The Chartres Labyrinth and Mary (4) Tree of Jesse

To feel connected to Mary is to feel connected to her family of physical and spiritual ancestors who sit and stand together in the Tree of Jesse window in the west, watching over the cathedral, reminding us all that we never walk alone.

Tree of Jesse Stained Glass Window, 12th century

My prayer

Dear Older Brother, Jesus, for my sister Mary and all my family that spans countless generations, I am so grateful. Love, Jill

Biblical touchstone

A shoot shall come out from the stump of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The spirit of the LORD shall rest on him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. His delight shall be in the fear of the LORD. He shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide by what his ears hear, but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth; he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked. Righteousness shall be the belt around his waist, and faithfulness the belt around his loins. Isaiah 11:1-5 (NRSV)

See also Luke 3:23-28 and Matthew 1:1-11

Invitation to prayer

Which members of your faith family inspire you the most? Think about their gifts to you. What prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.

Mary, Jesse Tree, 12th century stained glass window
Mary flanked by Daniel and Zechariah

The Tree of Jesse window on the north side of the west wall of the Chartres Cathedral in France. The window dates from 1140-1150. Mary sits above Jesse, his son David and other Kings in their line. Zechariah and Daniel stand beside her. Above her is Jesus. This image is visible from all those places in the labyrinth where the walker is facing west. As one leaves the center the labyrinth, and on all the straight sections of the pathway as one returns to the threshold, the window and Mary are fully visible.


Labyrinth from the west
The labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral. Unfortunately, due to restorations it will not be open for walking again until the fall of 2016.

Related Posts:

The apsidal image of Mary as a throne for Jesus who is sitting on her lap blessing on the top of the East central window (above the choir).
The Annunciation of Jesus’ birth to Mary in the East central window (above the choir).
The Visitation of Mary and her cousin Elizabeth in the East central window (above the choir).


Jill K H Geoffrion

Serving as a contemplative Christian minister and artist by compassionately and creatively inspiring others to seek a deeper relationship with God and a more meaningful life of service.


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