From the dawn of time Montmartre has been a place of worship : from the Druids of ancient Gaul, through the Romans with their temples dedicated to Mars and Mercury, to the Church of Saint Peter, the oldest in Paris, rebuilt in the 12th century next to the Royal Abbey of Montmartre by Louis VI and his wife Adélaïde de Savoie… Finally, the Basilica of the Sacré-Cœur, erected at the end of the 19th century. Today, this shrine of prayer remains faithful to its tradition: God is well and truly present! Here St Denis and others were martyred (Mont des Martyrs – Montmartre) and later St Genevieve convinced the people of Paris to build a chapel.
It’s now the impressive Sacre Coeur basilica. So being Friday in Lent, there was Stations of the Cross after the 3:00PM Mass. Another chance to stop being a tourist and an outsider and join in as a member of the community. It felt so great to walk past the gates and enter the restricted area (restricted to those praying or attending Mass.)
Waiting for Mass I snuck in a few photos (it says no photography)
Mass was a moving experience. The people attending sang beautifully and I (in my ignorance perhaps) was surprised to find the people at Mass were not little old white ladies, more than 50% were black and everyone sang out in French. Even I did, the words were on a handout.
Afterwards we processed to the crypt, down 2-3 flights of stairs for Stations. Armed with the words to song verses, I could sing along at each stop. Not good light for my stealthily taken pictures but I wanted to bring you along.
Then down the hill to meet Bill after work. We are right across the street from our apartment at one of our favorite restaurants, Le Dit Vin.
First a little wine and a picture of our apartment door – the big blue one.