Hero priest saved the Blessed Sacrament, Crown of Thorns from burning Notre Dame Cathedral; ALSO amazing daylight photos of cathedral!

As Notre Dame Cathedral was burning yesterday, I mentioned that I hoped the Blessed Sacrament, or the Eucharist had been saved from the fire.

Well it turns out that the Blessed Sacrament, as well as the Crown of Thorns and other holy relics, were indeed saved by a priest who serves as chaplain of the fire brigade in Paris.

In fact he and the firefighters formed a human chain to ensure the safety of these items.



Here’s more from CBS News:

Paris’s Deputy Mayor for Tourism and Sports, Jean-Francois Martins told “CBS This Morning” on Tuesday that he and others on the scene jumped into action to salvage the trove of art and artifacts housed in Notre Dame Cathedral as a devastating fire engulfed the ancient building the previous evening.

“We made a human chain, with our friends from the church… to get, as quick as possible, to get all the relics,” he said, noting that the Crown of Thorns believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ on the cross was among the items rescued.

“Thanks to the great bravery of all our firefighters, and as well all the public servants there, we had a very quick intervention. Very quickly a team was fully dedicated to save all these holy pieces, and specifically the relics and the crown,” Martins said. “Everything is safe and undamaged, and in our really bad day, we had one good news.”

Britain’s Sky News and other outlets reported, meanwhile, that the man at the hot end of the human chain, who quickly located the most iconic of relics — the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament — was Father Jean-Marc Fournier, Chaplain of the Paris Fire Department.

French Catholic news network KTO editor Etienne Loraillere said on Twitter that Fournier, “went with the firefighters into Notre Dame Cathedral to save the Crown of Thorns and the Blessed Sacrament.”

Philippe Goujon, the Mayor of Paris’ 15th district, said Fournier insisted on being allowed to enter the burning cathedral with his fellow firefighters, and played a role in the relic’s rescue.

According to KTO, Father Fornier was previously a military chaplain who served in Afghanistan, but more recently he comforted victims of the terror attack on the Bataclan theater in Paris in 2015.

French Culture Minister Franck Riester told reporters in Paris on Tuesday that all the art and artifacts rescued from the cathedral would be transferred to another Parisian landmark, the Louvre Museum, for safe keeping.

You can watch the interview with the deputy mayor from CBS This Morning below:



It is of great comfort to many that Fournier and the other firefighters and public servants risked their lives to ensure the safety of the Blessed Sacrament and the other holy relics.

Consider for a moment that it was the roof that was on fire and could have quickly collapsed in on them.

Such bravery has been seen in the history of the church and these men, especially Fournier, will be added to that list of heroes.

Lastly I would note that in the past Fournier didn’t just comfort the victims in the Bataclan theater. The NY Post indicates he prayed for those what died in the massacre, which is indeed very comforting.

Here’s a few daylight photos of the Cathedral from today:

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105 thoughts on “Hero priest saved the Blessed Sacrament, Crown of Thorns from burning Notre Dame Cathedral; ALSO amazing daylight photos of cathedral!

  1. Great to hear that. I’m sure they will pull together and restore Notre Dame back to its glory. They have contributions coming in at a crazy pace. Will be quite the restoration to watch.

  2. It’s heartwarming and gratifying to hear this kind of news out of such a tragedy. This means so much to so many.

  3. While a tragedy for history, just remember, the Church And everything in it are just things. God is still our God. Jesus is still in us, not in historic objects. No vandal or terrorist can make God less. In Christ alone our hope is found…not artifacts.

    1. Yes. But God is Beauty and Truth. Beauty and truth opens us up to receiving Him. This is a great loss.

    2. Catholic perspective. The Blessed Sacrament, no mere thing, holds the consecrated host which has the real presence of Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity.

  4. I read elsewhere this morning: “Does anyone know of the damage to the Iron Throne?”

  5. I’ve never seen this cathedral in person, but seeing all the pictures even after the fire shows what an amazingly beautiful cathedral that is. Wow! I sincerely hope they build it to be just as good if not better! I’m not an expert on this by no means, and I’ve visited a few cathedrals around the world including Italy, Spain, South/North America and I gotta say, I’ve never seen a more beautiful place of worship. God speed!

    1. I had never been in a cathedral like this…there are no words for the feeling of awe that came over me, just indescribable. Which is why people view it as more than a cathedral, more than a place of worship. It just takes you to another place….

  6. This preservation of Notre Dame’s artifacts is a direct answer to the prayers of millions, Catholic and non-Catholic.

    We can let God be the judge of the horrible people on twitter. I’m just so happy it’s still there.

    1. The candles which the faithful had lit yesterday were still lit when it was all done, from a picture I saw. The Lord was telling them their prayers were dear to Him and would not be forgotten. Amazing.

  7. I’ve stood outside Notre Dame but didn’t go in. Glad some items were saved. I do like how the cross stands strong and tall among the rubble in that last pic.

  8. These relics are medieval scams, as far as I’m concerned. It’s great that they were saved, but in my opinion, not worth risking a human life for.

    1. I can understand skepticism. However, there are some revered religious objects that have been scrutinized by scientists for over a century whose origins still defy natural explanation.

      This is an excellent presentation on the Shroud of Turin.

      The original carbon-dating test was erroneous (the sample was taken from a repaired, rewoven section of the cloth in the 13th century), and other dating methods have the date of the Shroud converging on 100 BC – 100 AD. The formation of the image on the Shroud has yet to be explained.

      The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

      The tilma of Juan Diego.

      These persistent miracles are much better evidences of the supernatural that even private visions of Jesus, because they can’t be dismissed as hallucinations or imaginings. And they lend credibility to other ancient sacred objects venerated for centuries.

  9. Truly amazing.

    I wonder how much of the stained glass survived. It looks good in these photos.

    1. I understand that many of the world renowned stain glass windows are said to be in smithereens.

      🙁

  10. You really do get to see the heroes when tragedy strikes. God bless Fr. Fournier and those who risked their lives to get the Blessed Sacrament and the other treasures to safety.

    Scoop, have you heard anything about the treasures stored in the crypt? The report said they’d be okay because the crypt is made of stone but I haven’t heard anything.

  11. So sad so many are attracted to the idols (“crown of thorns”, “wood from the cross”) that are worthless, raising millions of dollars to rebuild while France has clung to human secularism. One should not be surprised by the fact that Napoleon leveraged the cathedral willing to give it back to the pope if he announce Nap as emperor.

    In case you are interested some other interesting factoids: “Notre Dame also represents the center of Roman Catholicism in France, whose members slaughtered approximately 100,000 Bible-believing Christians on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. The reason for the massacre of so many Protestant Huguenots was utterly appalling! …..It was also at Notre Dame that Pope Pius X beatified Joan of Arc, France’s most famous Catholic martyr, after a previous “infallible” pope condemned her as a heretic.”

    Unsure if it is worthy to be rebuilt…..

    1. So they had religious wars 450 years ago, so we should despise Catholicism today?
      For the record I had Huguenot ancestors. Also Irish Catholic ancestors. I don’t hold anyone or any church responsible for what happened back then. Nor do I hold today’s Caucasians responsible for slavery.

      1. There is only one problem with your premise. Roman Catholicism still deems Protestants as Anathema according to the Council of Trent which has never been revoked. Sure, they do not burn anyone at the stake today, but the pope and the RC institution has not changed its viewpoint on Protestants unlike Caucasians do with slavery as an institution.

    2. John Calvin’s observation in his Treatise on Relics from the 16th century is telling:

      Now let us consider how many relics of the true cross there are in the world. An account of those merely with which I am acquainted would fill a whole volume, for there is not a church, from a cathedral to the most miserable abbey or parish church, that does not contain a piece. Large splinters of it are preserved in various places, as for instance in the Holy Chapel at Paris, whilst at Rome they show a crucifix of considerable size made entirely, they say, from this wood. In short, if we were to collect all these pieces of the true cross exhibited in various parts, they would form a whole ship’s cargo.

      And this: “Notre-Dame’s “Holy Crown of Thorns” is said to have been an object of devotion for more than 1600 years since it was removed from the Basilica of Zion in Jerusalem. Over those sixteen centuries, supposedly, this crown has carried the “fervent prayer of Christendom.” Many were thrilled to learn that the crown of thorns had been rescued from the fire. However, twenty-one other churches and cathedrals around the world also report possessing part of the crown of thorns.” – makes one wonder just how big of a head Jesus had in regards to so many parts of the crown….

  12. So sad so many are attracted to the idols (“crown of thorns”, “wood from the cross”) that are worthless, raising millions of dollars to rebuild while France has clung to human secularism. One should not be surprised by the fact that Napoleon leveraged the cathedral willing to give it back to the pope if he announce Nap as emperor.

    In case you are interested some other interesting factoids: “Notre Dame also represents the center of Roman Catholicism in France, whose members slaughtered approximately 100,000 Bible-believing Christians on St. Bartholomew’s Day in 1572. The reason for the massacre of so many Protestant Huguenots was utterly appalling! …..It was also at Notre Dame that Pope Pius X beatified Joan of Arc, France’s most famous Catholic martyr, after a previous “infallible” pope condemned her as a heretic.”

    Unsure if it is worthy to be rebuilt…..

    1. John Calvin’s observation in his Treatise on Relics from the 16th century is telling:

      Now let us consider how many relics of the true cross there are in the world. An account of those merely with which I am acquainted would fill a whole volume, for there is not a church, from a cathedral to the most miserable abbey or parish church, that does not contain a piece. Large splinters of it are preserved in various places, as for instance in the Holy Chapel at Paris, whilst at Rome they show a crucifix of considerable size made entirely, they say, from this wood. In short, if we were to collect all these pieces of the true cross exhibited in various parts, they would form a whole ship’s cargo.

      And this: “Notre-Dame’s “Holy Crown of Thorns” is said to have been an object of devotion for more than 1600 years since it was removed from the Basilica of Zion in Jerusalem. Over those sixteen centuries, supposedly, this crown has carried the “fervent prayer of Christendom.” Many were thrilled to learn that the crown of thorns had been rescued from the fire. However, twenty-one other churches and cathedrals around the world also report possessing part of the crown of thorns.” – makes one wonder just how big of a head Jesus had in regards to so many parts of the crown….

    2. So they had religious wars 450 years ago, so we should despise Catholicism today?
      For the record I had Huguenot ancestors. Also Irish Catholic ancestors. I don’t hold anyone or any church responsible for what happened back then. Nor do I hold today’s Caucasians responsible for slavery.

      1. There is only one problem with your premise. Roman Catholicism still deems Protestants as Anathema according to the Council of Trent which has never been revoked. Sure, they do not burn anyone at the stake today, but the pope and the RC institution has not changed its viewpoint on Protestants unlike Caucasians do with slavery as an institution.

  13. While a tragedy for history, just remember, the Church And everything in it are just things. God is still our God. Jesus is still in us, not in historic objects. No vandal or terrorist can make God less. In Christ alone our hope is found…not artifacts.

    1. Yes. But God is Beauty and Truth. Beauty and truth opens us up to receiving Him. This is a great loss.

    2. Catholic perspective. The Blessed Sacrament, no mere thing, holds the consecrated host which has the real presence of Jesus Christ, body and blood, soul and divinity.

  14. It’s heartwarming and gratifying to hear this kind of news out of such a tragedy. This means so much to so many.

  15. I read elsewhere this morning: “Does anyone know of the damage to the Iron Throne?”

  16. I’ve never seen this cathedral in person, but seeing all the pictures even after the fire shows what an amazingly beautiful cathedral that is. Wow! I sincerely hope they build it to be just as good if not better! I’m not an expert on this by no means, and I’ve visited a few cathedrals around the world including Italy, Spain, South/North America and I gotta say, I’ve never seen a more beautiful place of worship. God speed!

    1. I had never been in a cathedral like this…there are no words for the feeling of awe that came over me, just indescribable. Which is why people view it as more than a cathedral, more than a place of worship. It just takes you to another place….

  17. This preservation of Notre Dame’s artifacts is a direct answer to the prayers of millions, Catholic and non-Catholic.

    We can let God be the judge of the horrible people on twitter. I’m just so happy it’s still there.

    1. The candles which the faithful had lit yesterday were still lit when it was all done, from a picture I saw. The Lord was telling them their prayers were dear to Him and would not be forgotten. Amazing.

  18. Great to hear that. I’m sure they will pull together and restore Notre Dame back to its glory. They have contributions coming in at a crazy pace. Will be quite the restoration to watch.

      1. Yeah .. he happens to be Salma Hayek’s husband. But he has always been quite the philanthropist over decades.

  19. You really do get to see the heroes when tragedy strikes. God bless Fr. Fournier and those who risked their lives to get the Blessed Sacrament and the other treasures to safety.

    Scoop, have you heard anything about the treasures stored in the crypt? The report said they’d be okay because the crypt is made of stone but I haven’t heard anything.

  20. These relics are medieval scams, as far as I’m concerned. It’s great that they were saved, but in my opinion, not worth risking a human life for.

      1. You guessed right. I’m not Catholic. I don’t believe in holy relics. In my opinion, they were a scam so medieval kings could raise money to fight their wars. I think risking one’s life for them is foolish.

        Don’t get me wrong, I sympathize with Catholics that they lost so much in the recent fire in the cathedral, but I don’t think God really cares much if these scam relics are destroyed or not.

        1. Did you mean to make your email your username? Because it’s on display for everyone to see.

          Actually @joel I fixed it for you so it only displays the name portion.

            1. You made it your username unfortunately. What you should do is create a new account so we can delete the old one. Your email really should be hidden.

              I can help you with this.

        2. @joel I’m genuinely curious to know what God cares about according to you? And how you may be privy to such information 🙂

              1. @thor77 He also didn’t read the article I gave him about the Blessed Sacrament…………..so I replied. Geesh!

                1. About the sacrament, that most certainly doesn’t need to be rescued. You just bake some more. Probably costs pennies to make. It’s made of what, flour and water? (No, I don’t believe that it’s the body of Christ.)

                2. @joel Excuse me, but who really cares whether or not you believe (or me either)? What matters is millions of people from all over the world DO, and this tragedy affected them deeply. Would it hurt to show a little respect?

                3. Absolutely not. I’m conservative, religious, pro-life, pro-free-speech, and I’m sure I align with you on 90% of issues. But I’m not Catholic, and I don’t believe in the Eucharist and certainly not in relics, which I think are medieval scams.

                4. @joel By that token, anyone who doesn’t believe can call the whole of Christianity a scam. Doesn’t matter whether you agree with me 90% or 100% or 0% … its how you present your argument that shows how conservative you really are.

                5. Several folks are Catholic on this site. They believe it is important to save the holy relics as do I. Especially, the Eucharist which is not a relic but the sanctified Body and Blood of Christ, please give them the respect that they would give you if the shoe was on the other foot.

                6. To the Catholics on this site – respect! I really have a lot of respect for you guys. And I’m really sorry for what happened yesterday to Notre Dame.

                7. Thank you @democratsrfubar from one Catholic who believes in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. It is especially meaningful coming up on Holy Thursday and culminating with the miracle of his resurrection celebrated on Easter Sunday. To me this is the most important part of our faith witnessing the miracle of Jesus’ death and resurrection and is it personally a very emotional time for me. :praying:

                8. @rae-from-minnesota

                  It is the holiest week of Christianity. HE, after dying for everyone has risen! Allelujah!

            1. Probably not a great subject to bring up on the day after Notre Dame was nearly destroyed in a blaze… doctrinal discussions rarely make friends online.

        3. You missed the point and apparently didn’t read the article. The Blessed Sacrament is NOT a relic. Every Catholic Church has this.

        4. Regardless of whether they were scams, their historical significance alone is enough of a value to care about them. You don’t have to be religious to appreciate that.

          If it had been the Louvre on fire instead, I wouldn’t think twice about anyone (including myself, if they’d let me) running in there to save as much as they could.

          I’ve also got a piece that I commissioned, only one in the entire world as far as I know, that’s on my emergency route in the event of a house fire. Zero market value, but priceless to me. Damn straight I’m pulling that off the wall on my way out. And running back in for it if need be.

        5. Elijah’s bones brought a dead man to life. Cloths that touched Paul’s body healed sick people. There is no reason to believe that God can no longer work similar miracles. Each apparent miracle must be evaluated individually.

    1. I can understand skepticism. However, there are some revered religious objects that have been scrutinized by scientists for over a century whose origins still defy natural explanation.

      This is an excellent presentation on the Shroud of Turin.

      The original carbon-dating test was erroneous (the sample was taken from a repaired, rewoven section of the cloth in the 13th century), and other dating methods have the date of the Shroud converging on 100 BC – 100 AD. The formation of the image on the Shroud has yet to be explained.

      The Eucharistic Miracle of Lanciano.

      The tilma of Juan Diego.

      These persistent miracles are much better evidences of the supernatural that even private visions of Jesus, because they can’t be dismissed as hallucinations or imaginings. And they lend credibility to other ancient sacred objects venerated for centuries.

  21. What an amazing story of bravery. Thank you and God Bless you sir and all of the volunteers who risked their lives to save the Holy Sacraments and other relics including the Crown of Thorns. God was indeed watching over you as you honored him.

  22. I’ve stood outside Notre Dame but didn’t go in. Glad some items were saved. I do like how the cross stands strong and tall among the rubble in that last pic.

    1. I understand that many of the world renowned stain glass windows are said to be in smithereens.

      🙁

      1. I read the opposite (from Reuters). The rose windows survived, as did “other stained-glass masterpieces still standing after the cathedral’s wood-beamed roof collapsed.”

        The organ, on the other hand, they’re not sure about. And, strangely enough, a lot of damage to the paintings was water and not fire.

        There’s also tons of money pouring in for restoration. Half a billion euros already.

      2. Well that’s hard to hear.

        On the other hand, maybe a heroic restoration effort would be great to watch.

  23. What an amazing story of bravery. Thank you and God Bless you sir and all of the volunteers who risked their lives to save the Holy Sacraments and other relics including the Crown of Thorns. God was indeed watching over you as you honored him.

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