PARIS, FRANCE—The crown of thorns that is believed to have been placed on the head of Jesus during the passion of Christ was saved from the fire at the Notre Dame Cathedral by Catholic Priest, Father Jean-Marc Fournier, a human chain of rescue workers.
Father Fournier is also the Chaplain for the Paris Fire Brigade. He entered the burning Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday, April 15 to save the relics including the Blessed Sacrament, the tunic of St. Louis, and the crown of thorns.
According to Catholic Answers, “relics are the physical remains of a Saint or a person that is considered holy but not yet officially canonized as well as other objects that have been sanctified by being touched to his body. There are two classes of relics. First class or real relics include body parts, clothing, and instruments connected with Martyrs imprisonment, torture, and execution. Second class or representative relics are those which the faithful have touched to the physical body parts or graves of the Saints.”
Father Fournier served as a military Chaplain in Afghanistan. He was publicly praised for his work alongside the firefighters in France in the aftermath of the terrorist’s attacks at the Bataclan Theater in November 2015.
Though firefighters fought the blaze for over nine hours, the Cathedral was not burnt to the ground as initially reported. The famous large round stained glass windows and the organ at the Notre Dame Cathedral were spared during the fire. The organ is the largest in France. It has 5 keyboards, 115 stops, and 8000 pipes; 900 which are historic.
The Norte Dame Cathedral was under renovation when the fire started as a result of a construction accident. An official cause of the fire has not been disclosed by officials.