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

Blois, Archive départementales Loir-et-Cher

Many important documents from the abbey, including inventories relating to the disbandment of the abbey in the eighteenth century, are located in the regional archives in France.  Vendôme belongs to the Loir-et-Cher department, which is located in Blois.  
Documents in archives are often written on paper and are kept in folders (called dossiers) and stored in boxes. Published inventories indicate what is in each box.  In France, documents in "Series Q" refer to sources that were taken by the state, often after the French revolution. This page offers an excellent overview of the archival organization system in France.

This document is an inventory, dated April 28, 1790, taken after the monks of La Trinité had been disbanded from the abbey.  Although it is post-medieval, this document provides invaluable information about objects that were destroyed after the Revolution. This inventory notes at the top that this is the church of the Benedictines of Vendôme, meaning the abbey of La Trinité.

On folio 1v, the notary describes very briefly an armoire on the left side of the choir, and within this armoire was the Holy Tear.

Although the Holy Tear was not the focus of his work, he provides a tantalizing description of the now lost relic.In an armoire to the left hand closing to a copper door is found a large reliquary covered with tears of gold in which we have found three others of solid gold. The two largest enriched with precious stones and contain the two smaller (ones), in one of the two is the Holy Tear and in the other a small cross. The Holy Tear is contained in a piece of crystal decorated in gold with two chains and two rings of the same material.

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