The Chartres Labyrinth and Mary (18) The Flight To Egypt

 

At the bottom of the St. John window is an image of Mary, Jesus, and Joseph fleeing the threat of death. John, persecuted for his Christian faith, was exiled to the Greek island of Patmos, less than sixty-six nautical miles from where today’s hundreds of thousands of refugees make their first stop on Kos. While walking the labyrinth, this scene of suffering calls me to move with the questions, “How I might be contributing to the suffering of others?” and “How may I  participate in what God desires for those who are seeking safety in our very broken world?”

My prayer

May I hold the suffering of others as fearful Mary held Jesus. May I care for those fleeing for their lives as Joseph did.

Biblical touchstones

Now after they had left, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, “Get up, take the child and his mother, and flee to Egypt, and remain there until I tell you; for Herod is about to search for the child, to destroy him.” Then Joseph got up, took the child and his mother by night, and went to Egypt… Matthew 2:13-14

The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormwood and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me. Lamentations 3:19-20

God watches over the strangers… Psalms 146:9

Invitation to prayer

When you bring to mind and heart the refugees walking across Europe, what prayers emerge in your heart, mind, body, and imagination? Pray them now.

Photo and placement of this image in relationship to the labyrinth

The Flight to Egypt, 13th century by Jill K H Geoffrion

Mary, Jesus and Joseph fleeing Herod, on their way to Egypt. The bottom panel of the St. John window. This thirteenth century window is found on the westernmost end of the south aisle. It is the window visible on the left of the photo below.

Labyrinth and windows by Jill K H Geoffrion

 

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.
The symbolic “shirt of Mary” on the Bishop’s pulpit (south side of the nave) above the labyrinth.

Advertisements

15 comments

Submit a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s