15 October 2007

The Churches of Dijon

The towers of Notre Dame

Dijon is blessed to have a number of churches (many of them magnificent), and, considering the shortage of priests in Europe, the diocese is surprisingly full of them.

Eglise St. Michel stands in the middle of a square, and on its left is the medieval cemetery where it had its humble beginnings (as a funeral chapel).

St. Benignus was venerated as a martyr in the third century. A basilica was erected over his tomb in his honor, and a larger structure built in 1272 and completed several decades later. It is the current cathedral of Dijon, Eglise St. Bénigne. St. Benignus's sarcophagus can be seen in the crypt beneath the church, one of the oldest crypts in all of Christendom.

At the cathedral, confessions are heard daily, with twice daily Masses. The recently installed head pastor is striking for his reverence (he also happens to be a member of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre) and the associate pastor is my very kind and able confessor.

The interior of St. Bénigne (taken after Sunday Mass)

Stunning crucifix. You get an idea of its scale by the woman standing beneath.

The baptistry (the image doesn’t quite capture its size or beauty).

There are a number of other churches I plan on visiting (for instance, the Basilica of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, who was born in Dijon). Photos are forthcoming.