It was one of the saddest days in the history of France, when the iconic Notre Dame Cathedral located at the center of the city, burned down completely in the holy week on April 15.
The incident brought people together as they mourned the loss of a masterpiece of old architecture, it opened its doors to people of all religions, and was loved by locals and tourists around the world.
It was unclear at the beginning as to how many artifacts and relics were doomed, the building was in danger and so were the stained-glass windows, great organ and choir organ, artwork, relics and statues.
Mourning crowd sings ‘Ave Maria’ outside Notre Dame cathedral amid devastating fire. https://abcn.ws/2UE0nWf
Posted by ABC News on Monday, April 15, 2019
“We express closeness to the French Catholics and the people of Paris and we assure our prayers for the firefighters and those who are doing everything possible to face this dramatic situation,” the Vatican said in a statement.
As the fire was brought under control, the whereabouts of precious items were known. Jean-Marc Fournier, a Paris fire service chaplain, managed to evacuate two very important items as the fire started and he realized they might be at risk: the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament.
“The police took the crown and I took the holy sacrament [the wafers, or body of Christ],” he said.
The entire network of people helped to escort other important items, “Thanks to the @PompiersParis, the police and the municipal agents, the Crown of Thorns, the Tunic of Saint Louis and several other major works are now in a safe place,” Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, tweeted.
The damage has been extensive, but videos and photos show that the altar and cross are still standing, undamaged by the fire, protected by the stone roof that is still holding together.
Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris, France, April 16, 2019. Philippe Wojazer, Reuters
This is so amazing as even among the plumes of smoke emanating from there, the cross is still visible even in the darkness. Some say that it could be due to the heat resistant materials but others are sure it is a miracle that the cross and altar are untouched and still standing.
Even, the grand organ, is intact, and we would need to wait and see if it can be played again.
The stained-glass rose windows, are also in good shape, all the art work are being transported to Louvre, where they will be safe for the time being.
Posted by Jean-Philippe Le Trévou on Tuesday, April 16, 2019
“I’m telling you all tonight — we will rebuild this cathedral together,” France’s president, Emmanuel Macron, said, “This is probably part of the French destiny. And we will do it in the next years. Starting tomorrow, a national donation scheme will be started that will extend beyond our borders.”
Is it an accident or a warning from God, as His word says in Matthew 24:35- “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”