As Christians prepare to celebrate Easter on Sunday, they’re also saddened by the loss of much of an iconic piece of Catholicism.
The Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris has been a predominate icon in the Catholic community since the construction of the building started in the 12th century and was completed in the 14th century. The cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture which helped people who could not read understand a story through images.
“Notre Dame is famous for its flying buttresses which allow it to go higher and higher,” MSU Assistant Professor Dr. Tiffany Ziegler said. “The structure itself can be pierced with windows and in particular these windows in Notre Dame are stain glass and a number of rose windows so they can tell a story.”
On Monday with it being the start of Easter week under normal circumstances the Notre Dame Cathedral would have been preparing to display its holy relics on Good Friday but instead many watched in disbelief as the cathedral caught fire causing the spire on top to collapse. Senior year at MSU Jernelle JnoBaptiste said when she heard about the fire she thought the worst.
“I was reminded about the current desecration that has been happening to the Catholic churches in France,” JnoBaptiste said. “For example, there’s a church in Nimes and a couple of other churches in France where the hosts were thrown on the floor. Statues were being smashed.”
Catholic Campus Minister Debbie Neely at MSU visited the cathedral when she was in high school. She said the cathedral is a big reason why her belief is as strong as it is today.
“It was just an overwhelming experience and I was 18 years old,” Neely said. “It caught me in a different way than I expected for being someone young and just not thinking about those sorts of things in a very deep way.”
Although how the fire started is unknown, people around the world are thankful the main structure of the cathedral is still standing.