Saint Julien le Pauvre Church in Paris … beautiful …

I came to this church quite by chance, so now I am trying to ensure that you know of its existence and will go and see it. It was just before Christmas 2017 and a friend and I were walking around Paris’s Left Bank. We had a few minutes earlier fled from the crowds gathering […]

Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre Church in Paris (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

I came to this church quite by chance, so now I am trying to ensure that you know of its existence and will go and see it.

It was just before Christmas 2017 and a friend and I were walking around Paris’s Left Bank. We had a few minutes earlier fled from the crowds gathering on the square in front of Notre Dame Cathedral – the Parvis Notre Dame – and had crossed the River Seine and looked around the stalls of a christmas market on a square – Rene Viviani Square – when we came to a small church.

We decided to go into this little church: just to have a look.

We were where Rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre runs unto Rue Galande: this is in Paris’s 5th arrondissement (district), in other words, in Paris’s Latin Quarter.

To be exact we were standing at No. 79 Rue Galande or at No. 1 Rue Saint-Julien-la-Pauvre.

The church is the Saint-Julien-la-Pauvre Eglise.

And – the interior of this church is something you must absolutely see!

This church is a Melkite church, Melkites being Catholic Christians who had originally lived in Levantine countries, i.e. Middle-Eastern countries where the religion of most of the people are Muslim.

Today, these Catholic Christians who date from the time of the Apostles, live across the globe having had to flee the countries of their birth because of religious persecution.

The church was constructed gradually from the 12th to the 19th centuries replacing a 6th century Merovingian refuge for pilgrims. At first the church was straight-forward Roman Catholic but in 1889 the Catholic diocese of Paris had handed it over to the ever-enlarging community of Melkite refugees. And yes, religious persecution is nothing new!

The church is small, it having been modified over the centuries, but I can tell you the very fact that it is not huge, like for example the nearby Notre Dame Cathedral, adds to its charm.

Christ on the Cross in Paris’s St-Julien-le-Pauvre Church (cc Marilyn Z. Tomlins)

 The Melkites being Levantine they have an Orthodox culture of having icons in their places of worship and in their homes. Therefore, this church has the most beautiful icons: they hang from the walls, and most striking is the iconostasis (a wall of icons and religious paintings) that separates the church’s nave from its sanctuary.

The Iconostatis of the St Julien-le-Pauvre Church in Paris (cc Maroyn Z. Tomlins)

These days, mass is not performed daily in this church, which is both good and bad, because several evenings a week a classical music concert is held in the church.  These are not free though. The program is posted on the fence outside around the front.

The church is dedicated to the medieval French saint, Saint Julien of Le Mans – Saint Julien du Mans.

According to legend he had resurrected a dead man. This, when he was already revered by his flock for having saved them from certain death in a drought when he drew water from the ground by merely hitting the ground with his staff.

He also cared for the old, poor, ill and orphans.

He died in the year 348,then living as a hermit: his date of birth is not known.

The nearest metro station to the church is St Michel Notre-Dame when you walk as I explained above.

Saint Julien-le-Pauvre Churc h at night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marilyn Z. Tomlins

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POUR L’AMOUR D’UN POÈTE

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