Pope Francis, Meeting With Young People, Vilnius © Vatican Media

Holy Father Joins People of Paris in Sorrow After Cathedral Fire

‘I grant to you my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing’

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Here is a translation of the Message that the Holy Father Francis sent to the Archbishop of Paris, H.E. Monsignor Michel Aupetit, for the fire that blazed yesterday, which destroyed a great part of the Cathedral of Notre Dame.
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The Holy Father’s Message
 H.E. Monsignor Michel Aupetit
Archbishop of Paris
In the wake of the fire that ravaged a great part of the Cathedral of Notre Dame, I associate myself to your sadness, as well as to that of the faithful of your diocese, the inhabitants of Paris and of 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 gravely damaged a historic building. However, I am aware that it has also affected a national symbol dear to the heart of Parisians and of the French in the diversity of their convictions, because Notre Dame is the architectural jewel of a collective memory, the place of gathering for numerous great events, witness of the faith and the prayer of Catholics in the heart of the city.
On congratulating the courage and work of the firefighters who intervened to circumscribe the fire, I articulate the wish that the Cathedral of Notre Dame may become again, thanks to the works of reconstruction and the mobilization of all, this beautiful showcase at the heart of the city, sign of the faith of those that built it, Mother-Church of your diocese, architectural and spiritual patrimony of Paris, of France and of humanity.
With this hope, I grant to you my heartfelt Apostolic Blessing, as well as to the Bishops of France and to the faithful of your diocese, and I appeal for God’s blessing on the inhabitants of Paris and on all the French.
© Libreria Editrice Vatican
[Original text: French]  [ZENIT’s translation by Virginia M. Forrester]

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