Notre Dame, Restorations, et le Moi, by Robert Royal

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*Image: The Right Hand of God Protecting the Faithful against the Demons by Jean Fouquet, c. 1452-60 [THE MET, New York]. The illustration is from the “Hours of Étienne Chevalier” and shows Notre Dame, the spire of Saint-Chapelle, the Pont Saint-Michel, and other monuments of the Île de la Cité in Paris.

By Robert Royal, The Catholic Thing, Dec. 15, 2021

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

Robert RoyalI used to travel to Paris fairly often about twenty years ago for academic and professional reasons. For I don’t know how long, the inside of Notre Dame back then was all but invisible behind a bewildering maze of scaffolding as various parts of the interior were being restored (all that, of course, years before the recent fire). But you still visited the cathedral whenever you were in Paris because it was. . .Notre Dame de Paris.

One evening after a day of work, I ducked in briefly. Evening prayer was underway near the main altar. I joined the group, about twenty people. Afterward, the priest asked everyone to stay as long as they liked but to be considerate of the staff, who wanted to lock up soon and get home to their families. …

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