CHURCH OF SAINTE-GEMMES-SUR-LOIRE. Saint John Bosco parish

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1 CHURCH OF SAINTE-GEMMES-SUR-LOIRE Saint John Bosco parish

2 The church was built in the late 12th century and was dedicated to Sainte Gems. It underwent transformations and expansions to its last redesign in The original single-nave church was doubled in 1575 by a second vessel on the Southern side (the side of the square). In 1710, the nave was increased to the current length. At the same time, the great retable La Porte de Gloire (The Glory Gate) above the main altar and the altar dedicated to the Virgin (on the left) were created. In 1860, on the Northern side, the nave was remodeled with a third vessel dedicated to Saint Joseph. Foundation late 12 th century ❶ Of this time, it remains the Angevin-Plantagenet style choir ended with a cul de four apse and molded diagonal ribs (below the bell tower). The key bows represent naive human faces and the keystone represent the Lamb. The four levels of the steeple are the result of different revisions, we can see them from the gardens of the rectory. Doubling of the nave in 1575 The original nave reached the 3/5th of the current length, until the third pillar. The church became too small because of the increase in population, that is the reason why the second aisle was built on the Southern side. This vessel was blessed Pierre Raganne, Bishop of Roanne who was the chaplain of King Charles IX and his mother Catherine Medicis. On the walls of this chapel, four plates evoke gifts made by important persons for masses to be celebrated for life.

3 Creation of the main altarpiece and lengthening of two aisles in 1710 ❸ The great altarpiece and its triumphal arch were raised on February 19 of 1710 in presence of Baron Philippe Guillemot, Sainte gems lord. At the same time, the nave was lengthened by 8 meters, bringing to its current length. On the baroque triumphal arch, the Calvary is surrounded by the Virgin Mary and Saint John. The Spirit has the form of a dove and goes down from the cloud which dwells God and angels. Behind the Calvary, we can see Jerusalem. On both sides, two elegant painted stone statues represent Sainte Gems and Saint Martin. Saint Gems is the patron saint of the parish, and she holds the palm of martyrs. Saint Martin is the second patron of the parish. Besides these patrons, the busts of Saint Francis de Sales (on the left) and Saint Philip Neri (on the right) are represented in medallions. They probably are the founder patrons of the altarpiece. The first one founded the Order of the Visitation in the early 17th century in Angers, whose possessed many lands in Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire. The second one founded in 1575 the Order of the Oratory which considerably developed in France and particularly in Angers. ❹ To the left of the altar, is the painted stone statue of the Virgin and Child dating from The altarpiece, as this statue is attributable to Saint-Simon brothers (sculptors Angers). The statue of Saint Martin, by contrast, is due to the sculptor Lamarve in 1810.

4 ❶ ❶ ❸ ❹ ❸ ❹ ❺ ❻ ❺ ❾ ❼ ❿ ❻ ❽

5 ❶ ❸ ❹ ❺ ❻ Vault "Plantagenet" style choir Chapelle Sainte Gemmes Altarpiece "Gateway to Glory" Statue of Virgin Mary painted stone Nave and altar of St. Joseph Statue of Saint Isidore ❶ ❸ ❹ ❺ ❻ ❼ ❽ ❾ ❿ Stained glass Sacred Heart, at the bottom - Stained glass window of the Tree of Life, right Stained Glass Window of the Holy Gemmes - Arc-en-ciel des Anges Stained glass window of the Virgin Mary Stained glass window of Mary Magdalene Stained glass window of the Holy Family Stained glass window of the Annunciation Stained glass window of St. Augustine Stained glass window of the Baptism of Christ Stained glass window of St. Peter Stained glass window of the Guardian Angel

6 Construction of the third vessel (on the Northern side dedicated to Saint Joseph) and redesign of the whole in 1860 ❺ At the initiative of the priest Fillain, the parishioners finance the restoration of the nave and the building of the third vessel and the chapel dedicated to Saint Joseph on the Northern side. The altar represents the Coronation of Saint Joseph, this scene is very rare and was sculpted by the famous sculptor Moisseron of Angers. The church is restored and enlarged in less than two years with the plans of the architect Roques, who was the assistant of the diocesan architect. It was blessed by Bishop Angebault, the bishop of Angers and Viscount Eduard d Andigné, the mayor of Sainte-Gemmes-sur-Loire. The purpose was to create a vast nave-hall and to build on the Plantagenet architecture with thins columns.

7 The stained glass-windows From 1862, the church has new windows, in the Chapels of the Virgin and Saint Joseph, and the western rose window. Moreover, Jean Adrien Mercier, the famous illustrator who resided in the town and known for having decorated the boat France, offered in 2005 the window which represents Sainte Gems. ❶ His daughter, Sylvie Mercier de Flandres, great watercolorist offered two windows, ❶ L Arbre de Vie (the Tree of Life) L Arc en ciel des Anges (the Rainbow of Angels).

8 The bells Now, the tower has three bells. The oldest, from 1846, is called Gems and was blessed by Mr Mossion, the dean of the cathedral. Its godfather is August Chesneau-Dupuy, and its godmother is Esther d Estriché. Two other bells were blessed in 1885 by Bishop Chesneau. These bells are replacing old ones which were melt.

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