The Transept

On each side of the transept, two series of four stained glass windows, some of which commemorative, show parishioners whose portraits are strikingly realistic .

We find therein:
1-The Consecration to the Sacred Heart
4-The appeal to the bishops of France for the reconstruction of the church
5-The offering of the Cathedral
6- The Virgin Mary
8- The Nativity

Consecration to the Sacred Heart by Canon Lecornu

Ce This stained-glass window, on the left side of the transept, illustrates a moment in parish life: the consecration of Fort-de-France’s Cathedral to the Sacred Heart of Jesus by its parish priest, Father Etienne Lecornu.
The end of the nineteenth century was marked by a strong devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus, in France, in its colonies, but also in many Latin American countries.

Father Etienne Lecornu, who arrived in Martinique in 1851, served first as a teacher at the minor seminary, a vicar and then a parish priest in Basse-Pointe. Later, he became parish priest in Le Lamentin. It was in July 1873 that he was appointed parish priest of Fort-de-France, a position that he held for 26 years, until 1899. Father Lecornu left a lasting imprint on the religious life of Fort-de-France during his long ministry.
The street bordering the presbytery of the Cathedral bears his name.

The foreground depicts the prelate in liturgical dress, kneeling on a red cushion, at the foot of the stone altar decorated with a cross and surmounted by a statue of Christ. In his left hand, he holds the act of consecration of 1894. Behind the priest is a choirboy dressed in a white and red alb, holding a lighted candle. A barrier separates them from the parishioners attending the celebration. The work reflects the diversity of the population of Martinique at the time: black women in ceremonial dress, Indians, inhabitants of European origin. Above this scene, we can see the initials S.L. – Saint-Louis.

The appeal for solidarity to the bishops of France for the reconstruction of the church destroyed by fire

On Sunday, June 22, 1890, the huge fire that ravaged the city center of Fort-de-France, caused fourteen deaths, affected nearly eight thousand people and destroyed more than one thousand five hundred properties. The Pointe Simon factory, the hospice, the Post and Telegraph offices, the Customs and Contributions buildings as well as the Saint-Louis cathedral are among the great buildings of the city reduced to ashes. During this disaster, the majority of the 10,000 books offered by Victor Schoelcher to the Schoelcher library -under construction then- and temporarily stored in a house in the city, went up in smoke. This major and destructive event is evoked through the stained-glass window.

In the foreground appears the bishop of Martinique Monseigneur Julien François Pierre Carméné wearing his mauve city habit and his pectoral cross. He presents this call for solidarity. Beside him, an altar boy kneeling down carries a basket. These two characters are set in a desolate environment: heaps of stones are strewn on the ground at their feet and, in the background, the flames coming out of a building recall the terrible catastrophe. At the bottom of the window, an inscription reads: 
“Appeal to the bishops for the reconstruction of the burnt church (June 22, 1890)”.
Above the scene are inscribed the coat of arms of Bishop Mgr. Carméné.

The offering of the cathedral by Monsignor Pierre BOUYER

This stained glass depicts Monsignor Pierre Bouyer. This clergyman born on April 10, 1859, in Tonnay-Charente, France, left his mark on the life of the parish of Fort-de-France’s cathedral at the end of the nineteenth century and the beginning of the twentieth. Ordained a priest on December 22, 1882, he travelled to Martinique on January 6, 1883. After serving a short period of time as parish vicar of Robert and parish priest of Grand-Rivière for a year, he became attached to Fort-de-France. He remained its curate until October 1898. He then accepted the cure of François until 1911. In 1912, Father Bouyer was appointed vicar general of the diocese and parish priest of Fort-de-France. While parish priest of the cathedral, Pierre Bouyer, who had been living in Martinique for 30 years already, took over the administration of the diocese upon the death of the bishop in office, Monsignor Joseph-François Malleret on June 25, 1914, and until the appointment of the successor, Monsignor Paul Louis Joseph Lequien. When he retired, he settled down in Fort-de-France, on Saint-Louis Street -now Antoine Siger St.- which borders the church (N.E.). Father Bouyer died in December 1931 in France; his body was brought back and buried in the Fort-de-France cemetery.

The stained-glass window testifies to the investment of the clergyman, particularly at the time of the cathedral reconstruction. Father Bouyer is in the foreground, wearing a cassock, a purple mantilla and a wooden cross. He holds the miniature of Fort-de-France’s cathedral. In the background: a landscape of beach, sea, coconut palms and the mountain further back, so many elements that recall his attachment to Martinique. Above that scene, the coat of arms incorporates: the oval shield; the blazon with a boat surmounted by Christ “Morning Star” on a blue field; the banner bearing the expression “Semper ad idem” [Always towards the same goal]. The lower part of the stained-glass window bears the following phrase inscribed:
“In memory of Bishop Bouyer, leader of the construction of Fort-de-France’s cathedral”

A small note in the right corner of the window reads: GP Dagrant Bordeaux.

 Three other stained-glass windows of the transept transcribe religious scenes:


The crib


The Blessed Virgin


The Sacred Heart

Carine Trieste