The Glories of the West: The Beauty of French Architecture

Lovely examples of what we’re fighting for, from “the eldest daughter of the Church” – la belle France.

 

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French Senate says Notre-Dame must be restored exactly how it was | The Local

French Senate says Notre-Dame must be restored exactly how it was

French Senators have stipulated that Notre-Dame cathedral must be restored exactly how it was before the devastating fire that tore through the Paris landmark.

Source: French Senate says Notre-Dame must be restored exactly how it was – The Local

The Senate of France gets it right! Now let’s hope the Assemblée Nationale follows suit:

“On Monday evening, the French Senate approved the government’s Notre-Dame restoration bill – but added a clause that it must be restored to the state it was before the blaze, striking a blow to the government which had launched an international architecture competition to debate ideas on the restoration…

“The Senate has now approved the restoration bill already passed by the French parliament to allow work on the structure to be completed in time for the Paris Olympics in 2024 – but requires that the restoration be faithful to the ‘last known visual state’ of the cathedral, in an attempt to check the government, which has launched an international architectural competition soliciting designs for renovation.”

Unfortunately,

“Because of the changes imposed, the bill cannot now pass directly in to law, so the Senate and the Assemblée nationale will now attempt to come to an agreement on a version of the bill that will become law.”

Praying that the National Assembly concurs! Dieu sauve la France! Et que Dieu sauve Notre Dame!

European elections results: Far-right and pro-Green parties win votes | Metro News

Italy's Matteo Salvini, France's Marine Le Pen and Nigel Farage

Europe saw a coming-of-age moment for the eurosceptic far-right movement in the European elections results 2019.

Source: European elections results: Far-right and pro-Green parties win votes | Metro News

Four days of voting for national representatives to the European Parliament ended Sunday with major gains by nationalist / populist parties (“far right” = eurosceptic, opposed to globalism, mass migration, and other aspects of the Left-wing agenda).

Italian Deputy Prime Minister, Interior Minister, and de facto popular leader Matteo Salvini “told RAI state television that his League [Lega, formerly Lega Nord, the Northern League], Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party together should control 90 seats and that other populist parties could bring the number to at least 150.”

Meanwhile, in Britain, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage’s weeks-old Brexit party won 28 seats, against 16 for the Liberal Democrats. Traditional powerhouse Labour took only 10, and the once-mighty Conservative Party, known as the Tories, four. Even the Greens beat the Tories, with seven!

Although the linked article notes that “Despite making gains, the vote was hardly the watershed anticipated by Europe’s far-right populists” [see above…] “who have vowed to dilute the European Union from within in favour of national sovereignty,” it was a very definite wake-up call – indeed, a hard slap in the face – to traditional “centrist” parties.

An interesting point is that the other major gainers were Leftist parties, including the Greens; clearly, much of Europe’s population is tired of “business as usual.” With the sloppy center on record as refusing to make alliance with the nationalist / populists, it will be fascinating – to say the least – to see where European politics goes from here!

The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe | Gatestone Institute

“Notre Dame is more than 800 years old. It survived the turbulence of the Middle Ages, the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, two World Wars and the Nazi occupation of Paris. It did not survive what France is becoming in the 21st century.”

Source: The Burning of Notre Dame and the Destruction of Christian Europe | Gatestone Institute

Sobering.

“French President Emmanuel Macron, who had never even mentioned the attacks on Saint Denis or Saint Sulpice, quickly went to Notre Dame and declared, ‘Notre Dame is our history, our literature, our imagination.’ He totally left out cathedral’s religious dimension…

“For the foreseeable future, the heart of Paris will bear the terrible scars of a fire that devastated far more than a cathedral. The fire destroyed an essential part of what is left of the almost-lost soul of France and what France could accomplish when the French believed in something higher than their own day-to-day existence.”

Ah, ma Françe! Qu’est ce qui t’es arrivé? Où vas-tu et que seras-tu quand tu arriveras?

(Ah, my France! What has happened to you? Where are you going, and what will you be when you arrive?)

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy…

The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

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Amidst the fire’s wreckage, much of the treasures of Notre Dame were saved.

Source: The Notre Dame fire: what was saved and what was lost | Aleteia

While the damage to le Cathédrale de Notre Dame de Paris from Monday’s fire was very severe, not only the structure of the Cathedral, but many of the priceless, irreplaceable artifacts and relics contained within were preserved. In fact, it is remarkable, gratifying, and – I would maintain – miraculous, how much has been saved!

The roof and the spire are gone, of course (and the current plans to update the spire – rather than restoring it – are very concerning, to those of us who care about tradition, heritage, and aesthetics); but the treasures that remain include:

  • The High Altar and its Cross:

“However, amidst the chaos, the cross suspended above the altar remains intact, “painful and luminous at the same time,” in the words of Fr. Grosjean, a priest of the diocese of Versailles.”

  • Many statues, including three of the Blessed Virgin Mary
  • The largest and most famous of the Cathedral’s four organs, dating back to the 13th century
  • Incredibly, the Rose Windows and much of the Cathedral’s stained glass, including all or nearly all of its medieval stained glass
  • Furthermore, all of the major Christian relics appear to have been saved:

“The tunic of St. Louis and the Crown of Thorns were saved, said Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, on Monday evening. Two other relics kept at Notre Dame, a piece of the Cross and a nail from the Passion, also escaped the flames, thanks to the work of the firefighters.”

  • Even the rooster-shaped bronze reliquary that topped the Cathedral’s spiral survived both the inferno that consumed the spire, and the long fall that followed, and

“was found intact on Tuesday—damaged, but whole, according to Bishop Patrick Chauvet. The three relics that were miraculously saved within it are a piece of the Holy Crown of Thorns and relics of St. Denis and St. Genevieve, patrons of Paris.”

Follow the link for more details. But if this – both the fire itself, and what has by God’s grace survived it – is not an allegory for the times we are living in, and an inspiration to Christians concerned by the decline of Western Christendom, I do not know what is!

Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Smoke rises around the altar in front of the cross inside the Notre Dame Cathedral as a fire continues to burn in Paris

Source: Photos show center of Notre Dame cathedral miraculously intact | New York Post

Deo gratias!!! Thanks be to God! The interior damage to Notre Dame seems to have been much less severe than feared. The Altar and Great Cross are intact, along with much else (including woodwork!); even the very candles seem to have survived un-melted! You can say what you want, I call that a miracle. Again, thanks be to God!

“Photos from inside Notre Dame show the central part of the historic Gothic cathedral still intact. Rows of wooden pews and much of the nave appears to have been saved, according to the images. ‘Only a small part of the vault collapsed. Interior seems relatively untouched. Hallelujah!’ wrote @CathedralNotre

“Still, a massive hole can be seen in the 850-year-old cathedral’s roof. The pictures also show smoke emanating from the chancel, the area around the altar. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo told Le Monde there was ‘a big hole in the roof.'” However, “‘The altar and its cross are preserved. It’s not as bad as I feared,’ she told Le Monde.”

That’s not to say there isn’t severe damage; there is. The spire and most of the roof is gone; there are several honking great holes in the vaulted ceiling. But the medieval stone-masons who built it, 800 years ago, did their work well! It holds, it stands; it appears to be, in fact, significantly intact. God grant it remains that way!

I go to bed with a much lighter and very grateful heart!

Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Flames rise during a fire at the landmark Notre-Dame Cathedral in central Paris on April 15, 2019 afternoon.

The famed Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris was engulfed in flames on Monday leading to the collapse of the structure’s main spire.

Source: Massive fire breaks out in Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris | Fox News

Horrific. I am – uncharacteristically – all but speechless. And heartbroken.

200 years in the making, 800 years old, Notre Dame – the Cathedral of Our Lady – is the heart and soul of Catholic France… arguably, of European Christendom. Even in secular terms, so much priceless, irreplaceable art and architecture embodied in that structure. And the prayers of so many Christian faithful, for so many centuries, have winged heaven-ward from those walls and towers.

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.