Tuesday, February 25, 2014

A French Catholic Missel

Several years ago, my in-laws traveled to France, and when they returned, my mother-in-law gave me a little book as a memento.  Actually, there were two books, and she let me choose which one I wanted.  I was instantly taken with this one...

The book was pictured in a recent post.  It's a French Catholic missel (missal), and it contains all the prayers and responses necessary for celebrating Mass throughout the year.  My mother-in-law found the book in an antique shop or possibly one of the street markets.  She told me at the time, but I can't remember.  I need to ask her about it again.

I'm pretty sure this one is quite old.

The year 1888 was circled in pencil when I received this book; I haven't made any marks in it at all.

This little card was found inside the book and must have been given to the owner at his first communion in 1911.

This really is a lovely old book.

The endpapers are covered with a red fabric,

which looks somewhat like moir√©.  What I love is the ornate tooling around the inside edges.

The pages have a lot of brown, age-related spots known as "foxing."  You can also see where the binding needs some repairs in this picture.  In spite of all that, it's still a beautiful book and a real treasure.

The book appears to be written in both Latin and French.  My husband took Latin in high school, and I took French, but neither of us remember enough to decipher this.  :)

I've never seen a book like this before, have you?  If you Google "French catholic missel" you can see images of more of these pretty books.  I saw some as old as 13th and 14th century.

Thanks for reading today -- I hope you have a great week!  I'll be sharing this with:
  Marty for Inspire Me Tuesday
Sherry for Home Sweet Home
The Tablescaper for Seasonal Sundays

See you there.  :)



  1. Oh, Denise that is a fantastic find! My MIL remembers saying the masses in Latin and she is 75. I see why they were printed in Latin and French. What a neat treasure! Thanks for sharing it with us!

  2. Do know your Latin? I took it in 7th grade and forgot a good shar of it. My granddaughters in a a charter school are leaning Latin. French? The little book is lovely. And fun to ponder its history.

  3. Oh that is such a treasure...Notre Dame is such a magnificent place...they were renovating it when we were there....How nice of your mother-in-law to bring that back for you...great choice!!!

  4. That is exactly the kind of treasure I like to find or receive. It's really wonderful! I love the details.

    I took both Latin and French in high school and French in college. Yet, I wouldn't be able to read a thing except I noticed "Christ" in there.

    Again, just beautiful, Denise.

    (And I STILL haven't purchased one of those candles. I'm waiting for a super sale because I'm CHEAP.)

    Checking back now to make sure I didn't miss a post while I was out of town last week. I wouldn't have wanted you to get Duncan home and not know it or something...

  5. It really is a treasure! Happy to be a new follower.

  6. What a lovely memento to receive, Denise! I, too, took Latin in high school and French in college, but sure don't remember much!!! Your in-laws are so thoughtful to bring you such a treasured book to their book-loving DIL. xo



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