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!

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Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

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Image by Getty.

What should make us tremble is that to truly rebuild Notre Dame will require becoming the kind of people who built her in the first place.

Source: Only by returning to the Faith can we truly rebuild Notre Dame | Catholic Herald

Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris was built out of stone and wood and glass without electricity or computers. It was not built by committee, or consultants or according to state regulations. It was built by a culture superior to our own. And we know it..

“As the spire cracked and buckled, millions of us felt civilization trembling…

“We tremble because we know that the world has been drawing down a Christian inheritance for centuries, drawing down the cultural wealth of the Faith into rampant prodigal decadence.

“The proximate cause of the fire is not yet known, but the symbolic cause is hundreds of years in the making…”

 

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.

Rev. Thomas Harbold’s review of “Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World” | Goodreads

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When Anthony Esolen – among the most able defenders of Western civilization, and Western Christendom in particular, active today – chooses to discourse on a subject, the wise person reads or listens attentively…

Source: Rev. Thomas Harbold’s review of Defending Boyhood: How Building Forts, Reading Stories, Playing Ball, and Praying to God Can Change the World | Goodreads

When Anthony Esolen – among the most able defenders of Western civilization, and Western Christendom in particular, active today – chooses to discourse on a subject, the wise person reads or listens attentively, nor does he or she lack reward for having done so. Esolen writes with exuberance, penetrating insight, and equally-penetrating wit, and Defending Boyhood is no exception to that rule. I was alternately delighted, intrigued, inspired, and moved.

As a former boy myself, I resonate strongly with the former boy that shines through Esolen’s mature, erudite, and engaging writing, and frequently found myself nodding in emphatic agreement. His treatment of boyhood, and boys – what they value, how they view life, and the goals and ideals that are common to boys across time, geography, and culture – has the ring of truth, and stands as a much-needed antidote to the venomous miasma that much of modern culture seems bent on creating around such formerly straightforward concepts as manhood, masculinity, and boyhood…

Read my whole review here.

 

Glories of the West – the Pre-Rafaelites: “Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May” (Waterhouse)

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This lovely painting fortuitously came across my newsfeed this morning, posted by a friend of mine, Paul Edward Lafferty Smallwood, who posted it and commented,

“‘Gather Ye Rosebuds While Ye May,’ 1909, John William Waterhouse, English. John William Waterhouse (1849 – 1917) was an English painter known for working first in the Academic style and for then embracing the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood’s style and subject matter. His artworks were known for their depictions of women from both ancient Greek mythology and Arthurian legend.”

The reference is to a poem by Robert Herrick (1591-1674), entitled “To the Virgins, to Make Much of TIme”:

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
Old Time is still a-flying;
And this same flower that smiles today
Tomorrow will be dying.

The glorious lamp of heaven, the sun,
The higher he’s a-getting,
The sooner will his race be run,
And nearer he’s to setting.

That age is best which is the first,
When youth and blood are warmer;
But being spent, the worse, and worst
Times still succeed the former.

Then be not coy, but use your time,
And while ye may, go marry;
For having lost but once your prime,
You may forever tarry.

 

Glories of the West: the art of Daniel Ridgeway Knight

A montage video of some of the beautiful paintings of American-born artist Daniel Ridgeway Knight. From the original post:

Paintings by American artist Daniel Ridgway Knight ( born in Chambersburg, Pennsylvania , 1839 – died in Paris,1924)

Knight was a pupil at the École des Beaux-Arts, Paris, under Gleyre, and later worked in the private studio of Meissonier. After 1872 he lived in France, having a house and studio at Poissy on the Seine.

He painted peasant women out of doors with great popular success. He earned his first major distinction in France at the Paris Salon in 1882 with his large oil on canvas Un Deuil. He would go on to be awarded the silver medal and Cross of the Legion of Honor, Exposition Universelle, Paris, 1889, was made a Knight of the Royal Order of St. Michael of Bavaria, Munich, 1893, and received the gold medal of honor from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, 1893.

 

Glories of the West: J S Bach Cantata – ‘Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir’ BWV 29

Source: J S Bach Cantata- ‘(Wir danken dir, Gott, wir danken dir)’ BWV 29- all of bach | YouTube

This, and pretty much anything else written by J.S. Bach!

The “cover photo” is a bit unfortunate; the poor woman looks like she is in pain. But the music is utterly magnificent, as might be expected!