Random header image... Refresh for more!

Our Lady of Paris

follow site by Linda Hopkins

source link On Monday morning, while I was sitting in a waiting room as the oil in my car was getting changed, I received this text from my daughter, Marissa.

side effects of viagra drug information I quickly searched Notre Dame on Google and immediately saw images of the fire. As were millions of others around the world, I was devastated.

I got up and changed the channel on the waiting room TV from the game show it was on, to NBC. Tears did stream from my eyes while I listened to Lester Holt describe the scene playing out in from of me.

Before digital photography, we used to get our photos processed and kept them in photo albums. Seems like a novel idea now. The photos in this album are from 1997

Once the car was done, I came home and watched for hours more. When the announcement was made that the next 90 minutes would be crucial as to whether the two front towers would continue to stand, I could take no more. I went to Target to get a vaccination for shingles that my doctor had ordered. Then to Home Goods to wander aimlessly, finding nothing that brought me even an ounce of joy, leaving empty-handed. That tells you how devastated and depressed I was feeling.

This photo was taken on our first trip to France, in 1997 to celebrate David’s 40th birthday. This is the lead and wooden spire that fell in the fire. The copper statues were removed before the renovation began. It is believed the fire started in the attic under this spire.

The 90 minutes was almost up, so I headed home and was beyond relieved to hear that the towers were expected to stand. I watched a bit longer and once again could not bare watching that inferno blasting out of Cathedral Notre Dame de Paris. (Notre Dame de Paris translates to Our Lady of Paris.)

This photo of the front two towers was taken in 2000 when I was in Paris on my way to work with Barb Fenzl at La Combe en Périgord, a cooking school in the southwest of France.
Another trip in 2005 to La Combe with Barb. I visit Notre Dame every time I go to Paris. It is the first place I go, always!

It is the Mother church of France and it truly felt like our mother was being injured and possibly dying. I turned it off and instead, starting searching my computer and albums for happy photos of all the times I’ve been to the Cathedral over the years.

In May 2007, I took Marissa on a mother/daughter trip to Paris and London. It was the summer between her freshman and sophomore years at UA. Our first stop, Notre Dame, of course. This is Marissa’s first encounter with a gargoyle. I absolutely adore this photo!

If you’ve been there even once, you know those feelings. The feelings and knowledge that the beloved church that has stood for over 850 years and holds such majesty and humility is being so violently threatened. Of course Notre Dame holds great meaning to Catholics like me, to all Christians around the world, but it also houses art, poetry, literature and priceless antiquities of mankind. It is a true icon of civilization. And icon of what is best in our humanity.

Now it feels ironic that on that day Marissa and I visited the Cathedral, there was a fire under one of the bridges between Ile de la Cité (the island Notre Dame is built on) and the other side. May 2007

Notre Dame has survived the Crusades, the French Revolution, two world wars and so much more. It is the most visited structure in the most visited city in the entire world. Thirteen million visitors a year, approximately 30 thousand a day! It is a gothic masterpiece.

Statue of Joan de Arc
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

In 1909 Joan de Arc was beatified under in Cathedral Notre Dame by Pope Pius X. You feel all of that whether you are in its shadow or inside its sacred walls.

I’m certain that at least some of these brave firefighters (pompiers) were amongst the nearly 500 that fought the fire on Monday, April 15, 2019.
Photo: May 2007

There is so much to be in awe of. From the flying buttresses, the gorgeous rose windows, and the wonderful gargoyles. My family loves the gargoyles!

May 2007
Marissa returned to Paris in January 2008 for a semester abroad. She told me that she often went to the Cathedral when she felt homesick or just needed quiet time alone.
Photo Credit: Marissa Hopkins 2008

(I’m taking a break here to let you know that all of the above was written on Monday afternoon and evening. Knowing I would not post this until Wednesday, I tried to write in the past tense.  Everything below was written on Tuesday afternoon, after seeing and learning what had survived the fire.)

At the end of Marissa’s time abroad, we went to pick her up and enjoy a two-week family vacation in France and Italy. We arrived the day after Connor’s 17th birthday and immediately went to Notre Dame. It was Connor’s first trip to Europe.
May 2008
[Read more →]
Related Posts with Thumbnails

April 17, 2019   11 Comments