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

The Pilgrim's Experience

In this path, we explore how the pilgrim would have experienced the Holy Tear as it was presented to them in the visual and performance culture of pilgrimage. Whereas the monks could address the Holy Tear through the cabinet that was placed within the choir, the pilgrim experienced the tear through a narrative geography that they traversed along the north aisle of the church. 

In the first chapter, we explore how the Holy Tear was displayed in the north aisle of the church over a well that linked the Holy Tear to the foundation legend of the abbey.

In the second chapter, Emily Lindbloom reconstructs the route the pilgrim would traverse in the sixteenth century when the a relic window was constructed near the Holy Tear armoire in the north aisle. As the pilgrim drew near, they encountered narratives in stained glass that portrayed the Lazarus story as well as the donation scene of the Holy Tear.  The first glass transported the pilgrim to the Holy Land and the second authenticated the presence of a Christological relic at the abbey.



 

 

 

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  1. Vendome chapel of Mary Magdalene
  2. La-Trinité north aisle view