mercredi, mai 19, 2010

I made a strange dream the last night. I was watching the famous Montmartre Sacré Coeur in the distance, from Saint-Denis, in the north of Paris. Saint-Denis in my dream had only 3 buildings; and they were Roman ruins.

"Saint-Denis, bishop of Paris, and martyr. Born in Italy, he is usually represented with his head in his hands because, according to the legend, after his execution the corpse rose again and carried the head for some distance. Pope Fabian (236-250) sent him with some other missionary bishops to Gaul on a difficult mission. The Church of Gaul had suffered terribly under the persecution of the Emperor Decius and the new messengers of Faith were to endeavour to restore it to its former flourishing condition. On the island in the Seine, Denis built a church and provided for a regular solemnization of the Divine service. His fearless and indefatigable preaching of the Gospel led to countless conversions. This aroused the envy, anger and hatred of the heathen priests. They incited the populace against the strangers and importuned the governor Fescenninus Sisinnius to put a stop by force to the new teaching. Denis with his two companions were seized and as they persevered in their faith were beheaded (about 275) after many tortures. The bodies of the three holy martyrs received an honourable burial through the efforts of a pious matron named Catulla and a small shrine was erected over their graves. This was later on replaced by a beautiful basilica (egregium templum)."

Three Roman ruins in the northern part of Paris. Me, watching Paris from that point of view. Watching a Christian sign (Montmartre) from the ruins of Roman temples. What does it mean? Carl Gustav, please, help!

The place where Saint Denis and his companions were buried became one of the most important spot where the construction of French identity could start. Religion and power met there; since the sixth century, many French kings like Dagobert were buried in the Basilique of Saint Denis (I would recommend the visit). Today Saint-Denis belongs to the 9-3 area. A lot of people coming from the ancient colonies of Africa and Maghreb, their young descendants live there. It's a very lively place; it's worth going there for the saturday market.

French Christianity was built on Roman ruins (3 ruins in my dream, like the 3 beheaded saints). Now, France has to face the new face of France: we have many religions. The only Christian France is an attractive ruin for tourist guides. The new face of France is the face of the world. This is what my dream tells me: the future is made of ruins if there is no understanding of all these changes. Welcoming the newcomers and their children also means welcoming their Faith and traditions; the dreams has also a political meaning.