Wednesday, November 20, 2013

L'Église des Jacobins, Toulouse

Two weeks ago, on the afternoon of the day I left Lourdes, I stopped in Toulouse to pray at the tomb of saint Thomas Aquinas, whose relics grace the mother church of the Order of Preachers, built by St. Dominic in the earliest days of the Order, founded in the 13th century to preach against the Cathars here in Languedoc. Little else of world import has happened here, before or since, in this sleepy corner of France.

I found it interesting that the church takes its name from the priory later established by the Order on the Rue St. Jaques in Paris, named after St. James due to the fact the pilgrims to Compostelle congregated there, being the major thouroughfare of the medieval city. Later, in the years leading up to the French Revolution, a political club met at the priory there, and took their name from it, also being called "the Jacobins." This club became famous for radical republicanism, and came to dominate the revolutionary government during the regicidal Terror. Robispierre was a member.

I find it ironical somehow, that the Order responsible for the Inquisition (Torquemada was a member) later gave its nickname to another group infamous for totalitarian terror. Is there some metahistorical poetic synergy there? I think there is.

Here are some of the pictures I took, mediocre though some of them may be:


The Tomb of St. Thomas
And the candle.


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1 comment:

  1. How fitting that St. Thomas's tomb is lit. For what a light HE was!
    (And thanks for the candle!!!!)
    d.

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