Introduction to the Minor Prophets
The 12 figures upon the front surfaces of the buttresses represent the minor prophets: each holds a scroll and some of them gesture toward the now-effaced words once painted there. They clearly want to speak to us: these are the preachers or interlocutors of the Church. Our website will allow you to identify each of them and recount the prophesy depicted in the low-relief quatrefoil below. Their organizing presence may be derived from the Ordo Prophetarum, a liturgical drama designed to animate prophecies of the Incarnation of Christ: it was performed in sacred space in the season of Advent.
Following the sequence of the Biblical books the order of the minor prophets at Amiens runs from the extreme right hand buttress with Hosea, Joel and Amos to end on the extreme left with Haggai, Zechariah and Malachi: it thus reveals the starting point in our attempt to comprehend the portal program: the right (south) portal of the Virgin Mary, Mother of God (Mère Dieu).
Note that the prophets to the right tend to offer consolation; those to the left admonish: compare the message of Nahum to the right of the central portal with that of Micah to the left. The extreme left buttress carries the most devastating messages: the ruin of the Temple and the punishment of corrupt priests.