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Notre-Dame, Paris | by Uncle Buddha
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Notre-Dame, Paris

Portal on the north transept.


The sculpture on the central row tells the story of Theophilus, an administrator for a Sicilian bishop who had lost his position of influence. To regain his position, Theophilus sold his soul to the Devil, signing the contract in his own blood. (In a shameful bit of Medieval anti-Semitism, the story is told that a Jewish sorcerer arranged the meeting of Theophilus and the Devil). Later, fearing death, Theophilus repented and the Virgin Mary came to his aid, offering him grace and retrieving his contract from the Devil himself so Theophilus need not fear for his ultimate fate. The sculpture depicts four episodes from the story - Theophilus selling his soul, the Devil getting him reinstated to his position, Theophilus praying for forgiveness, and Mary fighting the Devil to retrieve the contract.


The sculpture in the bottom row tells the story of the Birth of Jesus and the escape into Egypt. From left to right, the birth of Jesus, the wise men present their gifts, King Herod orders the death of the young males in Bethlehem, soldiers enacting Herod's order, and Mary and Joesph fleeing on a donkey with the newborn Jesus.

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Taken on August 5, 2006