A Letter from Germany – Day One

This blog was written by Mark, one of the pilgrims in the group.

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Some of the pilgrims

 

Having arrived at Frankfurt airport, we made our way by coach to Mainz and the Roman Catholic Church of St Stephen which was founded about 900 – established as a collegiate establishment of secular canons and was the imperial oratory for the Holy Roman Emperor. The existing church was severely damaged in the Second World War. It was restored after the war and is now noted for the wonderful stained glass by Marc Chagall.

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Church and cloister

 

They are dedicated:
To the glory of God – and in appreciation, joy and hope of man.
Sign of the bond between Jews and Christians, the friendship between France and Germany, the understanding between all peoples.
Praise the Lord, all ye works of the Lord.
Praise the Lord, light and darkness. (Daniel 3)

Following a tour of the church we held a short service of prayer in the Chapel of St Pankratius off the cloister. This is a prayer of Fr Klaus Mayer, the parish priest who approached Chagall to design stained glass for the church:

God of our Fathers,
in Thy goodness Thou hast revealed
Thyself to us and given us
Thy word as light on our way to life.
We beseech Thee:
Let us be touched by these church windows
which were created to Thy glory
and to strengthen our faith
and bring joy.
Open our own ears and hearts
and those of all visitors to this church
to receive the message of the Bible
which radiates from this work of art.
Let it be a symbol of peace,
a call to love of God and mankind,
understanding and reconciliation.
Lord, hear us and be merciful to us.
Amen