Monday, June 25, 2018

Honeymoon in Paris - Day 7 (Last Day in Paris)

    Sunday was our last full day in France.  After waking up, I walked over to the Boulangerie Saint Louis for croissants and americanos.  We eventually got moving and made our way to Saint Julien-le-Pauvre, a Melkite Catholic church located in the across the street from Notre Dame.  Divine Liturgy was about to start and we noticed that there were several kids dressed for their first communion.  The Eastern Catholic in me was sad that they were doing this, as that is a latinization of our traditions of giving all sacraments of initiation at the same time.  Present for the Divine Liturgy were three priests and the Bishop.

     My limited French revealed that the children who were making their "first communion" had already been baptized, chrismated and received first communion on the day of their baptism.  It was a ceremonial thing that was happening.

     We left Divine Liturgy and set out to find the relics of St. Genevieve at St. Etienne-du-Mont which sat in the shadow of the Pantheon.  When we tried to get into the church we saw that it was closed until 1:00PM.  We got some lunch at a bistro and went inside the Pantheon.

     The Pantheon was built as a church dedicated to St. Genevieve and to house the reliquary containing her relics.  Sadly, during the French Revolution, the government ordered that the building be changed from a church to a mausoleum for the interment of great Frenchmen.    One of the things that stood out to me was a picture I took of La Convention Nationale.  This major work of sculpture stands where the altar used to be.  It features soldiers on the right and members of the National Convention on the left.  It was the National Convention who ordered the executions of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette.  Yet, above this symbol of secularism and nationalism stands an icon of Christ the King along with St. Michael and St. Genevieve.  Vive Le Christ Le Roi.

     We finished the audio tour and made our way to St. Etienne...only to find the doors were still locked.  We walked all around looking for an open door but to no avail.  We heard music coming from inside and found out there was a concert taking place.  At the intermission, Jennie found someone to pay so we could get inside the church.  The concert was being given by the Reykjavik Cathedral Choir.  The singing was fantastic and the acoustics of the church were incredible.  After the concert we found the relics of St. Genevieve and saw the rest of the church.

     We made our way back to the Hotel, where I stayed while Jennie went to the 6PM mass at Notre Dame.  Earlier in the day I had tweaked my back and I was having a bit of trouble moving around.  After mass, we left the hotel and walked towards La Brasserie de I'Isle Saint-Louis for dinner and drinks.  As we were leaving the hotel, the streets were wet from an earlier rain.  Walking and dancing in the rain was my beautiful wife.

20180610_210553 from Patrick Cullen on Vimeo.

     We sat on the patio, overlooking the Seine and Notre Dame.  We had dinner and drinks.  The waiter brought the check, I paid with my card and we were off.  Later in the night I realized that he charged by card 1.50 euros, instead of the 90 it was supposed to be.  I guess that helped with my poor exchange rate math of the previous 6 days!  We walked over to Notre Dame on more time to take in the view of the Cathedral all lit up.  We made our way back to the room around 11pm and packed our bags for the long trip home.

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