The Cathedral of Notre Dame and the French People

In the Slideshow above and below I have included some of the beautiful views of the Cathedral of Notre Dame during my studies abroad. These photographs were taken either at the Cathedral of Notre Dame or at other points in the city with a view of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.

As you can see from the slideshow, the views of Paris are amazing from the top of Notre Dame. Many people love to tour Notre Dame to not only experience French culture, art, and grow in deeper faith, but to get a glimps of Paris and the beauty of Paris. This is one reason why the Cathedral of Notre Dame is important to France, but also because of the steadfast love it has offered to the people there. The Cathedral of Notre Dame has some of the grounding history of France within it, and has survived the conflicts present within that history, offering hope and light to the people. Always there for France since it’s construction, The Cathedral of Notre Dame has survived wars, and in some ways, represents the freedom that France enjoys. The freedom of creative expression, as well as of religions, and the foundations of the country: liberte, egalite, et fraternite: liberty, equality, and fraternity. As you can see from its location the Cathedral of Notre Dame stands in solidarity with the French people and has continued to be a Beacon of Light and Hope within Paris.

I know this first hand because upon arriving in Paris, the first thing I went to see was the Cathedral of Notre Dame. However, I got lost along the way, so I had to stop for help and ask for directions. This was during the high holy days of Ramaden for the Islamic population. I stopped to ask someone for help and the Parisian I asked happened to be in the middle of observing Ramaden. What this means is he was fasting all day until sun down. Even though he was fasting, and tired from the hot sun, he showed me the way to the Cathedral of Notre Dame. He also showed me the L'Institut du Monde Arabe where I was able to get some of the best views of the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the heart of Paris. We talked about his time and Paris and how he became of aware of The Cathedral of Notre Dame. For him, the Cathedral was one of the first things he wanted to see and experience. Also, when he wanted hope and encouragement, he would sit in front of the Cathedral of Notre Dame because of it’s beauty. He would also go in to pray sometimes there instead of L’Institute. For France, Notre Dame is not just any Cathedral. It is a cathedral that unites people, populations, and creates peace within the city of Paris itself. It is a shining light to the city, of what faith, arts, and culture can do to unify people, as well as what a sacred space can do for people to grow more deeply in their spirituality, connect with a higher purpose, as well as to connect with the Divine…..For me, during my time at Notre Dame, I was able to connect more deeply with my Catholic faith, as well as with the values I hold true to my heart. I was able to be in a space where I could just be and listen to God’s voice through not only the stillness present, but the spirit within the space, as well as the people who were touring, as well as through the spirit of the french people I encountered and spoke with there and along the way.

We hope you enjoy these photographs and that if you are moved to donate to help with the reconstruction of the Cathedral of Notre Dame that you will do so by going to the launched site which is holding an internation appeal to rebuild.

Towards the end of the week, we will also begin to offer some of our Cathedral of Notre Dame Collection for purchase in our online store.

Mary Grenchus