A piece of cloth that Mary may have worn at either the Annunciation or the birth of Jesus is kept with reverence in Chartres. Since this “veil” was kept safely in a locked box throughout the Middle Ages, people thought of it as a shirt. In Chartres there are over 100 depictions of Mary’s shirt, including one on the Bishop’s pulpit in the nave, right above the labyrinth. This wooden symbol of Mary’s care for Jesus, surrounded by roses and lilies, reminds me that as I walk through life God’s fragrant love is never far away.
God, May I feel Your kindness that is already surrounding me, wrapping me love.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! All people may take refuge in the shadow of your wings. Psalm 36:7
Draw near to God, and God will draw near to you. James 4:8 (NRSV)
Invitation to prayer
Imagine yourself as a caterpillar who God is wrapping with love. Feel the strangeness and the security as you sense being surrounded. What prayers are emerging in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.
Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth
A symbolic representation of Mary on the Bishop’s pulpit on the south side of the nave overlooking the labyrinth. It is just underneath where the Bishop is visible as he preaches.
Related Posts: Other Images of Mary Visible from the Labyrinth in the Chartres Cathedral
To the east of the labyrinth:
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).
To the west of the labyrinth:
Mary in the Tree of Jesse (Ancestors of Jesus). Twelfth century window (1140-1150) on the north side of the west wall.
The Annunciation in The Life of Christ Window. Twelfth century window (1145-1155), the central window on the west wall.
The Visitation of Mary and Elizabeth in the Life of Christ Window.
The Nativity: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window.
The Kings Visit Jesus and Mary in the life of Christ Window.
The Flight Into Egypt: Mary, Jesus and Joseph in the Life of Christ Window
The Return from Egypt: The Holy Family in the Life of Christ Window
Jesus blessing while sitting on Mary’s Lap in the Life of Christ Window
Mary standing below the cross of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window (1145-1155), on the south side of the west wall.
Mary holding Jesus’ hands as his body is taken off the cross in the Passion and Resurrection Window.
Mary watching the anointing and entombment of Jesus in the Passion and Resurrection Window.
To the south of the labyrinth:
Nursing Mary and Jesus in a clerestory window (1205-1215) above the labyrinth.
Mary holding Jesus, a sculpture on the fifteenth century organ above the south nave.