Apr 16, 2019 Print this article

Stunning Video of Notre Dame Before the Fire: A Piece of Heaven on Earth

Author and speaker, Nelson Fragelli, explains the theology and symbolism behind this jewel of medieval architecture, the stunning Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris.

Medieval man designed their churches as veritable catechisms carved in stone, which taught the people their faith. Mr. Fragelli demonstrates how the cathedral reinforced Church teaching that was under attack by the Albigensian and Cathar heresies at the time of its construction. 

After the April 15 fire that burned the Cathedral, this video is a tribute and a prayer not only to rebuild the Church, but above all a prayer for the restoration and conversion of the soul of Catholic France and Christian Civilization in the West. 

What Is the Message of the Fire at Notre Dame Cathedral?

by John Horvat II

Flames have gutted the famous cathedral of Notre Dame of Paris. All the world was drowned in sorrow on this fateful Spring day. As the images of the collapsing spire spread across the globe, it was hard to believe that this famous building celebrated for centuries for its liturgy, artistic works and splendor is a blackened ruin. It will take decades to rebuild.

A yet worse tragedy awaits if no lessons are learned from the disaster. Unfortunately, this might well happen.

France is a nation steeped in liberal secularism. Throughout the modern era, the nation has suffered from its refusal to include God in public life. Thus, for such secularists, the fire is a tragic accident that destroyed a city landmark and UNESCO world heritage site. Its loss will impact the economy. The damage will be considered a cultural setback. However, they will see no meaning or consequences in the fire outside of the physical fact.

If the fire is reduced to an unfortunate event, its lessons will be in vain. This is not an ordinary occurrence. The episode marks the end of a historical epoch. It is a punishment for humanity that has turned its back upon God. Its providential message speaks not only to France but the world.

Indeed, Notre Dame is a building full of symbolism. Every part of the venerable medieval structure has symbolic meaning and purpose that renders the universe intelligible. The fire could not fail to have its own symbolism that reflects the turbulent and irrational times.

Notre Dame is the beating heart of France that represents everything of its Catholic identity. So important is the church to the nation that playwright Paul Claudel once wrote that Paris is but a highway leading to Notre Dame.

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