For Fr. Pierre Amar, Notre-Dame de Paris has always been a masterpiece, “the very example of supreme beauty,” but now the Marian cathedral is also “a great burnt victim.”

One year after the fire destroyed much of the cathedral’s roof and spire, the French priest shared what the cathedral of Paris has meant and continues to mean for Catholics in France as the country again faces a crisis.

“Notre-Dame is a great lady of history. She has lived through centuries, eras, perils, and war. She has sustained the nation in its darkest hours,” Fr. Amar told CNA.

“When we saw the flames assailing the framework, we all believed that our entire history was about to give way. If there was such a shock, it was because our roots were attacked,” the French priest said.

Notre-Dame de Paris has touched and guarded souls as 850 years of prayers, petitions, and praise were hidden within its walls, he said.

“The cathedral is above all the place where Mass is celebrated,” he reflected.

Archbishop Michel Aupetit of Paris venerated the cathedral’s relic of Christ’s crown of thorns inside the damaged cathedral on Good Friday.

The archbishop prayed: “Lord Jesus, a year ago, this cathedral in which we are, was burning, causing astonishment and a worldwide impetus for it to be rebuilt, restored. Today we are in this half-collapsed cathedral to say that life is still there.”

Read more at Catholic News Agency

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