Posts Tagged ‘Chapelle Sainte-Ursule (Esboz)’

Since I’m unlikely to be visiting France this year, let’s take a look back at my visit last fall and a chapel not far from where my sister-in-law lives. It’s the Chapelle Sainte-Ursule (Esboz) which we drove past many days. But when we finally stopped, the door was locked.

I tried to look up information about it, but there didn’t seem to be any. The Encyclopaedia Britannica has this to say about St. Ursula:

Saint Ursula, (flourished 4th century, Rome; feast day October 21), legendary leader of 11 or 11,000 virgins reputedly martyred at Cologne, now in Germany, by the Huns, 4th-century nomadic invaders of southeastern Europe. The story is based on a 4th- or 5th-century inscription from St. Ursula’s Church, Cologne, stating that an ancient basilica had been restored on the site where some holy virgins were killed. Mentioned again in an 8th- or 9th-century sermon, the number of maidens increased to several thousand, reportedly martyred under the Roman emperor Maximian. In Jacobus de Voragine’s Legenda Aurea (1265–66; Golden Legend) Ursula is a British princess who went to Rome accompanied by 11,000 virgins and was killed with them by the Huns on the return from the pilgrimage. The discovery at Cologne in 1155 of an ancient Roman burial ground believed to contain these martyrs’ relics inspired additional legends. Ursula is the patron of the Order of St. Ursula (Ursulines), a congregation of nuns dedicated to educating girls. In the 1969 reform of the Roman Catholic church calendar her feast day was reduced to observances in certain localities.

Here’s a closer look at the door as well as the First World War monument remembering the children of Esboz-Brest “dead for France.” (The town hall building, which you can see at the link, looks similar to the chapel in style only larger.) You’ll find monuments to those who died in WWI and WWII all over France, a somber reminder of the past.

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