South Portal 1

Mère Dieu Portal

South Portal of the West Facade

In the space of the south portal we enter into the liturgical drama known as the Officium Stellae (Ceremony of the Star) where the Three Magi (acted by members of the clergy), following the light of the star, found the infant Christ and presented their gifts.  The story of Epiphany (January 6) is depicted in the statues on the left while on the right we follow the story of the Annunciation to the Jews.  The light of the star was simulated by a hanging lantern.  Old Testament anticipation of Mary is shown in the Original Sin below and in the Ark of the Covenant and patriarchs above.  In the tympanum we are taken to the end of the Virgin's sojourn on earth with her Dormition and Assumption and to the end of time with her union with Christ.  Christ was understood as the bridegroom of the Triumphant Church, symbolized by the Virgin. 

This was the first portal to be completed c1220-25.