Friday’s Tall Tales #12

Whenever I photograph a door or gate I wonder about its provenance, who and what has happened across said door or gate. I thought I might pick one from #Thursdaydoors and tell you a bit more about it or……maybe even weave a story about it.

This rather plain ecclesiastical door belongs to the Saint-Éphrem-le-Syriaque Catholic church located in the 5th arrondissement of Paris, in the Sorbonne quarter, at 17 rue des Carmes not far from the Sainte-Barbe door that featured in an earlier post.

The building dates from 18th century and is set back from the street behind wrought-iron gates. The portal of the chapel imitates that of the Saint-André du Quirinal church by Le Bernin which is a Roman Catholic church in Rome, Italy, built for the Jesuit seminary on the Quirinal Hill (pictured below).

Sant'Andrea al Quirinale.jpg

The current building is the third chapel to be built on the site. The first was built around 1334 when André Ghini, bishop of Arras, transformed his Parisian hôtel into a college for Italian students, the College of the Lombards. This college was bought in 1677 by two Irish priests who transformed it into an Irish one. Around 1685 they built a second chapel.

The current chapel was completed in 1738 by the architect Pierre Boscry. It ceased its religious activities in 1825. It was finally bought by the town hall of Paris which in 1925 gave it to the Syriac Catholic Mission in France. Syriac Christianity is an ancient near Eastern Christian group represented by denominations primarily in the Middle East and in Kerala, India, which is still part of the Catholic Church.

The liturgy celebrated in this church is that of Jerusalem-Antioch, fixed at the beginning of 6th century in the Aramaic-Syriac language. On the walls of the nave, a series of icons present the main saints of the Syriac Church, monks, nuns and martyrs of the first centuries.

Saint Ephrem the Syriac (306-373) was born in Nisibis, Mesopotamia. Ordained a deacon, he was a professor at the University of Nisibis when his city was offered to the Persians in 353. He emigrated to Edessa with his fellow citizens. There he founded a School-University where he taught until his death. Ascetic, servant of the poor and theologian, he is the initiator of Syriac sacred music. He was declared a Doctor of the Church in 1920.


22 Comments on “Friday’s Tall Tales #12

  1. Thank you, Sheree, for the extended version of your “doors” posts. Very erudite information that is of interest to me and no doubt, to many others. I love the pictures as they bring the post to life.


    Liked by 1 person

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