The Passing of the Mantle
The Eglise St.-Joseph-des-Carmes is a small church in the heart of the Catholic Institute in the 6th arrondissement of Paris. Built between 1613 and 1620, it was originally intended for religious of the Discalced Carmelite Order. (“Discalced” means “without shoes.”) The order was established in the tradition of the solitary Prophet Elijah, who withdrew to Mount Carmel, where the first hermits of the order resided. The dome of St.-Joseph-des-Carmes depicts the story of Elijah's final passing of his mantle on to his acolyte Elisha. In the picture below, if you tilt your head a little to the left, you can see Elijah’s flaming chariot rising up to heaven:
Elisha is depicted on the next level of the dome catching the mantle:
If you ever find yourself wandering down the rue de Vaugirard, be bold and stride right through the Catholic Institute so you can visit this lovely chandeliered gem of a church. It’s worth a stop!
(For another picture of the dome, click here.)