The Trinity in its Glory,
Illumination by Jean Fouquet (circa 1420–1481),
Illustration in the Hours of Etienne Chevalier,
Executed circa 1445,
Painting on vellum,
© Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

The Trinity in its Glory,
Illumination by Jean Fouquet (circa 1420–1481),
Illustration in the Hours of Etienne Chevalier,
Executed circa 1445,
Painting on vellum,
© Musée Condé, Chantilly, France

Gospel of 4 June 2023

Solemnity of the Most Holy Trinity

John 3:16-18

Jesus said to Nicodemus:

‘God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not be lost but may have eternal life.

For God sent his Son into the world not to condemn the world, but so that through him the world might be saved.

No one who believes in him will be condemned; but whoever refuses to believe is condemned already, because he has refused to believe in the name of God’s only Son.’

Reflection on the Illuminated Manuscript Miniature

Today, the first Sunday after Pentecost, we celebrate the Holy Trinity, the three persons of God: the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Our image for today is taken from the Hours of Etienne Chevalier, a medieval illuminated manuscript by the miniature painter Jean Fouquet. It was commissioned by Etienne Chevalier, treasurer to King Charles VII of France. It shows a lavishly decorated palace hall with an orange angel-bordered aureola enclosing a bright yellow light emanating from each person of the Trinity, who are seated on a monumental triple throne. All the persons of the Trinity are illustrated as exactly the same, identical. Same importance. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are all of the same essence, God, but they are three distinct persons.

We are part of the row of people at the bottom of the illuminated manuscript page, watching the Trinity, Our Lady on her throne, the angels, the saints, the bishops, the kings…. To live the message of the Gospel means that we have to live in the Trinity illustrated so beautifully here. The light is shining brightly on the coloured cloaks of all the people. Today’s feast invites us to live in the awareness of the presence of the Triune God within us: The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Each time we say a prayer and make a sign of the cross (Father, Son and Holy Spirit) at the start and at the end of it, we place ourselves in the presence of the Trinity.

Happy feast day everyone.

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Mark Crain
Member
Mark Crain(@mark_crain)
3 months ago

The image provides much food for meditation. One thing that strikes me is the variety of hand-arm gestures among the angels, saints, bishops, kings, and the people. My faith is nourished and encouraged by the CA community.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
3 months ago
Reply to  Mark Crain

Me too!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
3 months ago

Just returned from Mass. We sang ‘Firmly I believe and truly, God is three and God is one’. Lovely. Happy feast day good people.

Last edited 3 months ago by Patricia O'Brien
spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
3 months ago

We sang this too. We had a lovely vigil mass last night-one of our churches is out of use for a few weeks so a larger congregation too!

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
3 months ago
Reply to  spaceforgrace

We had a sermon on St Philip Neri who had a great devotion to the Trinity.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
3 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Wonderful Saint!

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
3 months ago

My first thought…’I saw a huge number, impossible to count..’

Last edited 3 months ago by Patricia O'Brien
Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
3 months ago

This is a very large image in very small form if you get what I mean! Monumental. Very beautiful.
Trinity Sunday brings to mind a quite dramatic incident that we had in our church a few years back on Trinity Sunday. We have quite large congregations so there are always strangers in the pews. Anyway in the middle of Mass someone got up and said “three Gods! This is ridiculous!” and walked out. I think he might have been a Muslim as they often make this point. Round here, in South London, I sometimes chat to people coming out of the mosque. It is always polite.

Patricia O'Brien
Member
Patricia O'Brien(@marispiper)
3 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

Ooh, aren’t you good Chazbo…Of course, you know they are Muslims – but I hope they also know in some way, that you are Christian.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
3 months ago

We musn’t assume that ‘looking Muslim’ or Christian’ makes us so, I think. Islam sets a lot of store on how to dress (although I feel it hadn’t always been so) , but it is how Christians behave that marks us out, I hope. Just my take on it.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
3 months ago

Nice polite Muslims are quite happy if you say you are Christian. I worry about the malice that is seething in the background because of the way Muslims dress. In the nineteenth century Catholic religious were abused in the street. I hope this doesn’t come about in this country for them.

Andy Bocanegra
Member
Andy Bocanegra(@bogie29)
3 months ago
Reply to  Chazbo M

A few years ago we had a 2 Muslims, a brother and a sister, who were received into the Church on the down low for fear of repercussions from their family members.

Chazbo M
Member
Chazbo M(@chazbo)
3 months ago
Reply to  Andy Bocanegra

Apostasy is massively serious in Islam. I can understand their caution.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
3 months ago

What an exquisite work of art! Even more so due to its being a minitiature. It reminds me very much of the Wilton Diptych in its use of colour and form. Another in my favourites! Happy Trinity Sunday to you all!

Guy Van Holsbeke
Member
Guy Van Holsbeke(@guy)
3 months ago

j’aimerais aussi ajouter les verses suivants :

19 Et le Jugement, le voici : la lumière est venue dans le monde, et les hommes ont préféré les ténèbres à la lumière, parce que leurs œuvres étaient mauvaises.

20 Celui qui fait le mal déteste la lumière : il ne vient pas à la lumière, de peur que ses œuvres ne soient dénoncées ;

21 mais celui qui fait la vérité vient à la lumière, pour qu’il soit manifeste que ses œuvres ont été accomplies en union avec Dieu. »

Mary Zore
Member
Mary Zore(@zorro)
3 months ago

The image reminds me of how much the architecture of our churches reflects God’s grandeur and leads us visually toward the altar area just as we are led toward the vision of heaven in the illumination. I have reflected lately when at mass how the altar area is raised upward, usually several steps above the main body of the church and it is because we have the upper room in our churches. It reminds me that we are invited into a heavenly space to be present again at a heavenly banquet. At every mass we celebrate the Holy Trinity. Thank you for vibrant image which powerfully expresses that mystery.

spaceforgrace
Member
spaceforgrace(@spaceforgrace)
3 months ago
Reply to  Mary Zore

Great point Mary-yes, the altar is where it all happens, before the tabernacle too. It is the upper room, hadn’t seen it like that before, but it is!

Maria Contreras
Member
Maria Contreras(@gera)
3 months ago

La Santisima Trinidad en el Genesis. Que importante es que, al hacer la señal de la cruz lo hagamos con reverencia y no a la ligera., pues estamos nombrando a Dios Padre, HIjo y Espíritu Santo .

Jo Siedlecka
Member
Jo Siedlecka(@jo-siedlecka)
3 months ago

Happy Feast Day! Thanks for this beautiful image and reflection.

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