the north side.
St. Martin - Patron of the parish (C) (1947)
L’Aigle is one of the 3,700 parishes under the patronage of Saint Martin of Tours. The window shows a few moments of his life. At 18, still a pagan, he shared his military coat with a beggar. The next night, a dream made him identify the poor with Jesus. Martin is converted. It is the central scene of the stained glass window. All around we can see various episodes narrated by Sulpice Sévère, contemporary historian of Martin: the evil encounters of Martin (brigands, devil), the conversion of his mother, the two monasteries in Ligugé (Poitiers) and Marmoutiers (Tours), his intervention (unsuccessful) with the Roman Emperor, located in Trèves, in favor of heretics threatened with death in Aquitaine, and his own death in Candes, in a monastery he founded.
St. Porcien, Patron of the Brotherhood (D) XV
Above the baroque altar, the big stained glass window was "rescued" after the bombing of June 7, 1944.
The stained glass re-tells the intervention of Saint Porcien in 525 in the life of the Merovingian king Thierry Irst, a son of Clovis. This king wanted to destroy the city of Clermont (Auvergne). At the table with Thierry Irst, Saint Porcien blessed the cup prepared as a drink for the king, but a poisonous snake comes out. To thank Porcien the king offers grace to the city of Clermont. Like Jesus, the saint appears as a giver of life and a peacemaker.
All the saints
These two stained glass windows were made in 1947.
“The Sermont on the Mount” (A) Max Ingrand illustrates here the beautiful poem of the Beatitudes (Matthew, chap. 5). Jesus, the master, surrounded by his disciples, announces the conditions of happiness: "Blessed are those who have the spirit of poverty, happy the pure of heart, the peacemakers".
So Jesus is not alone. He is with his Church, with His saints with or without aureole, and in those who believe without seeing, who hope beyond all certainty, who love without restraint.
Max Ingrand offers us his vision of the fresco portrayed by St. Matthew (chapter 25 of his gospel) as "The Last Judgement" (B). Over a cloud in the shape of a boat, Jesus looks down on a choir of angels with trumpets, proclaiming the victory of those who have lived out His gospel. At the bottom we can see the damned, obsessed with themselves, and for whom the others are hell.
Now we cross the nave. In passing, we raise our eyes to the crucifix by Lambert-Rucki (twentieth century) on the column facing the chair.
Holy Mary, The mother
We come into the nave from the left hand side. We enter into the garden of Notre Dame. Two wall statues:
- near the altar, Notre Dame of the Fig seventeenth century (6). The child Jesus, with a childish hand, seems to stroke the chin of his crowned mother.
- at the other end of the nave is located a Pieta (7), transfixed by pain. This is an original plaster statue by Léon Drivier (1951).
Four stained glass windows (twentieth century) by Max Ingrand are closely linked with the mystery of Jesus and the mystery of Mary. We start at the bottom of the nave on the left of the main altarpiece.
Pain: Christ on the cross, the crucifixion (E) The edge of Mary’s mantle illustrates clearly the tragic mystery of Christ's death. Christ leaned toward the earth. He was giving her life by offering his. Here, besides the angels, about fifteen people represent the Church towards which Jesus leans appearing to give her the power and the duty to preach the gospel to every creature.
Glory (F) Mary appears in the oculus of the quatrefoil stained glass window of "the glorious mysteries". Here, Max Ingrand, illustrates Pentecost. The apostles are represented in the lancets. The second space from the right refers to the coronation of Mary in heaven.
Joy (G) This stained glass window shows the mysteries of Christ's childhood, often called the "joyful mysteries". The announcement to Mary, the visit to Elizabeth, the Presentation of Jesus at the Temple, life in Nazareth, all of it surround the birth of Jesus. We observe that the angels play an important role in the religious expression of Max Ingrand.
Jesse (H) The Tree of Jesse illustrates the birth of Jesus. Jesse is the truck of the tree whose branches show the ancestors of Jesus, sometimes called "Son of David." At the top of the trunk appears Mary carrying her son Jesus. The Tree of Jesse held a high place in the Western Christian iconography of the eleventh to the sixteenth century. Here, Mary occupies the central place.
The saints from here
We continue to the end of the nave. Saint Antoine (9) was sculpted by Lambert-Rucki from a tree, grown locally, in 1951. By the same sculptor, but in hammered bronze, this statue represents (8) Therese of the Child Jesus (1951), simple, straight, with no frills.
This stained glass window has been restored with parts saved from the bombing of June 7, 1944. It dates from the fifteenth century (J).
In the upper lancets we can see Saint Nicolas, John the Baptist and the Descent from the Cross. The lower part represents the appearance of a crucifix between the antlers of a deer to Saint Hubert. The legendary hunting of Saint Hubert (eighth century) succeeded the one of the Roman Eustache (second century).
At the back of the church we discover a stained glass window by John Barillet (1947) (K). Three characters are represented here. In the center is Saint Evroult who founded an abbey in the Pays d’Ouche in the seventh century. A community of monks met there until the tenth century.
To his right we see the blessed Lanfranc who favored the intellectual development of the Abbey of Saint-Evroult in the eleventh century, and became the abbot of the Abbaye aux Hommes in Caen and became Archbishop of Canterbury.
To the left of St. Evroult is Saint Anselm, who met Henry I of England at L'Aigle in 1105. He, too, ended his life as Archbishop of Canterbury.
In the upper part of the lancets are represented the three churches in L'Aigle: Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin and Saint John.
Sacred Music and the Organ
In 1936 to make space for the stained glass window at the back (L), the organ is divided into two parts either side of the platform. The stained glass (L) by Louis Barillet made with his usual collaborators: Le Chevallier and Hansen, evokes the grandeur of the Sacred Music in representing the eight Gregorian tones, cleverly portrayed by characters.
The organ in the church of L'Aigle was made in the workshops of one of the most famous organ makers of the twentieth century. At the initiative of Father Paul Girard the organ suffers some changes in 1923. This organ was built by Charles Mutin, the successor of the prestigious organ-makers Cavaillé-Coll. In 1928, to improve the quality of sound from the organ, new pipes were installed.. Other changes were planned in 1941 and again in 1951 because of old worn pipes. The work was finished in 1953, with electrified keyboard transmissions installed.
Visiting friends, we thank you for your visit and see you soon ...
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