QR 1 Romanesque art in Ubaye
Since the first chapter of the first book of the Bible, everything is image to make intelligible from this sensible world the marvels of the spiritual world where already, for 2000 years, we're introduced.
All these roman churches everywhere in Latin Europe, at that point, why? The XII°-XIII° centuries are a privileged time, little troubles and wars, no famine, no plague. The demography and the mentalities feel the effects of it, people move a lot, the exchanges grow, the towns emerge and increase. It's the period of the pilgrimages to the great tombs of the Christianity, Jerusalem, Rome, Santiago de Compostela, here in Provence, St Mary Magdalene (Saint Maximin). Above all, the ideas move, along the ways of pilgrimages as along the ways inherited from the roman Empire and so in Ubaye, useful passing between Piedmont and Via Domatia to Spain. The ideas and heresies. It's the time of the Cathars. In a long and bitter argument throughout Europe, of which champions are called Saint Bernard, Saint Hildegard of Bingen, then in the XIIIth century, Saint Dominic, and Saint Francis of Assisi, all medias are called in for the new evangelization. The architecture of the places of worship, that's new, become a language to signify to every one, from the middle of the city, that the Good is the created.
A church, what is its use? And why roman? Since Moses, God calls and gathers together his people at the entry of the Tent of Meeting. From now on it's Jesus Christ Resurrected who calls and gathers together in front of the Sanctuary. The roman art, inspired of the "Mystagogy" of St Maximus the Confessor (VII° century) and taking the image system, - geometry and arithmetic-, of the Temple up, summarizes the new and everlasting Covenant of YHWH:
"I'm your God and you’re my people"
The roman art displays images and symbols. In the Christianity the symbolon gathers together, and is opposite of the diabolon which divides. In all modesty, the most humble among the roman churches is, like the Temple of Jerusalem, figure of our person while it tells us that the man reflects everything. The roman church is image of a man, Jesus Christ. anthropological lessons indeed. it places our soul, -soul created immortal and that establishes us capax Dei-, in that psychosomatic set of flesh and blood that we use to call our body, which relies us to the material world. It figures moreover the movement of the New Man in Christ's footsteps from his baptism to his deification by grace in risen Christ.
The church at the center of the town is a Presence? It's a living World, a language accessible to every one as soon as the "new evangelization" yields its fruits. A language that have its own syntax and its characteristic code of the roman art.
The roman epoch was a prosperity period for the Valley, this is evident with the parish enclosures of Maurin, Saint Paul, Le Chatelard, Méolans-Revel (church, penitents chapel, cemetery inside an only park) and these vestiges that are the Cardinalis Tower in Barcelonnette, the bell tower of Faucon. It's then the end of a centuries-old robbery of the Sarrazins in the mounts. It's the birth in Faucon of St John of Matha, pride of the Valley, founder of the order of the Blessed Trinity devoted now to the redemption of the prisoners in the entire world.