Saturday, November 27, 2010

Canterbury Cathedral #3 ...

... detail of a capital in the north aisle of the choir 
and the stairs leading to the Trinity Chapel ...
... the Porphyry Pavement (and Zodiac signs) ...
... we see the Canterbury pavement as being sent to the Cathedral
in about 1120 presented ostensibly by the Papacy, but probably at
the behest of Archbishop Anselm, to grace the great new monastic
Choir. It was laid in the entrance of the chapel of the Holy Trinity,
a novel introduction in itself, behind the archbishop’s chair 14 steps
above the pavement of the monastic Choir, where it has remained 
to this day, within the latten framework that brought it
from the Mediterranean world ...
... medieval floor medallions - zodiac signs ...
... part of the zodiac roundels in the Trinity Chapel;
lion and dragon - anger and patience - virgo;
taurus - winged dragon - April, pruning;
arms of Mandeville - sobriety and luxury - cancer ...
... stained glass window: "Plague in the House" (c.1220)
by Sir Jordan Fitz-Eisulf".  Becket Miracle Window 6,
north aisle of the Trinity Chapel ...
source: sacred destination
... the candle on the floor marks the site of the medieval
shrine of St Thomas Becket (from 1220 to 1538).
This was the holiest site in medieval England, 
and a destination for countless thousands of pilgrims. 
Thomas Becket's shrine was placed in the Trinity Chapel
in 1220, until it was destroyed in 1538 during 
the Reformation by order of Henry VIII ...

... looking West from this point the visitor can see 
the full length of the Cathedral and the great window
at the West end of the Nave ...

Thomas Becket ...
... is venerated as a saint and martyr by both the Roman Catholic
Church and the Anglican Communion. He engaged in conflict 
with Henry II of England over the rights and privileges of 
the Church and was assassinated by followers of the king
in Canterbury Cathedral ...
... the Trinity Chapel ...
... completed 50 years after the death of Thomas Becket in order
to house the new shrine. A candle marks the site of the 13th century
shrine which was destroyed during the Reformation in 1538 by order of
Henry VIII, who removed all the gold and jewels to the Royal Treasury.
All around the Trinity Chapel are the miracle windows, so-called
because they illustrate stories associated with Becket ...
... vault of Corona Chapel ...
... medieval stained glass windows,
left: Tree of Jesse, King Josiah and the Virgin Mary 
are the only two surviving medival panels;
center: the Corona Redemption Window ...
... is an impressive typological window in the center of
the Corona. It centers on five scenes related to the Passion
and Resurrection of Christ, each of which is surrounded by
  4 parallel scenes from the Old Testament known as "types" ...
    ... the Corona Chapel - 'Becket's Crown', built as a separate shrine
for a piece of Becket's skull, completes the eastern exterior
of the Cathedral in a unique fashion ...

... The cathedral designated its Corona Chapel 
“The Chapel of Saints and Martyrs of Our Own Time,”
following the murder of Anglican archbishop Janani Luwum
of Uganda by Idi Amin’s forces in 1977 ...
... Plastic-sheeted pages inside offer brief biographical sketches
of more than a dozen twentieth-century martyrs, among them
the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., Archbishop Oscar Romero,
and the priest and hermit Charles de Foucauld. Two nuns, 
Edith Stein and Maria Skobtsova, are included, along with 
Bonhoeffer and Kolbe, as victims of the Nazi concentration camps.
Turning the pages, I come across unfamiliar names 
of priests killed in Russia, Iran, and Uganda ...
... Without fanfare, in stained-glass stillness, 
the East Chapel transforms the beatitude, 
“Blessed are those who are persecuted,”
into lives of flesh and spilled blood ...