Notre Dame Survives

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Bernard Arnault has pledged $226 million toward reconstruction.

The fire may be out in Paris’ Notre Dame but the historic cathedral lost its spire and roof after a 12 hour blazing inferno. Fortunately, the firefighters were successful in saving its bell towers and the “Crown of Christ”.
Amazingly, the iconic organ with its 8,000 pipes survived as well as the altar. The beautiful cross remained intact which seems to send a message to all who believe that the hope and spirit of Notre Dame lives on.

As of late Monday night, Paris fire officials said that the main structure was

“preserved and saved” on twitter. It’s believed many of the artifacts were saved as well. Amazing pictures were starting to surface on the internet of the inside of the Cathedral, showing the altar was okay and the cross untouched.

The Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Sports, Jean-Francois told CBS This Morning on Tuesday that he and others on the scene made a human chain to  save the precious relics and artifacts.

“We made a human chain, with our friends from the church... to get, as quick as possible, to get all the relics," he said, noting that the Crown of Thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ on the cross was among the items rescue" 

"Thanks to the great bravery of all our firefighters, and as well all the public servants there, we had a very quick intervention. Very quickly a team was fully dedicated to save all these holy pieces, and specifically the relics and the crown," Martins said. "Everything is safe and undamaged, and in our really bad day, we had one good news.”

The Crown of Thorns, regarded as Notre Dame's most sacred relic, was among the treasures quickly transported from the Roman Catholic cathedral after the fire broke out,” said Deputy Mayor Emmanuel Gregoire. Brought to Paris by King Louis IX in the 13th century, it is purported to have been pressed onto Christ's head during the crucifixion.

Also saved was the tunic of St. Louis, a long, shirt-like garment from the 13th century, said Culture Minister Franck Riester. Many other statues and relics had been removed weeks ago before the restoration started.

Fifty investigators are working to determine the cause of the fire. It could have been an accidental fire caused possibly by one of the work crews. There were five work crews that were assigned to restoring  the Cathedral.

France’s richest businessman, Bernard Arnault and his luxury good group LMVH  has now pledged 200 million Eurodollar ($226 million) for reconstruction.

Wealthy businessman Francois-Henri Pinault, the husband of actress Selma Hayek, and his father Francois Pinault also pledged 100 million euros ($113,000) from their company Artemis to fund repairs.

Pope Francis offered prayers for the people of Paris and a Vatican spokesperson , Alessandro Gisotti said in a statement in Twitter that the Pope “is close to France” and offering prayers....

The sadness of the fire has only just begun to hit the people of Paris and the world. In this Holy Week before Easter Sunday over 100,000 people were expected to attend Mass and religious services. The eeriness of the fire has put a numbing feeling over Paris this Holy Week. The people may mourn the loss of the spire collapsing, but there is renewed hope in the pledges for restoration.
Paris is known for its determination and fortitude. 

Let our faith during this holy week add to strength the Parisian people. 

Image: Crown of Thorns in the circular reliquary in crystal of 1896. Notre-Dame de Paris cathedral.

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