The Abbey of La-Trinité in Vendôme, France and the Cult of the Holy Tear: An Exploration of a Multi-Sensory Devotional Experience

Introduction

Welcome to the Abbey of La-Trinité de Vendôme and the Cult of the Holy Tear Scalar project. This digital book is a companion to a forthcoming article on the visual and performance culture at the Benedictine abbey of La-Trinité in Vendôme, France. Whereas the print article will present, in a traditional format, an argument about the display of the abbey's most precious relic, the Holy Tear of Christ, this Scalar project invites readers to explore the visual, aural, and kinesthetic evidence on which the article is based.

 This digital essay's goal is to make the evidence gathered from the archival and material record accessible to the public, students, and scholars. As the archival record is never complete, and all reconstructions of medieval environment must always remain to a certain extent contingent, it is crucial for our evidence and reconstruction methods to be as transparent and accessible as possible.

 I created this digital companion with the assistance of student scholars at Hope College (Holland, MI). Jonathan Bading transcribed, analyzed, and sang the chants from the office of St. Lazare found in the abbey's fifteenth-century antiphonary. Emily Lindbloom created pen and ink drawings of the abbey's interior and Holy Tear armoire. Her drawings are based on material, visual, and documentary evidence.

This project was generously funded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Scholars Program in the Arts and Humanities at Hope College, and the Clark and Nancy Borgeson Faculty-Student Collaborative Research Grant in the Arts.

 

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