Yesterday Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris caught fire. According to CNN the cathedral pulls in 13 million tourists a year. It is a world heritage site. It is an integral part of history. It took 800 years to build. Notre Dame Cathedral has been around for 850 years. It is also the site where Napoleon’s coronation took place in 1804. Joan of Arc was beatified* at the cathedral in 1909. Notre Dame is also a key part of Victor Hugh’s book the Hunchback of Notre Dame. Fortunately, renovations were being done and many priceless artefacts were removed from the Cathedral. This includes the thorn of crowns believed to be worn before his crucifixion and a piece of the cross. This is such sad news. I was fortunate enough to visit Notre Dame Cathedral in 2016 and it is a beautiful place. It took 9 hours for the fire to be quelled. This happened because the wooden scaffolding inside the church served as kindling for the fire. This heart-wrenching story is still developing.
*Beatification is a recognition accorded by the Catholic Church of a dead person’s entrance into Heaven and capacity to intercede on behalf of individuals who pray in his or her name.
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I must say though that the firefighters did a brilliant job. And it’s not easy to get to Notre Dame Cathedral during rush hour traffic. Now I’m just praying that no one died and that the architectural damage wasn’t significant. One firefighter did sustain serious injuries praying for his/her recovery. It’s a sad day.