Sunday, December 6, 2015

Twelve Days with Mary - Day Six

XI Seat of Wisdom
Sacred Mysteries of Mary deck
Notre Dame Sous Terre de Chartres
Our Lady Underground
The Black Madonna hidden below the Cathedral of Chartres.

I read a wonderful book by Sybil Dana Reynolds
called Honey and Ink which brings
Our Lady of Chartres vividly back to life.

Since then I have visited Chartres twice.
The background tapestry in this shrine
I drew and stitched myself.  It is a replica
of the one that hangs behind Notre Dame Sous Terre
in the underground chapel of Chartres.
The image of the hand seen here is also painted above the door
which leads to the chapel and it is called
'The Hand of God'
and it is as though you are being blessed
by merely entering the hidden chapel
of the Underground Madonna

The artist that did the original tapestry said
that it depicts the Source of all Life
and she sees the Black Madonna seated
at the centre of the chaos of creation.

The hidden Black Madonna under the earth
is seated on the throne of wisdom and justice.
One has to descend through the Chartres Cathedral
to access these underground passages and
chapels, all of which are dimly lit and often
only by candle light.  You can only visit
this chapel under the guidance of an appointed
tour leader and you are not allowed to linger in
the chapel to pray or meditate.

The Black Madonna in the upper Basilica is
no longer black, but has been repainted and
redressed in a more modern European style
as part of the renovation of the Cathedral.

Oh Lady of Justice,
Seat of Wisdom,
where will I find thee?

“There is a reason Mary is everywhere. I've seen her image all over the world, 
in caf├ęs in Istanbul, on students' backpacks in Scotland, in a market stall in Jakarta, 
but I don't think her image is everywhere because she is a reminder to be obedient, 
and I don't think it has to do with social revolution. 
Images of  Mary remind us of  God's favor. 
Mary is what it looks like to believe that we already are who God says we are.”

― Nadia Bolz-Weber, Accidental Saints: 
Finding God in All the Wrong People

I am participating in
Twelve Days with Mary love
as hosted by Rebecca at
This is an annual circle of connection, much
wider than culture, religion or dogma.

Kindly visit and leave some comments.



  1. Many blessings back to you Hettienne.
    Smiling at the title: "Finding God in All the Wrong People"

  2. So much content on each and every post! I am amazed!

  3. I was blessed to visit Chartes once. How I would like to return again, this time with no time constraints, and enjoy her once again.

  4. hettienne your posts each day are a treasure trove of insight and knowledge. thank you for your generous participation.

  5. Such a small world we live in. I have met Dana Sybil Reynolds a few times at journal related events; she is a good friend of author Kay Adams in Denver. I'm on FB with Dana (I know she uses Sybil as her first name now) and I'm sorry to say I never read Honey and Ink. I will order it from Amazon. I have never been to Chartes but have heard so much about it--and the amazing labyrinth. To see the rooms underground has to be amazing.

  6. So interesting...there are many black Madonna's around the world, I've seen the one at the cathedral Montserrat in Spain.

  7. Captures the essence of the energy of that dark little room perfectly. The soft lovingness of it. Love how the frame looks like the dried out and faded paint on plaster of the chapel's ceiling. Beautiful little shrine.


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