The diocese assumes the disappearance of the green light of Strasbourg Cathedral

Identified in the 1970s, light appeared at the spring and fall equinoxes. From now on, only the diocese has the power to put Christ back in the light. PATRICK HERTZOG / AFP

The gothic Christ of the monument no longer benefits from the emerald brilliance which shines on him twice a year. These are the consequences of a restoration which the Church did not oppose.

The ephemeral light still no longer bathes, on the pulpit of Strasbourg Cathedral, the crucified Christ and his Gothic canopy with a verdant glow. The brilliance, which had become a local sensation, brought together the curious twice a year under the nave of the church, at the spring and autumn equinoxes. But, like last March 20, nothing appeared on September 23 on the face of the Redeemer. This disappearance is due to the restoration campaign of the cathedral.

Property of the State, the Strasbourg monument built between the 12the and the XVe century is the subject of a long conservation and development campaign carried out, sector by sector, under the direction of the Regional Department of Cultural Affairs (Drac) of the Grand Est. The transept or even the monumental sculpture of the Mount of Olives have thus been entrusted to heritage restorers for several months. According to AFP, these same people would also have got the better of the stained glass foot at the origin of the green light now volatilized.

Despite its almost supernatural appearance, the ray emanated from the foot, in colored glass paste, of a representation of Judas, one of the sons of the biblical patriarch Jacob and ancestor of Christ. Located along the south triforium of the cathedral, the current stained glass window was installed in 1876, at the time of the reconstruction of the site badly damaged during the siege of Strasbourg, six years earlier. In the 1970s, the change in stained glass – which became transparent and no longer translucent – gave rise to the cyclical phenomenon, identified in 1972 by Maurice Rosart.

Rationality versus paganism

Today, the former discoverer of the green light claims the restoration of this defect which has become a curiosity of the cathedral. The engineer told the local Strasbourg media StrasTV this spring that he felt “disgusted by such a stupid and senseless gesture”. Maurice Rosart accuses the diocese of having welcomed this alteration. “This annoys the Church because it is a very beautiful pagan manifestation which somewhat contradicts its discourse by showing that the master of the world is not God but the sun”, he suggested for RTL.

Contacted by Le Figarothe diocese stressed that it does not make much of the end of this biannual meeting. “It was very spectacular, of course, but it should be put into perspectivesaid Bernard Xibaut, Chancellor of the Archdiocese of Strasbourg. This brilliance only existed for about fifty years while the cathedral carries a centuries-old history. For once, it is the Church that makes itself the champion of rationality!”

A petition launched in March demanding “the modification of the stained glass window so that it is restored to its previous state so that the famous “green ray” is reborn” was signed at the end of September by nearly 3,600 people. Addressee of the petition, and master of the clocks in the file of the restoration of the cathedral, the Drac Grand Est still does not speak about the missing light. Impossible to know if she gave her green light…

SEE ALSO – The diocese of Strasbourg targeted by a general inspection ordered by the pope


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