When Things Change: The West Capital Frieze at Chartres (3)

Anne and Joachim came together after the angel’s message that they would have a daughter.* Life followed barrenness. I find it helpful to remember that things can change–even in the most unlikely of situations.

My Prayer

For an understanding  of the bigger perspective, for a vision that matches Your grandeur, I pray.

Scriptural Touchstone: 

West Capital Frieze (1145)
Anne and Joachim’s hands

How beautiful you are, my darling! Oh, how beautiful! Your eyes are doves.
How handsome you are, my lover! Oh, how charming! And our bed is verdant. Song of Songs 1:15-16

Invitation to Pray:

As you open your mind and heart to fertility, what prayers are emerging in your body, mind, heart, and imagination? Pray them now.

West Capital Frieze (1145)


Small twelfth-century  sculptures (1145) that line the west wall, just above the doorways at the Chartres Cathedral in France. This scene found in the second rounded capital next to the left central door. You can see it on the right of the photo below.

West Capital Frieze
West capital frieze to the left of the cathedral’s central doorway


*The story of Mary’s parents, Anne and Joachim were told in the Protevangelium of James (an apocryphal gospel written about 145 CE) and the Homilies of the Greek monk Jacobus Kokkinobaphos (12th century). They are found at Chartres in these sculptures and the Life of Mary Window.

Life of Mary Window by Jill K H Geoffrion
Anne and Joachim meet at the Golden Gate (after the angel told Joachim about Mary’s conception and birth)

Other posts in this series on the sculptures of the west capital frieze:

(1) The Pain of Infertility
(2) Needing To Think These Over


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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