The following is the message sent by the Holy Father Francis to the archbishop of Paris, H.E. Msgr. Michel Aupetit, following the fire that broke out yesterday, destroying a large part of the Cathedral of Notre Dame:
Message of the Holy Father
H.E. Msgr. Michel Aupetit
Archbishop of Paris
Following the fire that devastated much of the Cathedral of Notre-Dame, I join in your sadness, as well as that of the faithful of your diocese, the inhabitants of Paris and all the French. In these Holy Days when we remember Jesus’ passion, His death and His resurrection, I assure you of my spiritual closeness and my prayer.
This disaster has seriously damaged a historic building. But I am aware that it has also affected a national symbol dear to the hearts of Parisians and French in the diversity of their beliefs. For Notre-Dame is the architectural jewel of a collective memory, the gathering place for many major events, the witness of the faith and prayer of Catholics in the city.
While saluting the courage and the work of the firefighters who intervened to bring the fire under control, I express my hope that the Cathedral of Notre-Dame may once again become, thanks to the works of reconstruction and the mobilization of all, this beautiful treasure trove in the heart of the city, sign of the faith of those who built it, mother church of your diocese, and architectural and spiritual heritage of Paris, France and humanity.
With this hope, I cordially impart my apostolic blessing to you and to the bishops of France and the faithful of your diocese, and I invoke God’s blessing on the inhabitants of Paris and all the French.