Observations placeholder

Matthew Paris - Chronica Majora - 1239 France A great light, ascending



Type of Spiritual Experience



Matthew Paris, known as Matthew of Paris (Latin: Matthæus Parisiensis, lit. "Matthew the Parisian"; c. 1200 – 1259), was a Benedictine monk, English chronicler, artist in illuminated manuscripts and cartographer, based at St Albans Abbey in Hertfordshire.

He wrote a number of works, mostly historical, which he scribed and illuminated himself, typically in drawings partly coloured with watercolour washes, sometimes called "tinted drawings". Some were written in Latin, some in Anglo-Norman or French verse.

A description of the experience

As quoted in Wonders In The Sky - Unexplained Aerial Objects From Antiquity To Modern Times - and Their Impact on Human Culture, History, and Beliefs - Jacques Vallee and Chris Aubeck

"On July 24, 1239, at dusk, but not when the stars came out, while the air was clear, serene and shining, a great star appeared. It was like a torch rising from the south, and flying on both sides of it, there was emitted in the height of the sky a very great light. It turned quickly towards the north in the aerie region, not quickly, nor, indeed, with speed, but exactly as if it wished to ascend to a place high in the air. This sequence of motion is not typical of a natural phenomenon, and it certainly was not a "star."

Source: Matthew Paris, Chronica Majora (London: Longman, 1880), vol. 3, 566.

The source of the experience

Other religious person

Concepts, symbols and science items



Science Items


Activities and commonsteps