25 May 2008

La Fête-Dieu

De l'Évangile au Quotidien:
Nous devons l’origine de la « Fête-Dieu » ou « Fête du St sacrement du corps et du sang du Christ » à une révélation faite à soeur Julienne du Mont Cornillon vers l'an 1210. Cette révélation demandait l’institution d’une fête annuelle en l'honneur du Saint Sacrement de l'autel. Malgré une vive persécution contre soeur Julienne et ceux qui souhaitaient que cette fête se répande, le diocèse de Liège l'institua vers l'an 1245 puis l'Eglise universelle ajouta cette fête au calendrier liturgique par le pape Urbain IV qui la rendit obligatoire pour l'Eglise entière en 1264. Voici un extrait de la Bulle d'Urbain IV pour l'institution de la Fête-Dieu dans l'Eglise universelle.
Jean XXII, en 1318 ordonna de compléter la fête par une procession solennelle où le très Saint Sacrement serait porté en triomphe. On fait une procession solennelle le jour de la Fête-Dieu pour sanctifier et bénir, par la présence de Jésus-Christ, les rues et les maisons de nos villes et de nos villages.
Here in Dijon the Eucharistic Procession will take place on the lawn of Place des Feuillants, the birthplace of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, whose extensive grounds sit on a hill overlooking all of north Dijon.

Place des Feuillants from the bottom of the hill.

Signs point the way on the hike up

Stone steps leading up to the grounds of the basilica

Birthplace of St. Bernard; only the square tower of the original medieval chateau remains. To the right is the basilica built in the saint’s honor, which fell into disuse for some time but in 2001 was given to the care of the FSSP, which holds the extraordinary form of the Mass here every Sunday.

It was in a room at the base of this medieval tower, the only remains of St. Bernard’s home, that he was born in 1090.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux, doctor of the Church, founded 163 monasteries throughout Europe. His parents were among the highest ranks of nobility (his mother Aleth of Montbard is beatified). Before St. Bernard was born, a pious man predicted the saint’s great destiny. St. Bernard was known for having a tender devotion to Mary, and some say no one has written more beautifully of her than he. He founded his first Cistercian monastery at Clairvaux (which his father and all five brothers entered as religious). At the Council of Troyes he was appointed secretary, where he outlined the rule for the Knights Templars, the model of French nobility. St. Bernard was later decisive in healing the schism between the pope and anti-pope, among many other things in this illustrious saint’s life.

The spare interior of the basilica, and the High Altar where Abbé Garban, FSSP priest in Dijon, offers the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass each week.

A plaque in the interior reminds visitors this is a sacred place. “This church, built in 1890 and fully realized in 1990, has been assigned to Christian worship since 2001. The 850th anniversary of the death of St. Bernard was commemorated here in 2003. By decision of the Bishop of Dijon and of the Abbot of Citeaux, Mass is celebrated in this place each Sunday.”

”God lives in silence.” It’s a sign Dad pointed to when daughter was making a bit too much noise in the church…

A chapel dedicated to Notre Dame de Toutes Grâces; the other chapel, dedicated to St. Louis, was built in the little room where St. Bernard was born.

Plaques in recognition of St. Bernard’s aid and intercession

”In my dream, I saw a great red-haired dog.” Blessed Aleth of Fontaine,

View of North Dijon from the steps of the basilica

The only remains of the old monastery built by the Feuillants, a reformed wing of Cistercians who once occupied the grounds; it was destroyed during the Revolution, its stones sold one by one. Now the cloister doorway leads to a forested path and a little grotto of Our Lady.


The “Lourdes Grotto” behind the basilica

The adjacent cemetery

St. Bernard church, just a few paces from the basilica, is a diocesan parish. The Eucharistic procession begins from here.

The ancient interior of St. Bernard church

View from the vestibule

Altar to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Sorrowful Heart of Mary

Old kneelers, which look like miniature backward chairs

The stained glass windows cast their shadows on the stone tiles

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