Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral

Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral

by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion Ph.D
Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral

Visions of Mary: Art, Devotion, and Beauty at Chartres Cathedral

by Jill Kimberly Hartwell Geoffrion Ph.D


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Through image and word, author and photographer Jill Geoffrion unfolds the the story of Mary at Chartres on the pages of this book. Geoffrion offers a unique visual and meditative journey through Chartres Cathedral in this newest addition to the Mount Tabor Books series. Showing and explaining the most engaging images of Mary created in this location over the last eight centuries, Jill Geoffrion gently introduces the reader to the depth and breadth of the story of Mary at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres. Included are over seventy-five images of the Virgin of Chartres that have been recently restored as well as works of sculpture, painting and liturgical items. Readers will discover an architectural marvel, a stunning showcase for the most complete twelfth and thirteenth century collection of stained glass in the world, with many images of Mary as Jesus’s mother, based on biblical stories such as the Annunciation, Visitation, Nativity, Presentation at the Temple, and Flight to Egypt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781612618944
Publisher: Paraclete Press
Publication date: 09/12/2017
Series: Mount Tabor Books
Pages: 192
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

The Rev. Jill K.H. Geoffrion, PhD, is well known for her work on the Chartres Cathedral labyrinth, work that has led to the publication of seven books and numerous scholarly and popular articles. She has also published a guide for pilgrims and retreatants at Chartres and spends a considerable part of each year in residence there. Her work as a professional photographer points to the unique character and inspiration of this church, as well as other sacred sites around the world. As a guide, workshop leader, and retreat facilitator at the Cathedral, she enjoys connecting the spiritual needs of those who come to Chartres—whether as retreatants, pilgrims, or tourists—with God's bountiful love as expressed and experienced in this setting of devotion and prayer. Visit her at and

Table of Contents

Prologue xiii

Foreword Monseigneur Michel Pansard, Bishop of Chartres xv

Preface xix

Introduction: Mary, Our Lady of Chartres 1

Chapter 1 Mary, Mother of Jesus 9

1.1 Introduction 9

1.2 Mary, Descendant of King David 13

1.3 Mary, Daughter of Anne 14

1.4 Mary and the Word of God 17

1.5 Directing Others To Jesus 19

1.6 From Her Womb: A King Is Born 20

1.7 Pondering the Mystery 23

1.8 Offering Her Son to God 24

1.9 Safely in Her Arms 27

1.10 A Mother's Influence 29

Chapter 2 Mary, Mother of God 31

2.1 Introduction 31

2.2 Mary, the God-Bearer 34

2.3 Mary, the Throne for God's Wisdom 37

2.4 Behold Mary and the Son of God 39

2.5 The Fulfillment of All That Has Come Before 40

2.6 Mary's Support 43

2.7 Our Lady of the Crypt 45

2.8 Royalty Meets Royalty 46

2.9 Our Lady of the Pillar 48

2.10 Beloved Mother and Child 51

Chapter 3 Mary, Mother of the Church 53

3.1 Introduction 53

3.2 Jesus's Commissioning of Mary 56

3.3 Mary at the Empty Tomb 59

3.4 Mary's Efficacious Prayers 61

3.5 Surrounded by Love at Her Death 62

3.6 Carried by Angels to Heaven 65

3.7 The Assumption of Mary 67

3.8 The Crowning of Mary in Heaven 69

3.9 Mary, the Intermediary to the Son of God 70

3.10 The Ubiquitous Shirt of Mary 72

Chapter 4 Mary, Mother of Us All 75

4.1 Introduction 75

4.2 Praying for a Mother's Touch 79

4.3 The Blessed Milk of the Mother 81

4.4 Mary's Advice 82

4.5 Inspired to Build Mary's Home 85

4.6 Mary Saves Theophilus 87

4.7 A Mother's Touching Grief 88

4.8 Donors' Devotion to Mary 90

4.9 A Grateful King's Vow 93

4.10 Sharing the Joy and Grief of Motherhood 95

Chapter 5 Mary at Chartres in the Twenty-First Century 97

5.1 Introduction 97

5.2 Mary, Mother of the Son of Justice 101

5.3 Mary, a Mother Who Has Suffered 102

5.4 The Ongoing Story of Mary 105

Epilogue 107

Dedication and Acknowledgments 111

Works Cited in the Text (in Order) 113

Selected Bibliography 115

Appendix 1 Significant Architectural Elements of Chartres Cathedral 119

Part 1 Definition of Terms 119

Part 2 Upper Church 122

Part 3 A View of the Crypt or Lower Church 123

Appendix 2 Images Found at Chartres Cathedral 125

Part 1 Table of Images Used 125

Parr 2 Location of Images Used in the Upper Church 134

Part 3 Location of Images Used in the Crypt 135

Part 4 Table of Marian Imagery in the Chartres Cathedral 137

Appendix 3 Glossary 157

Appendix 4 Biblical References not Included In The Text 163

Index of Biblical Citations 181

Index of Persons 183

Index of Subjects 185

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

This is a book of homage, a luminous compendium to Mary, Our Lady of Chartres. Rich commentary, with a marvelous array of photographs, inspires us to know God more deeply.”
John James, art historian and author of The Contractors of Chartres
A fascinating and enlightening journey.  The author’s boundless affection and passion for Mary as a mother, full of humanity and love is contagious.”
—Dominique Lallement, president of the American Friends of Chartres
“Excellently written text and superbly illustrated. A remarkable book that helps us to understand Mary’s temporal and celestial roles.  ”
Malcolm Miller, distinguished guide and author of Chartres Cathedral
A crucial contribution to the literature devoted to Mary. Highly recommended.”
Helga Burggrabe, musician and composer of the oratorio commission for the Chartres millennial
“Praise should be given to this work, which through the beauty of Mary’s representations at Chartres leads our hearts to her son and his Heavenly Father.”
 —Irène Jourd’heil, Author and Curator of Historical Monuments of the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs for Central France

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