PJ and I have published over 400 posts in our three and a half years on this Via Lucis blog. Thirty of those are guest posts from our stellar contributors. About 50 of them are reposts from early on when we had few visitors. That leaves a great many articles describing our beloved Romanesque and Gothic churches. Now that we have passed 220,000 visitors, we thought it might be appropriate for each of us to pick a handful of our favorite Via Lucis posts as a kind of review.
“My selections are not so much about the photography or the writing, but about the experiences that we had on the day that we did the work.” PJ McKey
Those who precede (Part 2), Angelico Surchamp
This story of our first meeting with the great Angelico Surchamp expresses both our admiration and affection. We are so lucky to have been able to spend time with him.</blockquote
“Elle Chante, Pere”
“Elle Chante, Pere” was one of the first of Dennis’ personal posts and is about the Basilique Sainte Madeleine, our favorite Romanesque church. But it was also selected for the extraordinary sermon that it inspired by Gordon Stewart.
Color and Saint Austremoine
It was so nice to be back in Saint Austremoine with Dennis and his parents Don and Lucille, staying at one of our favorite places, the Cour Carrée. It was overcast when we arrived so I went down to the crypt to shoot. When I emerged, the sun had come out and the colors were so vivid and evocative. My spirits soared at being there with Dennis and his parents.
The Two Madonnas
This post appeals to me because it is the site of one of my favorite experiences in France, meeting Mme Geille and learning from her about modesty, generosity and her profound attachment to the church. This was the first time that I had experienced this deep connection to the past.
A Midnight Raid on Vézelay
The night we photographed the Basilique Sainte Madeleine we discovered a completely new rendition of one our favorite church, one that we had photographed many times and had thousands of pictures. It was the perfect beginning to our 2011 trip.
“My selections are not based on what I think are the best of our posts – PJ’s post The Survivors of History may be her best – but those which mean the most to me personally.” Dennis Aubrey
Death in the Wood of Ephraim
I selected this reflection on David and the death of Absalom less for the post itself than for the comments that it generated. These exchanges proved the value of this blog and all the work that it takes.
This post on the Église Saint-Pierre in the town of Parthenay-le-Vieux near Poitiers is one of PJ’s most simple and wonderful articles, illustrated by her photos alone. The image of her singing in this empty church and the emotions that she conjured are so moving to me.
One of several posts reflecting the influence of Pastor Gordon Stewart of Chaska, Minnesota, who I only know through our exchanges on WordPress and our occasional phone calls. This post reflects on the Presence and the spiritual dimension of the churches that we document.
A memoir about first intimations of mortality.
Cathédrale Saint-Nazaire de Béziers
On July 12, 1209 the town of Béziers was burned to the ground and thousands of innocents died. Today we see in the great cathedral Saint-Nazaire the traces of that conflagration.
An exploration of the nature of beauty and how it relates to suffering.
A personal vision that has defined my life for forty years.
A lament for not being in France.
We hope you enjoy these selections. If you have your own preferences, feel free to let us know in the comments section.