Who watched in horror as the Notre Dame Cathedral went up in flames, Monday? The world.
It has been repeated — Notre Dame is more than a cathedral – it is the historic vessel of the history of Western Civilization, and venerated “church” for Catholics. The faithful know it as the House of God, named for Our Lady. It is one of a few places in the world that transcends itself.
A tragic event for all with swift hope from French President Macron who promises to rebuild. Almost immediately millions and millions of dollars were pledged in a non- denominational outpouring.
I have not been to Paris and have not experienced Notre Dame in its 12th century glory, but I can imagine how breathtaking it would be to stand there surrounded by magnificent art and the historic memory of its past. The names of those who stood in place are more than I can recall and some are unknown, but on the pages of its history we can find: Joan of Arc, Napoleon, Mary Queen of Scots, popes and princes, and in the 20th century, former President Charles deGaulle with the free people and allies praying to God in that place at the end of WWII.
Yes, many great historic figures and millions of tourists have worshiped and simply stood in awe in that magnificent structure. Many believed they were in God’s House.