11 March 2009

Avignon

They are celebrating, at Avignon, the 700th Anniversary of the start of the Papal 'exile' there. The common 'journalistic' view of this period is that it was a time of corruption and venality. I urge readers to use the means of research at their disposal to remind themselves how very fertile a period this was in the history of the Western Church. Find out where and by whom the feast of Corpus Christi was really given to the Church; and the exposition and processing of the Blessed Sacrament; and the Anima Christi; and the ringing of the Angelus bell; and ...

At a time when the Enemy are suggesting that Catholicism is 'anti-Semitic', find out where it was that (because it was in the Papal States and not the Kingdom of France) that synagogues could be built and Jewish communities flourish. And where the study of Hebrew and Greek was fostered. And ...

It would be fun for us ordinary, common folk who read and write blogs to do our bit to bring into the public arena the glories of this underrated period in our history as Western Catholics.

And, of course, there are the gastronomic delights of the place (Bourride; Tavel) and its architecture and art galleries (steer clear of the Palais des Papes and the Pont, where the tourists are decanted, and you can have the place pretty well to yourselves).

And on Sunday you can go to Mass in an exquisite late Baroque church, the Chapel of the Black Penitents (sounds like something from a novel by Ann Radcliff, doesn't it?), served by an organisation I don't like to name but which provides liturgy very close to the Anglican Catholic tradition.

2 comments:

ex_fide said...

Fr,

Every day you keep me informed and entertained with something new and interesting.

Ben said...

And while you're there, don't omit to pop across the river to Villeneuve-les-Avignons, the largest Charterhouse in Europe - now, thanks to liberty, equality & all that a museum, but still not to be missed.