Notre Dame de Paris – Notre-Dame refleurira!

Our prayers and sympathies go to the Catholic community of Paris and to all French people following the devasting fire at Notre Dame Cathedral.

We pray for the firefighter who has been injured and pray that all those involved in fighting the fire remain safe.

The people who have gathered are probably giving the best response as is reported by CNN

“It’s past 11.00 p.m. in Paris, but the crowds of Notre Dame mourners haven’t gone anywhere — many are still gathered outside the cathedral, praying and singing hymns.

Some are on their knees; at one point, a group broke out in a haunting rendition of the “Ave Maria.”

They have been singing for almost two hours now, and the hymns are getting louder as more people join in.”


Below is a photograph of Notre Dame taken just last Friday. Supplied to Padraig McCarthy by his friends in Brittany, Jean-Yves M, with the message “Notre-Dame refleurira !”
“Notre-Dame will blossom again!”


Over 400 firefighters tackled the huge blaze at great risk to themselves. Among their number was the chaplain to Paris Fire Brigade, Pompiers de Paris.

Sky News reported on his presence.

A French priest who helped comfort the wounded after the worst terrorist attack on Paris this century has emerged as the hero of the Notre-Dame fire.

Jean-Marc Fournier, chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, saved the Blessed Sacrament and the Crown of Thorns from the burning cathedral on Monday night when he bravely went in with firefighters.

It had been feared that both religious artefacts would be lost to the raging fire which engulfed the iconic building.

“Father Fournier is an absolute hero,” a member of the emergency services said.

“He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear.”

Etienne Loraillere, an editor for France’s KTO Catholic television network, said Fournier “went with the firefighters into Notre Dame Cathedral to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament”.

This is not the first time the priest has served the people of Paris during a national tragedy.

He went inside the Bataclan music venue in Paris on 13 November, 2015, after Islamic State terrorist murdered 89 people using guns and explosives.

The priest prayed over the dead and comforted those who were injured or had lost loved ones. “I gave collective absolution, as the Catholic Church authorises me,” Fournier said at the time.

Father Fournier, who is in his 50s, started his career as Catholic priest in Germany, and then moved to the Sarthe department of France.



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  1. Chris McDonnell says:

    Red Dusk at Compline

    The teeming tears of Paris
    were not enough
    to quench the fierce fire
    that seared its heart.

    A place of Eucharist
    where an Emperor
    once was crowned
    and horses stabled,
    now savagely reduced
    to a stone shell,

    sheltering a crucifix
    in the agony of our folly

  2. Joe O'Leary says:

    President Macron has called for immediate rebuilding, with the impossible schedule of a mere five years. But does anyone have a clear idea of what motive will guide that project? Much more reflection is needed — perhaps five years of it before a single finger is raised to rebuild the site.

    A Cathedral must be an expression of faith, but of what faith? Neither a modern secularized glorification of France nor a restorationist clutching at medieval wraiths will be appropriate.

    People who enter the Cathedral should encounter the living Church, which treasures its tradition and at the same time opens it to the concerns of a suffering world.

    Dialogue, the virtue St Paul VI insisted on in Ecclesiam Suam, is one of the most distinctive hallmarks of Vatican II Catholicism, so there should be some clear mark of that in the restored Cathedral.… The word “dialogue” is a leitmotif throughout the entire Encyclical, embracing dialogue with the world, with the monotheistic religions, with Asian religions, with the “separated brethren” as they were then called, and even with Catholics themselves. At a time when dialogue is under attack, with tragic results, it is imperative that the restored Cathedral be a place of dialogue and signal the dialogical nature of the Catholic Church.

    As perhaps the most famous of the countless churches dedicated to the BVM the restored Cathedral should project a vision of her glory that is rooted in Scripture and in the eighth chapter of Lumen Gentium. Anything retrograde, sectarian, passéiste, or superstitious must be purged away if the Church is to present Mary convincingly and meaningfully to the world.

    “The chapter on Mary was the subject of debate. Original plans had called for a separate document about the role of Mary, keeping the document on the Church “ecumenical,” in the sense of “non-offensive” to Protestant Christians, who viewed special veneration of Mary with suspicion. However, the Council Fathers insisted, with the support of the Pope, that, as Mary’s place is within the Church, treatment of her should appear within the Constitution on the Church.

    “Vatican Council II was sensitive to the views of other Christians, as the council, at the request of Pope John XXIII, hoped to promote Christian unity, but knew there are different concepts about Mary among other Christians, especially Protestants. The council spoke of Mary as “Mediatrix,” as strengthening — not lessening — confidence in Christ as the one essential Mediator. The council, in speaking of Mary, used a biblical approach, with strong emphasis on her pilgrimage of faith. They also drew heavily from the Fathers of the Church, which Christians of all denominations respect.

    “Pope Paul VI, in a speech to the council fathers, spoke as follows: “This year, the homage of our Council appears much more precious and significant. By the promulgation of today’s constitution, which has as its crown and summit a whole chapter dedicated to our Lady, we can rightly affirm that the present session ends as an incomparable hymn of praise in honor of Mary.” “It is the first time, in fact, and saying it fills our souls with profound emotion, that an Ecumenical Council has presented such a vast synthesis of the Catholic doctrine regarding the place which the Blessed Mary occupies in the mystery of Christ and of the Church.”” (Wiki)

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