We Weep For Paris #NotreDameCathedral

We Weep For Paris #NotreDameCathedral

We Weep For Paris #NotreDameCathedral

Visiting Notre Dame Cathedral has long been on mine and my husband’s bucket list. The sheer scope of history enclosed in its walls. The artwork. The craftsmanship. Notre Dame Cathedral is Paris. It is France. Yet today, tragically, it is no longer due to a fire that has decimated the great cathedral and devastated all of France.

“French fire chiefs have warned the devastating inferno which ravaged the world-famous Notre Dame cathedral this evening evening ‘cannot be stopped’.

An official in the French interior ministry said saving the building ‘is not certain’ after the spire and part of the roof collapsed earlier this evening – adding that it may not be possible to stop the blaze consuming yet more of the structure.

A spokesman for the cathedral said the entire wooden frame of the cathedral would likely come down, and that the vault of the edifice could be threatened too.

‘Everything is burning, nothing will remain from the frame,’ Notre Dame spokesman Andre Finot said. The 12th-century cathedral is home to incalculable works of art and is one of the world’s most famous tourist attractions.”

For 850 years, Notre Dame has stood tall and strong over Paris. It has survived revolutions and two World Wars. It has inspired many works of art, poetry, and fiction. Most notably Victor Hugo’s “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

This is Notre Dame in the morning light.

Photo Credit: Pixabay, cropped

The beauty of the interior of the cathedral, the stained glass and sculptures, the centuries old woodwork has helped so many to learn and appreciate the beauty of our world around us.

Photo Credit: Weggelaar at GoodFreePhotos.com

As I was driving home, I was hearing on the radio about the shock, horror, and the tears of those who were watching this tragedy unfold.

When one thinks of Paris what comes to mind is the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre, and especially the Notre Dame Cathedral. All of these are Paris. Paris is all of these. And now, 850 years of history is gone. 

“Cathedral spokesman Andre Finot told Le Monde: ‘Everything is burning. The frame – which dates to the 19th century on one side and the 13th century on the other – there will be nothing left.

‘We will have to wait and see whether the vault, which protects the Cathedral, will be touched by the fire on not.'”

It is completely understandable that Paris is weeping right now.

Firefighters and others are not only trying to stop the fire, they are racing to recover as much of the centuries old artwork and statuary that they can. Thankfully, on such a horrible day, we do find out that some of the most priceless treasures from the Sacristy have been saved.

Translated: Good news: all the works of art were saved. The treasure of the Cathedral is intact, the Crown of thorns, the Holy sacraments.

On such a day, that news along with the news that structure can be saved is a blessing to us all.

““A rock pile ceases to be a rock pile the moment a single man contemplates it, bearing within him the image of a cathedral.” ― Antoine de Saint-Exupery, The Little Prince”

This is a tragedy that will impact the world.

The City of Light has lost one of its brightest lights today. 

“The cathedral is one the finest example of French Gothic architecture in Europe, and one of the most visited buildings in the world.

Notre Dame – which means ‘Our Lady’ – was build in 1160 and completed by 1260, and has been modified on a number of occasions throughout the century.

It is the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Paris, and is visited by some 12million people every year and is the most visited historic monument in Europe.”

What we’ve lost today is something incalculable. It’s not just about the priceless artwork, the extraordinary stained glass windows, and the craftsmanship of the building and everything in it. It is what Notre Dame Cathedral has meant to so many over its 800 year history.

There are really no words to adequately describe what we have all lost today. Just an all encompassing sorrow at what has happened.

We weep with Paris, we weep with France. The city and country, and in fact the world, will never be the same after this.

Feature Photo Credit: Screen shot via ABC News on YouTube

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    I’m of two minds about this.

    Yes, it’s awful to lose such a beautiful work of man, dedicated to the glory of God. It is a treasure of all mankind. (The loss of some of the stained glass work would be nearly irreplaceable.)

    However, from a Christian standpoint, it’s not much of a loss in the grand scheme. It’s a treasure of this world. It can be rebuilt, given time and labor and treasure. New works of art can be commissioned. It’s an ephemeral thing, compared to the Creator and Redeemer to whom it directed our worship. (Less than a millennium versus all of eternity.) And, perhaps, this Holy Week, we can take actual comfort in the demonstration that even something so mighty and made of great solid stones is vulnerable (remember the Temple in Jerusalem) – but God’s work is mightier yet. His work stands not only the ravages of time and misadventure, but outside Time, itself. His work – Christ’s death on the cross and resurrection from the tomb – is the true cornerstone for Notre Dame de Paris, and it can never be burned up or broken.

    So, weep, yes. But also take heart. We know the end of the story, and the new City of God will be more glorious than even Notre Dame de Paris, for it is not built with human hands.

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