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Interesting article on the Cathedral in Vezelay


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In 1976, after more than eight centuries, Hugues Delautre, one of the Franciscan fathers in charge of servicing the Vézelay sanctuary since 1966, discovers that not only the orientation axis of La Madeleine, but also its internal structure, have been determined taking into account the position of the earth relatively to the sun. Every year, the John the Baptist’s feast day reveals the cosmic dimensions of this church: at the full midday of the summer solstice, when the sun is at its upper culmination over the earth, the light coming through the southern clerestorey windows project luminous spots that exactly locate in the full midst of the nave with a rigorous precision ·
To understand the meaning of this objective sign, Father Hugues Delautre refers to the 12th-century texts (Suger, Peter the Venerable, Honorius of Autun) and long inhabits the monument with the symbolic mentality of that time for which sense reveals itself from sensitive signs through the anagogical method (litterally ascent towards the uncreated) where the look goes beyond the reality of the sign to reach the invisible, i.e. God and his mystery. Letting himself be progressively informed by the Vézelay light, he so concludes: « Has not the builder, fascinated by the beauty of the universe which he recognises as the work of God, erected this vestibule to Heaven in imitation of God who created with order, measure and beauty? He could say as Solomon did when he constructed the Temple in Jerusalem exactly according to God’s instructions: Thou hast given command to build a temple on Thy holy mountain… a copy of the holy tent which Thou didst prepare from the beginning (Wisdom 9, 8). The nave is the expression of the romanesque man’s admiring submission to the divine plan testified to by all creation. The heavens declare the glory of God and the firmament sheweth His h
andywork (Psalms 18, 2) ».
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