The Roman Church at Tournus, France

Today I visited a beautiful, old church in Tournus, France. The church was built in the Roman style in the 11th and 12 centuries. There are many similar churches in the area, but none comparable. It has two towers, one of pink stone, one of gray.

The arches are alternating colors, terra-cotta and ivory.

 The pastor is rumored to be a man of great artistic taste and love of the church. As you walk in, you are greeted by Gregorian chant seeming to come from the angels themselves, and a hint of incense hangs in the air. Goudji, a Russian artist working in Paris designed new sanctuary furniture as part of the restoration for the Jubilee Year. The result is spectacular.

 The arches in the altar match the arches of the church without mimicing them.

 The relics of St. Philibert are preserved in a matching reliquary in the back of the sanctuary. Even the windows fit the stone and the transcendent light without distracting.

 The whole effect is one of power, sincerety and simplicity. As I prayed, I felt the spirit of a 12th century crusader praying at this very spot, wanting to give himself completely to God, wondering if he had chosen the right path; pleading with God for a sign, for protection, but most of all for the gift of courage to follow this call through to the end.

I prayed the same. We were brothers on the quest.

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