Paris: Day 5 – Churches and paintings

This morning took us to Saint Etienne-du-mont to visit the church and venerate the tomb (alas, missing most of its borrower), St. Genevieve.

Here you will also find the grave of Pascal and of Racine.

Who wants to do the perfect, and yet smooth, English for us?  I did it standing there.

It’s nice to see that people still venerate the saint.

Then across the street to the Pantheon, which I find sort of creepy.   Down in the crypt you can find writers such as Voltaire, the horrid Rousseau, Hugo, Dumas… scientists Marie and Pierre Curie, etc.


Off the the Grand Palais for the Velasquez exhibit.  I couldn’t take pictures, but we spent hours.  I took lots of notes, as is my wont.

Outside the Grand Palais, there were flowering bushes.  Anyone know what this is?

Then onto the Metro for a ride to Saint Denis… heads attached.

Work is being done, but we could still view the vaults.

Not bad.

Tomb on the left, middle, Charles Martel!   When shall we see his like again?

Back in town, we went to Saint Sévèrin.

Let’s all play: “What’s Wrong With This Picture?”


Tonight, our final supper in Paris.  Tomorrow, off to Roma.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mariana2 says:

    St. Denis? Green with envy…: )!

  2. RichardT says:

    I have seen that flowering bush several times in France (including Normandy and Provence), I liked the look of it so tried to find out what it is so that I could plant it at home.

    The best I can find is that it seems to be Ceanothus, the Californian Lilac.

    The problem is, that’s only native to your USA. Either I’m wrong, and it’s a similar-looking European plant that I haven’t been able to track down, or the French just like it and have imported it

  3. momoften says:

    Looks like a variation of the Buddleia Bush AKA butterfly bush.

  4. msc says:

    Very quickly: In front of the above/neighbouring pillar, under a marble tomb, lies Baise Pascal, of Clermont, the son of Stephen Pascal, president in the high Court of Aids [a court dealing with customs] among the people of Auvergne; after several years spent in strict retreat and meditation on the divine law, happily and devotedly in the peace of Christ, he passed from this life in the year 1662 at the age of 39, on the 19th day of August. He indeed would have chosen because of his zeal for poverty and humility to do without even these honours of the grave, and when dead to lie unnoticed who while alive always wanted to to avoid attention. But since in this matter it was not possible to accede to his wishes, Florian Perier, a counsellor in the same Court of Aids, most loving husband of Gilberte Pascal, the sister of Blaise Pascal, provided this inscription, which both would bear witness to his piety towards him [Blaise], and would exhort Christians to offer the Christian duties of prayers for himself and for the deceased.

  5. brk says:

    The plant looks a lot like lantana. They come in many colors.

  6. JulieC says:


  7. jameeka says:

    The leaves of the blue purple bush sure look like some hybrid of ceoanthus ( california lilac) which bees love and which are blooming right now in Oregon, but I would love for someone to give a smooth translation of the Pascal epitaph, please.

  8. almostpogo says:

    Not sure what Parisians call those fleurs but in Texas they are most definitely verbena.

  9. Gratias says:

    St. Ètienne-du-mont is a magnificent gothic church. I visited it twice. Last time 2 years ago a wreckovation had been performed, paid by the French Republic. The orientation of the pews was changed and they no longer pointed to the main altar. Sad.

    But I still prayed at the tomb of Blaise Pascal. He was a great mathematician and holy man (and author of Pascal’s wager). Pascal was so humble that the site of his grave is unmarked. It is at the foot of a column, indicated it to me by a local parish priest. The Church should canonize some of its scientists. Pascal had Jansenist sympathies so he will not be found suitable, but how about the great medical geneticist Jerôme Lejeune?

    Perhaps the plaque says he was buried close to his sister, a Jansenist nun that influenced him greatly? I got that he died at age 39. Pascal certainly left his mark.

    Thank you for this vicarious tour Père Z. In imitation of your gastronomic adventures, yesterday we opened a small jar of pâtè de foi gras d’oie (goose) and a bottle of Sautenes way back here in California. Thanks.

    When in Rome, shake them up!

  10. That does not look like original glass craft. Again, another hideous product of the 1970’s.

  11. Chon says:

    “Je suis Charles Martel” signs showed up along with the “Je suis Charlie Hebdo” ones. I like the Charles Martel signs far better!

  12. Muv says:

    Fr. Z, the shrub is definitely ceanothus, or Californian lilac. It grows vigorously in Southern England, so will do even better in France. There is a variety called Gloire de Versailles – perhaps you spotted that one.

    Thank you for the pictures of the tomb of St. Genevieve – my daughter’s name. St. Therese of Lisieux was born on the eve of the feast of St. Genevieve, so seeing the rose on the tomb was a nice touch.

  13. AvantiBev says:

    Your visit to her tomb reminds me of Julie Andrews singing my favorite song from CAMELOT:
    Saint Genevieve, Saint Genevieve
    It’s Guinevere, remember me?
    Saint Genevieve, Saint Genevieve
    I’m over here beneath this tree!

    You know how faithful and devout I am
    You must admit I’ve always been a lamb

    But Genevieve, Saint Genevieve
    I won’t obey you anymore
    You’ve gone a bit too far
    I won’t be bid and bargained for
    Like beads at a bazaar
    Saint Genevieve, I’ve run away
    Eluded them and fled
    And from now on I intend to pray
    To someone else instead!

    Oh, Genevieve, Saint Genevieve
    Where were you when my youth was sold?
    Dear Genevieve, Sweet Genevieve
    Shan’t I be young before I’m old?

    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

    Where are all those adoring daring boys?

    Where’s the knight pining so for me

    he leaps to death in woe for me?

    Oh where are a maiden’s simple joys?

    Shan’t I have the normal life a maiden should?

    Shall I never be rescued in the wood?

    Shall two knights never tilt for me

    and let their blood be spilt for me?

    Oh where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

    Shall I not be on a pedestal,

    Worshipped and competed for?

    Not be carried off, or better st’ll,

    Cause a little war?

    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

    Are those sweet, gentle pleasures gone for good?
    Shall a feud not begin for me?
    Shall kith not kill their kin for me?
    Oh, where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

    Shall I never be disputed for
    Or on any minstrel’s lips
    Never have my face recruited for
    Launching countless ships

    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?
    Are those sweet, gentle pleasures gone for good?
    Shall two knights never tilt for me?
    Or let their blood be spilt for me?
    Oh, where are the trivial joys,
    Harmless, convivial joys
    Where are the simple joys of maidenhood?

    More lyrics

  14. danielinnola says:

    Muv beat me too it! That beautiful Plant is California Lilac. Native to California there are many cultivars, the one pictured looks like “Glory of Versaille” i used to see it everywhere when i lived in the Liturgical Tundra aka Los Angeles. Fragrant and very beautiful

  15. jameeka says:

    msc: Thanks!

  16. Glennonite says:

    Possibly mint? Mint will have square stems.

  17. Grumpy Beggar says:

    Thanks msc .

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