✿ Lessons in Stone (Dennis Aubrey) ✿


In early October last year, PJ and I returned to Conques for two days. While there, we saw something that took us back to the origins of this great pilgrimage church. In the late morning, I was photographing the tympanum over the west portal. This sculpture has the same subject as many similar works, the […]

The Hermit Sings (Dennis Aubrey)


This morning I was checking the statistics of this blog when I noticed an interesting search term that someone used to find Via Lucis. The Google search entry read “Joseph Raaymakers”. PJ and I had met this man in 2008 in the Pyrénées-Orientales and we had written of him in a post on the vierges […]

The Ineffable (Dennis Aubrey)


A man stood transfixed on the Acropolis in Athens, stunned at the beauty of the Parthenon. He turned to an old man standing nearby and said, “How lucky they must have been to live with all of this beauty.” He responded, “Ask, Stranger, what must they have suffered to need such beauty.” Much of my […]

Two Catalan Lintels (Dennis Aubrey)


Many scholars believe that the origins of the Romanesque style are found in the French department of the Pyrénées-Orientales, part of ancient Catalonia. The abbey churches at Saint Martin-du-Canigou and Saint Michel-de-Cuxa are part of this architectural renaissance. Hand-in-hand with the architectural innovation were developments in sculpture. This post will discuss two small fragments of […]

✿ Bones ✿ (PJ McKey)


The Église Saint-Pierre in the town of Parthenay-le-Vieux near Poitiers is mentioned for the first time in the texts in 1092. Today, it is an empty church, privately owned. On this day, it was being unconsciously watched over by a house painter working on the house next door. Our equipment and question about whether church […]

The Mountain Abbey on Canigou (Dennis Aubrey)


Christian monastic churches were often found in the most remote and inaccessible areas, partly because of the early Christian hermits and their monasteries. One only has to look at the Cenobic monasteries in Egypt and Cappadocia, Greek churches in Meteora, or the Syrian churches in Maalula to see that this is a long-standing tradition. These […]