My first glimpse of Mont St. Michele was from a narrow street , in a tiny village, miles from the Mont. I am not sure it is possible to fully grasp the scale of this wonder from afar, or frankly, while you are on the rock. It staggers the brain.
I felt enormous sympathy for St. Aubert. By some accounts, this 8th century Bishop of Avaranches would visit a tidal island off the Normandy coast, known as the Rock of the Tomb, to meditate. On one such retreat it is said the Archangel Saint Michel "thumped" Aubert on the head instructing him to build a sanctuary on this rock. There must have been disbelief, certainly resistance to the enormity of the assignment because other historians claim ultimately Saint Michael was obliged to make three such requests of Aubert until finally resorting to using his finger to burn a hole in Aubert's head.
I cannot understand how it is possible for anyone to see Mont Saint Michel and not believe in God. Or miracles. Or say a prayer of gratitude to St. Aubert for his compliance. He is one of my newly recognized heroes of the faith. It is said that one of the Tresor's of Mont Saint Michel is the preserved skull of Saint Aubert. I did not see this for myself so I cannot verify there is a hole form Saint Michel's visit. It is of no importance to me, I do not need to see Aubert's skull to recognize the miracle.
My visit here was actually on the Feast of St. Michel. There
was a special service which I waited in line to attend then,
had a mad dash down the rock and over the causeway before the tide came rushing in. I was not staying on the Mont so getting off before the tide rushes in is essential.
I could say volumes about the wonders of the architecture but ..... well...... see for yourselves.
I could not photograph inside the sanctuary during a service.
Some did. I took a few more images as I made my way down, down, down to the causeway level.
The shadow in the tides
Then these last images before driving off the causeway, back into this century.
AND: Please take a smiling look at the coat of arms for Mont Saint Michel !!!!
AND: ONE MORE PICTURE JUST BECAUSE I LOVE THIS IMAGE: