TRACES IN MEDIEVAL ART
Although the Great God Pan is dead, he rules us from the grave. Throughout early Christianity, there is one remarkable truth, the icons of pagan art are transformed into Christian symbols. The sites of pagan temple sacrifice are transformed into Christian Churches and the occult wisdom of the mysteries is preserved in the stream of Esoteric Christianity. Consider that the Basilica of St. Peters Church in Rome was the site of a temple dedicated to Mithras. The Cathedral at Chartres was the site of an Hibernian mystery center and later a Druid cave sanctuary containing the Black Madonna. The Abbey at Glastonbury, England was also an ancient site of an Hibernian mystery center before St. Joseph of Arimathea received his charter and twelve hides from the Pagan King Arviragus.
There is not a better example of how pagan idols were transformed into Christian symbols than the two stone slabs on the walls of the Visigoth Church (7th. century) at Burgos, Spain. As shown, above is the bust of "sol" supported by winged angels. Below, the sun is replaced by a bust of Christ holding a cross.
Prior to the 10th Century, the most elaborate paintings occur as the triumphal arches in Santa Marie Antiqua and San Prassede in Rome. At Santa Marie Antiqua, different hierarchies of angels are designated to different spheres with different colors used to distinguish the groups. The Seraphim have white robes, red and amber wings and their feet are set in flames. The archangels wear red robes. The Cherubim support the throne of God. Remarkably, there are day and night angels colored pink and green respectively.
On the apse of San Prassede, the Virgin Mary is seated in glory on a throne. To each side of her, are groups of angels with wings, halos on their heads, and folded hands in adoration. Above her head is the symbol,
A 12th Century Fresco in the Chiesa di San Pietro at Civate shows the angelic orders of virtues, principatus and potestates with wings and halos.
A 12th Century tympanon on the south portal at Moissac entitled, "The Lord in Glory" shows Christ on a throne surrounded by the twenty-four elders, two angels and the four beasts of St. John's APOCALYPSE. As the four beasts of Ezekiels vision, the lion, bull, eagle and man usually are identified with the Cherubim order and appear frequently in Medieval Art and sculpture. Likewise, the twenty-four elders of the APOCALYPSE appear throughout Europe in such places as on the Portico de la Gloria at Santiago, Oloron-Sainte-Marie in Carboeiro, three times at the Cathedral at Chartres and at Notre Dame in Paris. In Northern France alone, there are Romanesque sculptures of the Elders in at least nineteen different churches.
Another source of angelology survives in the twenty-seven manuscripts of Beatus, a bishop of Libera, Spain who wrote a commentary on St. John's APOCALYPSE. He includes all symbols of esoteric Christianity particularly the sacrificial lamb of Christ pierced by the sword in the form of the cross. The four beasts are shown either as the Evangelists or as Cherubim angels with six wings. The seven spirits are shown as angels with two wings. The twenty-four elders wear crowns and are displayed as kings in adoration. Throughout the manuscripts, there appear wheels, probably from Ezekiels's vision, bearing a motif of Ying-Yang symmetry.
A very clear example of the angelic orders appears in the Assunta by Masolino. Here, the Virgin Mary is seated in an oval mandola surrounded by Cherubim and Seraphim. They are shaped like swallows with human heads and halos. Outside this oval is another layer of angels holding emblems of their particular orders, such as virtues and shields, orbs, lancers and scepters and a banner inscribed-Virtues.
Likewise, the orders are clearly laid out in an illumination of a 14th Century copy of the Dionysius manuscript at the Bibliotheque Nationale. St. Denis is shown at his desk writing his book of commentary entitled DE HIERARCHIA. Above him in nine arcs are shown the nine Angelic orders of Dionysius with angels with wings and halos. This particular representation contains the core of Esoteric Christianity replete with figures of the most Holy Trinity above the nine orders. A similar woodcut version is by Franchino Gafori (1508) with the Muses on the left and the chaldean planets on the right and the earth on the bottom center with the 4 ancient elements.
Most representations of the angelic order are less demonstrative than that of St. Denis. Typically, the orders are recognized by a secret script of symbols and colors. For example, in the painting Mary, Queen of Heaven by Frans Hals, we see the Virgin surrounded by various orders of angels, each order being represented by various types of musical instruments while still preserving the esoteric characters of the Holy Trinity placed above the angel groups.
This symbolism seen in sculptures, paintings and illuminations throughout the Middle Age has been collected by Kathi Meyer-Baer in her book, MUSIC OF THE SPHERES AND THE DANCE OF DEATH (1970). She described the correspondences drawn from the historical commentaries as follows:
Angels with six wings, the Counsellors:
Angels with four wings, the Rulers:
Angels with two wings, the Servants:
In addition, we also find a variety of shields, orbs, crowns, lances and numerous musical instruments including harps, lutes, flutes, trumpets, fiddles and organs.
In the 16th Century, we also see an interesting musical score written by Robert Wilkinson entitled Salve Regina. It was written in nine parts with each part designated to one of the nine orders of the Celestial Hierarchy. The voices and the orders were:
Triplex ---------------------- Cherubim
Primus Contratenor --------Dominations
Primus Bassus ------------- Angeli
Secundus Contratenor------ Principalities
Inferior Contratenor -------Virtues
Secundus Bassus ---------- Archangeli
ST. THOMAS AQUINAS
Prior to St. Thomas Aquinas, the most comprehensive commentary on the CELESTIAL HIERARCHY of Dionysius was by John Erigina Scotus in the Ninth Century. St. Thomas was born near Naples in the ancestral castle of the Courts of Aquino about year 1224. He studied the Liberal Arts at the University of Naples and at this time met Dominicans who had opened there a school of theology. Against the desires of his family, he became a Dominican and travelled to Paris to study theology from Albert the Great. Still upset, his widowed mother sent two of his brothers from the army to capture and hold him hostage. After more than a year in captivity, the Dominicans had him set free after pleading with both the Pope and the Emperor. St. Thomas became the prized pupil of Albert, called the Magus, because of his wisdom of the Hermetic sciences as well as being the foremost Western authority of the Hellenistic arts and sciences of Aristotle.
In 1256 he received his doctorate in theology and began his long career of teaching and writing only after receiving a papal dispensation because he was so young. After several years in Paris, he returned to Italy. His fame as a scholar, teacher and writer became so great, he turned down offers to became Archbishop and Abbott, so as to continue his vocation. He continued the tradition of Albert the Great to incorporate the works of Aristotle into theology. To accomplish this, he translated his own texts directly from the Greek because he felt the Arabic versions to be corrupted.
His greatest achievement and, of course, the source book of medieval scholasticism was the unfinished SUMMA THEOLOGICA. This text consists of thousands of pages of pinhead dialectic on such subjects as the nature of God, the Trinity, the Angels, Creation, Man, and Divine Government. While saying Mass on December 6, 1273, he had a revelation, after which he never wrote again. When urged to complete the SUMMA, he is said to have responded, "I can do no more, such things have been revealed to me that all I have written seems as straw, and I now await the end of my life." He died several months later while on journey to a church council at Lyons.
In the SUMMA, his discussion of the angelic degrees of hierarchies and orders covers eight points of inquiry:
1. Whether all the angels belong to one hierarchy?
2. Whether in one hierarchy there is only one order?
3. Whether in one order there are many angels?
4. Whether the distinction of hierarchies and order is natural?
5. Of the names and properties of each order.
6. Of the comparison of the orders to one another.
7. Whether the orders will outlast the Day of Judgment?
8. Whether men are taken up into the angelic orders?
Through the hundred of references to the CELESTIAL HIERARCHY, we come to know the contents of this work in the same way we learn about the lost writings of Origen through the commentaries of the Church Fathers.
St. Thomas first establishes a distinction between the human and angelic hierarchy. Although all men are of one species and have one natural mode of understanding, the angels have three distinct and separate hierarchies based upon the more universal knowledge of truth by the superior angels. In addition, the diversity of order arises from the diversity of offices and action, which is reduced to three, namely, the summit, the middle and the base. Likewise, within each order, there are angels who are first, middle and last.
Next, St. Thomas endeavors to clean up messy terminology that arises from less than perfect commentaries. The second hierarchy of Dionysius included Dominations, Virtues and Powers. However, Pope Gregory the Great (6th Century) says Dominations, Principalities, Powers, then for the third hierarchy, Virtues, Archangels and Angels.
Both draw upon St. Paul on their authority. In Ephesians (I. 20-21) he says, "God has set the man Christ on his right hand in the heavenly places above all principality and power, and virtue and dominion." However, in COLOSSIANS (I. 16) he says, "Whether Thrones, or Dominations or Principalities, or Powers, all things were created by Him and in Him."
Apparently, this conflict between Dionysius and Gregory was important to resolve because it consumes the largest portion of the text. St. Thomas regards the second hierarchy as a government or administration of execution of divine tasks. To the Dominations belong the job of appointing what things are to be done. To the Virtues belong the jobs of carrying out what is to be done. To the Powers belong the orders to be commanded what has been decreed by the higher orders. Citing Dionysius, he says that the proper name of each order expresses its property. For the first hierarchy, the Cherubim have the excellence of knowledge and the Seraphim the excellence of ardor and charity. Both enjoy having an immediate knowledge of the Divine will and plan. The Thrones are recognized as material seats, raised above the earth and because of their shape, are open to received the sitter and to serve Him. To the third hierarchy lies the execution of the divine plan. The Principalities are the leaders of angelic ministrations. The angels are the messengers who simply execute what is to be done. Between the two, are the Archangels or angel princes who announce the tasks to the angels but answer to their higher order of Principalities. To each man a guardian angel is assigned for life.
Without resolving the issue, St. Thomas suggests that both orders or Gregory and Dionyius are reasonable because little or no difference exists in reality between the orders from mankind's point of view.
In an interesting digression St. Thomas addresses the issue of whether men are taken up with the angelic orders. He answers that Christ promised (Luke 20) the children of the resurrection will be equal to the number of the angels in heaven. By the gift of grace men can merit glory in such a degree as to be equal to the angels in each of the angelic orders and this implies that men are taken up into the orders of the angels.
This concept was further elaborated by Steiner when discussing the Eastern tradition of Buddahood. A Dhyani-BuddhA is ensouled by a spirit of the Principalities down to his physical body. A Bodhisattva is ensouled by an archangel down to his physical and etheric bodies and a human Buddha is ensouled by an angel down to his physical, etheric and astral bodies.
Finally, St. Thomas addresses some issues concerning the evil angels or demons. He reasoned that since the angels in God's administration existed in certain well defined orders, so should those spirits who work against the divine plan. For this he cites the wisdom of St. Paul (Ephesians), "our wrestling is not against the flesh and the blood but against Principalities and Powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness against the spirits of wickedness in the high places". The order of Powers is that of the Spirits of Form. It was during the Lemurian epoch that Lucifer and his legions invaded the astral body of mankind to work in opposition to the Divine Plan of the spirits of Form. Similarly, during the Atlantean epoch, the spirits of Ahriman or Satan (as called by the Scholastics) invaded the etheric body of mankind in opposition to the Divine Plan of the Principalities or Archai.
Although St. Thomas goes to length in his discussions about angels and demons, he ends his treatise on the hierarchies of Dionysius rather abruptly. One would certainly wish his divine inspiration to extend further than his treatise on "Irascible passions" or the " Goodness and Malice of the Interior Act of the Will". Mankind had to wait to the revelations of the Michael Age for the next chapter.
THE MARRIAGE IN HEAVEN
The marriage of the ancient Chaldean planets to the angelic hierarchy of Dionysuis takes place through the medium of music. In the 6th Century DE NUPTIIS of Martianus Cappella, we saw the Chaldean planetary spheres moved by the Muses. In the evolution of angelology through the Middle Ages, it was only a small leap of faith to replace the Hellenistic Muses with the Celestial Hierarchy of Dionysius.
During this transition, a remarkable woodcut by Franchino Gafori (1508) stands out. As shown, there is a correspondence between the Caldean planets on the right, the Muses on the left and the tones and intervals of the Pythagorean musical scale in the middle. At the bottom is planet Earth represented as the center of this cosmos, surrounded by the four ancient elements. At the top is Apollo, the sun god, treading on the three headed serpent. The entire scheme represents the Hellenistic cosmos of Plato and Pythagoras with Christian symbols. The transition from Greek Paganism to Esoteric Christianity is accomplished with the simple substitutions of Apollo into Christ, the sun spirit treading the serpent Satan and the Muses into the angelic hierarchy of Dionyius.
Robert FLUDD was born in 1574 and bred a true Elizabethan, his father having received knighthood. He graduated from St. John's College, Oxford with a Master's degree in 1598. Thereafter, he travelled for six years in Europe supporting himself as a tutor in wealthy families. On his return to England he entered Christ Church, Oxford and graduated in 1605 with a Doctorate of Medicine. However, it took him four more years to be accepted in the College of Physicians because of his rejection of traditional medicine as practiced in Calvinist and Anglican England. As a private physician he followed the practice of Paracelsus and homoeopathy, with a healthy dose of astrology, magnetic healing and alchemy. For each patient, he calculated their horoscope and determined their critical days from planetary transits.
Around the year 1614, we see the publication of the three Rosicrucian Manifestoes and although, he always denied being a Rosicrucian, he spent great efforts in publishing defenses to the secret society. His many textbooks on the ancient wisdom and esoteric Christianity were published in folio format, replete with more diagrams and illustrations than occultists have seen before or after. A true Renaissance man, his goal was none other than a complete encyclopedic tabulation of the esoteric sciences.
In his treatise, HISTORY OF THE MACROCOSM, he discusses and accepts the cosmology of Martianus Capella. With Fludd the marriage of Capella and Dionysius is complete. In dozens of illustrations, he unites the Chaldean planets and the angelic hierarchy (with the Pope Gregory reversal) as follows:
1. Moon ------------ Angels
2. Mercury--------- -Archangels
3. Venus------------ Virtues
4. Sun--------------- Principatus
5. Mars -------------- Potestates
7. Saturn------------- Throni
8. Fixed Stars (Zodiac)----- Cherubim
9. Primum Mobile--------- Seraphim
The Holy Trinity
Henry Cornelius Agrippa (his portrait) of Neetesheim revived an ancient wisdom that had been completely lost from the time of the Magi and King Solomon. In his tables of the planets he assigned to each of the Chaldean spheres, an intelligence, which by nature is good. He also assigned to each a spirit, or demon which by nature was evil, to the extent that the demon worked against the plan of the intelligence. Thus, for each of the angelic hierarchies associated with a particular planet, there were named presiding spirits. Naming spirits was important for the ancient practice of Geomancy and inscribing talismans.
For example, look at the planetary table of MERCURY. First the kamea or magic square has 64 squares, eight on each side. The numbers vertically, horizontally and diagonally all add up to the number 260 and the sum of all is 2080. The intelligence of the planet is Tiriel and the demon is Taphthartharath. To prepare a talisman for good or evil purposes, a sigil of the spirit is drawn. First, the name of the saint is reduced by AIQ-BEKER or "the Quabbalah of Nine Chambers." Thus, for the demon of Mercury, the GEMATRIA (courtesey of Doug Evans, the Hermit) for the seven Hebrew letters is Tau, 400; PeH, 80; Tau 400; Resh 200; Tau 400; Resh 200; and Tau 400. This reduces to 40,8,40,20,40,20, and 40. Second, beginning with a small circle, a continuous line is traced upon the Kamea to each of the reduced numbers. The resulting figure shown at the lower right corner, (resembling an upside down F) is the sigil symbol to be traced on the talisman for evil purposes.
Likewise, the seal of the planet is a symmetrical design arranged that its lines pass through every number on the Kamea, thus, becoming a sort of synthesis of the magic square.
The obvious purpose of such signs, seals, and sigils was for invoking spirits, both of a good and evil nature. Agrippa doubtless drew upon the Lemegeton or Lesser Key of Solomon and the Book of Enoch Angelic tables for his sources. Later ceremonial magicians such as Dr. Rudd, Dr. John Dee, Sir Edward Kelly and Casaubon drew upon Agrippa's text, De Occulta Philosophia(1651) and Rosicrucian centers existent in Central Europe. By the late 19th Century these planetary tables were again lost, until McGregor Mathers translated the Key of Solomonand revived "the Treatises of Dr. Rudd" from manuscripts in the British Museum to be used for ceremonial rituals in the Golden Dawn. Even Steiner in The Apocalypse of St. John (1908) performs the gematria of the evil spirit of the sun-SORATH as Tau 400; Resh 200; Van 6 and Samech 60 for a total of 666, the number of the beast! He also draws the sigil for the sun demon as "a thick stoke bent back upon itself and terminating in two curved points".
The important theme here is not the invoking rituals of ceremonial magicians but the recognition by medieval occultists of the practice of the ancient wisdom of naming planets and stars for the spirits (whether good or evil) who rule and preside over them. Central to the angelology of Agrippa naming the intelligence and demon of each Chaldean planet was the esoteric understanding that mankind was the intelligence spirit of planet Earth. Occultists like Agrippa knew that mankind received a task from the Elohim to evolve into a ruling planetary spirit, both as a mover of the planet around the sun and as bearer of creative forces in earth kingdoms of mineral, plant and animal. By assigning the planetary intelligence of earth to mankind, Agrippa placed the earth in the order of the Chaldean planets and mankind in the order of the angelic creative hierarchies.
THE ROSICRUCIAN ENIGMA
During this time we also see the transition from the earth centered cosmos of Ptolemy to the sun centered cosmos of Copernicas. The transition was however, a spiritual one, for the earth centered scheme was a spiritual representation of ruling orders of the angelic hierarchy. The ancient wisdom surely knew the astronomical fact that the sun was the center of our planetary system. Exoteric sources include Aristarchus(260 B.C.) who laid the foundation for the remarkable achievements of Archimedes and Hipparchus. The Ptolemaic scheme was an effort by Esoteric Christianity to preserve a spiritual fact that earth and mankind were the center of the Celestial Hierarchy.
In all of the ancient religions, one never sees the planet earth represented as one of the seven Chaldean planets. Likewise, when spiritual beings and intelligences are assigned to the various ancient planets, as we saw supra with Origen and Agrippa, no spirit is assigned to the Earth. This was because esoterically, mankind itself was considered the bearer of the intelligence of this planet.
Looking at the Celestial Hierarchy of Dionysius, we see the first hierarchy with three orders of spirits, the second hierarchy with three orders of spirits and also the third hierarchy with three orders of spirits. If one wished to place mankind in the Celestial hierarchy, he would be the Fourth Hierarchy, with a potential three orders or graduations of humans.
Mankind as a creative Fourth Hierarchy was certainly the intention and grand plan of the Elohim or sun spirits of Form. However, after the fall, mankind united himself too strongly with the earth and lost his relationship with the creative sun spirits. Instead of being the lowest rung on the chain of the creative angelic hierarchies, mankind was in place and stead the highest of the kingdoms of nature. The earth gave forth the mineral, plant, animal and human kingdoms.
This was the major theological problem addressed by the Scholastics of the Middle Ages and the Rosicrucians, as represented by Flood, in the 16th and 17 Centuries. It was also the crux of the spiritual problem between the Copernican and Ptolemaic universes. In the course of evolution of our solar system, the earth separated out of the mass of the sun as a separate and distinct planet. Christ, as leader of the Spirits of Form (Powers) remained behind on the sun to guide the evolution of the earth, from outside the earth through His agency of the Elohim Spirits of Form. Because of the Fall, mankind had to be redeemed by Christ, a spirit from the sun. In this way, the evolution of the earth united with the evolution of the sun. At his death on the cross, Christ became united with the earth and as such became the planetary spirit of the earth. Before the fall, it was the plan of the Elohim, that mankind become the planetary spirit of the earth. Thus, mankind's task to become the Fourth Creative Hierarchy had to be abandoned as Christ took over this mission to fulfill the allotted task of the earth as it raised its kingdoms of nature.
In a very real sense, the Ptolemaic system with the earth as the center of the planetary system and mankind as the Fourth Hierarchy was the ordained plan of the Elohim. However, when Christ descended through the spheres, incarnated on earth and died on the cross to redeem our sins, mankind's relationship to the planetary system significantly changed. This "cosmic mistake" brought about by the fall and human sin is represented in the Copernican system with the sun as the center and prime mover of the planetary affairs. The realization of this cosmic change of plan of the Elohim was the heart and soul of the medieval Christian and profoundly effected the thinking of Esoteric Christianity.
Nicolaus Koppernigk was born in the year 1473. Dr. Steiner (as well as the Good Madame Blavatsky) says that the astral body of former Cardinal Nicholas of Cusa (1401-1464) ( a page from his book) was woven into the astral body of Copernicus, thereby preserving his scientific wisdom. A certain spiritual thread is visible in these two personalities preparing the world for the dawn of scientific materialism. Nicholas of Cusa was a precursor of Copernicus in that his observations in astronomy led him to believe that the earth was a moving body and not the fixed center of the cosmos according to the Ptolemaic view. In addition, this scientific Nicholas was very learned in the orders of the celestial hierarchies through the writings of John Scotus Erigena. Therefore, this ultimate break with the old world view of Ptolemy was accomplished not with a Charles Darwin type personality but with two church fathers fully familiar with the spiritual consequences of the doctrines as taught by Dionysius.
When Copernicus died in 1543, the medieval world was not yet ready for his heliocentic theory. His text was given over to Giese, protestant bishop of Kulm, then to fellow professor Joachim Rheticus and finally to a Lutheran theologian named Andreas Osiander. When finally published as DE REVOLUTIONIBUS ORBIUM COELETIUM, Osiander added a preface that said, "these hypotheses are not necessarily true or even probable". His work was firmly rejected by Tycho Brahe, the greatest observational astronomer in modern times. On his deathbed, Tycho passed his volumes of planetary tables to Johann Kepler (b. 1571) with a solemn promise that Kepler not abandon the theory that the sun moves around the earth and that all the other planets move around the sun. Finally, when Kepler published his three laws of planetary motion, the scientific revolution from Ptolemy to Copernicus was completed, both spiritually and physically.
We have then, beginning the 17th Century a complete separation of the physical and spiritual worlds, similar to the separation of earth-moon from the sun and the later separation of moon from the earth. The Ptolemaic system is an accurate picture of the realms of the rulership of the spiritual hierarchies with the earth at the center. The Copernican system is an accurate picture of the physical planets and their motions in space and time, with the sun as center. Because of this historical fact, it is true that since the 17th Century, mankind has ceased to be conscious of the spiritual world and modern science is divorced from religion. Kepler can be said to be the last deeply religious, occult and mystical scientist. To this fundamental realization of man's cosmic mistake and the scientific revolution of the Copernicus system, no one really understands, nor is there a solution.
This script has been written in the Astral Light, the Akasha, for all the angelic hierarchies to read and ponder. Now THEY know that we as mankind know our relationship to the spiritual worlds has forever changed. Mankind is truly alone until the earth re-unites with the sun in some distant manvantara
|1. Primum mobile||Seraphim||Kether||Metatron||Ehieh|
|5. Mars||Virtues||Geburah||Samael||Elohim Gibor|
|8. Mercury||Arch-angels||Hod||Raphael||Elohim Saboath|
10. Earth (elements)
|Souls||Malkuth||Soul of Christ
In conclusion, we see the table of correspondences from Robert Fludd, above which is the holy trinity and below which is the earth, the kingdoms of nature, the four elements and the world of souls led by the soul of Christ, the future planetary spirit of earth. (An explanation of the Names of God appearing in the far right colum.)
A LAST WORD
Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich says of St. Dionysius in her vision of the saint:
"I saw this saint in his boyhood. He was the child of pagan parents and of an inquiring mind. He always recommended himself to the Supreme God who enlightened him by visions in his sleep. I saw his parents reproving him for his neglect of the gods and placing him under the charge of a stern preceptor; but an apparition came to him by night and bade him flee whilst his preceptor slept. He obeyed, and I saw him transversing Palestine and listening eagerly to whatever he could hear concerning Jesus. Again I saw him in Egypt where he studied astronomy in the place in which the Holy family had sojourned. Here I saw him, standing with several others before the school, observing the sun's eclipse at the death of Jesus. He said: "This is not in accordance with nature's laws. Either a god is dying, or the world is coming to an end!" I saw the precepter himself, a man of upright intentions, warned to seek his scholar. He did so, found him, and went with him to Heliopolis. It was long before Dionysius could reconcile himself to the idea of a crucified God. After his conversion, he often travelled with Paul (as confirmed by the spiritual vision of Dr. Steiner). He journeyed wiht him to Ephesus to see Mary. Pope Clement sent him to Paris where I saw his martydom. He took his head in his hands, crossed them on his breast,, and walked around the mountain, a great light shining forth from him. The executioners fled at the sight, and a woman gave him sepulture. He was then very old. He had had many celestial visions besides which, Paul had revealed to him what he himself had seen. he wrote magnificent works of which many are still extant. His book on the Sacraments was not finished by himself, but by another."
At his beheading on Montmarte, his blood was collected on a cloth called the Oriflamme, which lated became the gold flame on the French flag. St. Joan of Acr carried the cloth into battle and there is a window in the cathedral showing St. Denys giving the Oriflamme to a Knight Templar.