During my last trip in Paris with the USO, I went to cruise around the Notre Dame Cathedral. Every time that I enter a church/Cathedral/Synagogue/Temple/Mosque, it amazes me what people can make for the glory of their faith, and every time I step in the Notre Dame Cathedral it is the same. I wonder how many years it took them to complete the work, how many men worked on the stone and the carving of such magnificent building. How many human being it helped with their faith and their everyday life!
I am not a very religious person, but I do believe that for some people religion and attending church can be very helpful. I know sometime I wish it could help me, but… I never found the help that I have been searching. So I search elsewhere! I was raised in France and most of my education’s years were in Catholic school. My family is Catholic, but I never was interested to follow what I call: “Organized Religion”, I know that it is for some and I respect the need for some to go to Church to pray, on the other side, I don’t feel that need. I’d rather go and take a walk in the wood, Sit on the beach and admire what God made and thanks Him for this precious gift while admiring it.
My grand Uncle was a Catholic Priest who was in charge of the Christian art in his region. He use to be the “publisher” of the series called: “Les Nouvelles de l’Eure” and whenever we will go visit him, we always ended up going visiting some little village and therefore stopped at the church to see the art. So I grew up having to visit the church and not for mess! And now, I can’t stop myself but go into the church of the town that I am visiting, It make me think of my grand uncle who isn’t here with us anymore, and of the good time that we had with him. He was a great person and was always making sure that we will follow what we thought was right! I hope that I give my kids the patience, love and understanding that he did with all of his nieces and nephews.
So to come back to Notre Dame (Sorry, I got carried away for a short while) 😉
Here is a little something about the Cathedral that you might not know: “Notre Dame de Paris was one of the first Gothic cathedrals, and its construction spanned the Gothic period. Construction began in 1163, during the reign of Louis VII, The cathedral was effectively complete by around 1345…/… The organ has 7,800 pipes, with 900 classified as historical…/… In 1793, during the French Revolution, the cathedral was rededicated to the Cult of Reason, and then to the Cult of the Supreme Being. During this time, many of the treasures of the cathedral were either destroyed or plundered. The statues of biblical kings of Judah (erroneously thought to be kings of France) were beheaded. Many of the heads were found during a 1977 excavation nearby and are on display at the Musée de Cluny.
For a time, Lady Liberty replaced the Virgin Mary on several altars…/… The cathedral’s great bells managed to avoid being melted down. The cathedral came to be used as a warehouse for the storage of food. In 1939, at the beginning of World War II, it was feared that German bombers could destroy the windows; as a result, on 11 September 1939, they were removed, and then restored at the end of the war. There are five bells at Notre Dame. The great bourdon bell, Emmanuel, is located in the South Tower, weighs just over 13 tons, and is tolled to mark the hours of the day and for various occasions and services. There are four additional bells on wheels in the North Tower, which are swing chimed. These bells are rung for various services and festivals.” (Notre Dame de Paris – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
You can also find lots of information about the Cathedral here: Notre-Dame de Paris