France's Saint Hilaire Abbey contains sarcophagus of Saint Sernin
Abbey contains detailed artwork of obscure artist the Master of Cabestany
Saint-Hilaire-d' Aude or the Saint Hilaire Abbey in France is a medieval Benedictine monastery of Carcassonne. The building's chief claim to fame is an essential work of Romanesque art inside the church, the sarcophagus of St. Sernin by the Master of Cabestany. The church also features copious amounts of artwork from the obscure - but highly venerated artist of the Romanesque style, the Master of Cabestany.
The star attraction is on the right side of the apse: the marble sarcophagus of Saint Sernin, designed by the Master of Cabestany. The sarcophagus is carved from a single block of Pyrenean marble. The detailed sculptures tell the story of St. Sernin's ministry, arrest, martyrdom and burial in Toulouse.
The star attraction is on the right side of the apse: the marble sarcophagus of Saint Sernin, designed by the Master of Cabestany. Very little is known of this master. His unique style created several works of art in Southwest France, Tuscany, Catalonia and Navarre. The master's sculptures are distinctive for their triangular faces, weak chins, low foreheads, stretched cat-like eyes, long fingers and detailed pleating in their clothing.
The sarcophagus is carved from a single block of Pyrenean marble. The detailed sculptures tell the story of St. Sernin's ministry, arrest, martyrdom and burial in Toulouse. Sernin is believed to have died in 257 AD, the period of the Decian persecution.
The front panel to the right depicts the arrest of St. Sernin as he preaches in Toulouse, holding a book. To the left of this scene is the martyrdom of St. Sernin, who was tied to the hooves of a bull, goaded by persecutors with a stake in his hide and drags St. Sernin through the streets behind him. The bishop accepts his fate calmly, even finding the strength to bless two female saints as he passes them.
The left end panel depicts the burial of St. Sernin. A woman tenderly caresses his head while his soul -- represented as a small child leaves his body to be received by an angel above. On the far left, St. Sernin's tomb and shrine are shown.
The left transept, which is a chapel dedicated to the Virgin Mary, contains an altarpiece of gilded wood dating from the 17th century.
The earliest chapel here was built by St. Hilary, the first bishop of Carcassonne, in the 6th century. In the 8th century, an abbey was founded here and the monks replaced the small chapel with a larger church.
The relics of St. Hilary were discovered on February 22, 970, and the abbey was re-dedicated to him in place of St. Sernin, the first bishop of Toulouse.
What remains of the abbey today was built mainly in the 11th-14th centuries. The monastery was badly damaged during the Albigensian Crusade and restored by Abbot William (1237-60).
The abbey began its serious declined in the 14th century. The church experienced financial difficulties due to the devastation of the Black Death and Hundred Years' War. Saint-Hilaire began to be ruled by a succession of wealthy aristocratic abbots in the 16th Century who ignored their duties, bringing the abbey into further decline.
After centuries of such misfortune, the abbey was closed in 1748 by Monseigneur de Bezons, Bishop of Carcassonne. The abbey buildings were sold and, in 1758, the abbey church became the parish church of the town.
© 2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM
Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for March 2014
Respect for Women: That all cultures may respect the rights and dignity of women.
Vocations: That many young people may accept the Lord’s invitation to consecrate their lives to proclaiming the Gospel.
Rate This Article
Leave a Comment
More Travel News
- Russia's Ring of Fire virtual wonderland of geysers, natural beauty
- Treasure trove of Byzantine artifacts found at Umm al-Rasas
- Taking to the skies? Watch your wallet!
- Cavalaire-sur-Mer, France: Côte d'Azur without the attitude
- United Airlines crew refuses to protect teen girl exposed to sex act
- Lively, modern city of Amman has rich historical past
- Abbey of St. Foy is longtime medieval pilgrimage route
- Austere Abbaye de Fonteny filled only with light
- British man visits all of the world's 201 nations - without flying in a plane
- Fr. Paul Schenck: Finding Living Faith on Catechetical Sunday
- The Movie Yellow: Incest as 'Normal' and Cassavates's Slides Into the World of Woes
- The Chicago School Teachers Strike Reveals the Need For School Choice
- The Sexual Barbarians and the Dissolution of Culture
- The Happy Priest Challenges Us to Ask: Who is Jesus to Me?
- Michael Coren on Canadian Public Schools: Teachers, leave those kids alone
- We Cannot Ignore Our Consciences: Cardinal Dolan On Religious Liberty
- In the Face of Danger, Successor of Peter Travels to Lebanon as a Messenger of Peace
- Reflections on the Dignity and Vocation of Women: Who or What?
More Greece (Footsteps of St. Paul)
Modern Greece traces its roots to the civilisation of ancient Greece, generally considered the cradle of Western civilization. It is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science and more.
The Parthenon is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their ...
Mount Athos is a mountain on the eponymous peninsula in Macedonia, Greece. The peninsula is called the "Holy Mountain". In Classical times, the ...
Agia Triada Monastery
Agia Triada Monastery is a Greek Orthodox monastery in the Akrotiri peninsula in the Chania Prefecture, Crete, Greece. It also contains a ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 2/18/2014
Russia's Kronotsky area, known as the nation's Ring of Fire, is a natural wonderland that has been off limits for many years, with only ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 9/18/2013
The ancient city of Umm al-Rasas in Jordan has yielded a treasure trove of Byzantine artifacts ever since excavations began there in 1986. Much of ...
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM) • Catholic Online • 9/12/2013
Flying is by far the most expensive way to travel, and it's not necessarily just the cost of your airplane ticket. Passengers who desire a decent ...