The Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, invited the faithful to attend the annual chrism Mass at historic St Sulpice Church in the wake of the massive fire that seriously damaged the historic Notre Dame Cathedral.
“This will be an opportunity for all of us to manifest our unity, our fervour and our confidence in the future. We feel well that we will not only have to rebuild our cathedral but also reconstruct our church whose face is so wounded,” Archbishop Aupetit said.
The archbishop also asked “people of goodwill” to place a light or a candle in their window on the night of Easter “as we will do in all our churches started with the Paschal vigil by the rite of the new fire.”
“It means that light illuminates the darkness, that life definitively triumphs over death,” he said.
St Sulpice Church is Paris’ other prominent Catholic church. With origins in the mid-17th century, the Baroque-era church is nearly the size of Notre Dame Cathedral. Its construction incorporates intricately designed stained glass windows that are often compared for their beauty and elegance with the medieval-era windows in the now damaged cathedral.
“France cries and with it all its friends from all over the world. It is touched in the heart because its stones are the testimony of an invincible hope which, by the talents, courage, genius and faith of the builders, has raised this luminous lace of stones, wood and glass. This faith remains ours. It is she who moves the mountains and will allow us to rebuild this masterpiece,” Archbishop Aupetit said.
Picture: People praying with candles on the Place Saint-Michel in front of a statue of the Virgin Mary during an evening of prayer and songs organised by the Catholic community the day after the Notre Dame Cathedral blaze. (Lafargue Raphael/ABACA/ABACA/PA).