The Notre Dame, one of the most historic Gothic cathedrals, will survive a massive fire that threatened the 800-year-old Parisian landmark on April 16. Its innovative use of flying buttresses, its enormous and colorful rose windows, its naturalism, an abundance of sculptural decoration, and astounding beauty sets it as one of the most historic landmarks known to mankind.
When Parisians heard the unfortunate news, they watched in tears and stunned silence as their beloved landmark burned, according to Michelle Lou of CNN.
Even so, some locals — still tender after a series of deadly terrorist attacks in the French capital in 2015 — demonstrated resilience in the face of a catastrophe. While some sang their French national anthem with pride, others gathered around bistros to eat and drink while the cathedral burned, according to CNN.
The cathedral itself housed some of the most treasured relics in the history of Catholicism. According to the New York Times, Father Fournier, a chaplain to the Paris Fire Brigade, “had two priorities: to save the crown of thorns and a statue of Jesus.”
Fortunately, the Fire Brigade Chaplain rushed into the burning cathedral and rescued the Crown of Thorns, a religious relic that Jesus was rumored to have worn before his crucifixion, according to a contributor. Father Fournier also saved the Blessed Sacrament, “the devotional name for the body and blood of Jesus Christ in the form of consecrated bread and wine,” Samantha said.
Many are calling Father Fourier a saint for saving such priceless pieces of history, according to Maffucci. The Crown of Thorns was initially brought to Paris in 1238 by French King Louis IX. Other relics were salvaged including the statues of the 12 Apostles, and Tunic of Saint Louis, according to Samantha.
Historians and priests say it’s a miracle that so many famed relics and treasures were saved, Jerry Coyne reported.
Despite the tragedies surrounding the Notre Dame, billions of dollars have been pledged to help restore the landmark, according to CBS. Furthermore, French president Emmanuel Macron vows to rebuild the 12th century landmark in five years, and make it even more beautiful than before. France also issued a call to arms for architects from around the world to compete to design a new spire to replace the one consumed by the fire.
The five-year plan for rebuilding the famed cathedral would have it finished in time for the Summer Olympics in 2024, when millions of tourists are expected to visit the French capital. Luckily, the Notre Dame will be actively restored to its beauty and greatness, but the cause of the fire still remains unknown, according to CBS.