The World Weeps

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Words fail to convey the horror and sadness.  Thinking of your recent trip to Paris, I wonder if you might have more photos to share.”

I received this email today from my friend Bev in Chicago. I had not planned on posting these photos. They are not great. But, they do convey a bit of the beauty, the grandeur and majesty of this gothic treasure. Like so many around the world, I watched in disbelief as this precious edifice was engulfed in flames. It was frightening to see how fast and furiously the fire wreaked destruction on Paris’ iconic monument.

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Bob and I were fortunate to visit Notre Dame just a few weeks ago. To me, Notre Dame is Paris: old, beautiful, elegant with a rich historic past. Way back to my student days in France and my first visit to Paris, it was this cathedral which mesmerized me. I was awestruck by the astonishing gothic architecture, the mystifying ambience inside the church.

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I have been to Paris many times over the years. I always make it a point to at least walk by and around Notre Dame. When lines are not too long, I go inside where I am always overwhelmed, inspired, soothed.

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A French TV commentator said, “Notre Dame will never be the same.” Perhaps not, but fortunately the structure has survived. It will be saved. French President Emmanuel Macron has promised that Notre Dame will be rebuilt. Millions in donations are pouring in for the costly restoration.

Vive la France. Vive Notre Dame

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Celebrate Easter and Notre Dame’s survival (a miracle so much survived)   with this delicious lamb recipe (above right).  Happy Easter.

21 thoughts on “The World Weeps”

  1. Thank you so much for your pictures and comments. Like so many others, my memories of Paris often include Notre Dame. For me, it is the major icon and heart of this beloved city. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to be both inside and outside this great architectural beauty many times; I’m equally grateful it can be restored so others can enjoy and be awed and inspired by it! Love, Kathy

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    1. It is great to hear from you Kathy. Thanks for your thoughts on ND. Yes, we can be grateful that we knew it before this tragedy, and that it will be reborn. Is Europe in your travel plans? We would love to see you.

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  2. Thanks for the photos and your personal comments. It’s been a while since I was in Paris, but the cathedral was always a beautiful and inspiring sight. Miraculously the main structure was spared and will gradually be restored in the coming years.

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    1. And, thank you for your reply. ND was very special to all of us who had the fortune to know this “beautiful and inspiring” cathedral. Let me know if Europe is in your travel plans. Time for a rdv.

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    1. So many have Paris/Notre Dame memories, shared in some of these comments . It is so much more than a magnificent cathedral, It will rise again and inspire many in the future,

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  3. We flew into Paris in June, 2017 and after checking in we walked to Notre Dame. It was Pentecost Sunday, and the line to get into visit was longer than the line to attend the 5 p.m. Mass – so we entered and stood in the back of the Church. It was a High Mass with plenty of singing and of course the organ accompaniment was amazing. I was able to record a bit of the Gloria until a gentle tap on my shoulder reminded me that video was not allowed. But we have the memories and we’re as heartbroken as the rest of the world. The loss of that much of the Church will be a challenge to replace – but now I have a goal to be able to re-visit Notre Dame when restoration is complete. Merci for the pictures……

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  4. Your posting today brought tears to my eyes. Yesterday when I saw the breaking news that there was a fire in Notre Dame (right after it started), instead of going back to work I sat down in front of the TV and watched with horror during the next two hours as the flames grew larger. When my husband returned home, he was as shocked as I was. Without saying anything, he went to our CD player and put on a CD of the organ and choir music, recorded live, we had heard at Notre Dame at a memorable Christmas concert in December 2014. And we just sat in front of the TV together, crying as that lovely music played as the background to the terrible scenes on the screen. This morning I was heartened to see that more of the interior (including the beautiful stained glass windows and the pulpit—and even the wooden seat where we’d sat at that concert!) had survived. But the loss of all the other parts, including the magnificent choir stalls, is still hurting. I haven’t yet heard what happened to the historic organ, whose sound I loved so much. But Notre Dame WILL be restored. And maybe millions of people will stop to think about the priceless value of such historic works of art, regardless of one’s religion.

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    1. Such wonderful memories which you can treasure. Thank you for sharing. I went to bed fearing it would crumble as the fire continued to rage. Miracle. It still stands, badly scarred, but there is hope. As friend Linda wrote, “It will rise like a phoenix.”

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