‘Fearless’ priest saved Crown of Thorns

Tuesday - 16/04/2019 19:29
Many priceless artefacts were saved by firefighters who entered the burning and collapsing cathedral.Source:AP
Many priceless artefacts were saved by firefighters who entered the burning and collapsing cathedral.Source:AP
A Parisian chaplain has been hailed after pulling off an incredible rescue with a bold foray into the burning Notre Dame Cathedral.

A Parisian chaplain who entered Notre Dame with firefighters and saved the sacred Crown of Thorns has been once again hailed as a hero.

Jean Marc Fournier, who serves as chaplain to the Paris fire service, entered the cathedral as it burned and parts of the roof collapsed on Monday night to salvage what he could of the numerous priceless artefacts housed within.

The chaplain is no stranger to heroic acts of selfless bravery, having held prayers and assisted those grieving after horrific terrorist attacks in the French capital killed 130 people in 2015.
 

Jean-Marc Fournier has been hailed a hero. Picture: KTO Television, Paris
Jean-Marc Fournier has been hailed a hero. Picture: KTO Television, ParisSource:Supplied

 

Mr Fournier held keys and codes to Notre Dame that meant, once inside the burning and collapsing cathedral, he was able to unlock the artefacts and get them out from the burning building, including the Crown of Thorns, which for Catholics is a “most precious and most venerated relic”.

“The police took the crown and I took the holy sacrament (the wafers, or body of Christ),” Mr Fournier told CNN.

 
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze after the spired toppled over on Notre Dame cathedral yesterday. Picture: Thierry Mallet
Flames and smoke rise from the blaze after the spired toppled over on Notre Dame cathedral yesterday. Picture: Thierry MalletSource:AP

 

Mr Fournier has been praised as a hero on social media, including on Twitter where the director of French Catholic television network KTO, commending the chaplain.

“Father Fournier is an absolute hero,” a member of the emergency services told Sky News.

“He showed no fear at all as he made straight for the relics inside the cathedral, and made sure they were saved. He deals with life and death every day, and shows no fear.”

Many of the priceless artefacts have now been relocated to the Paris City Hall or the Louvre Museum.

Before Mr Fournier worked for the Parisian fire service, he worked for the French Armed Forces in Afghanistan, and spent time based in Germany, according to CNN.

He assisted those in need after the 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks across Paris, which injured more than 350 people.

Firefighters risked their lives to fight the fast moving fire, working through the night to control the inferno. Reports emerged of the French fireys forming a human chain to save Notre Dame’s “priceless treasures”.


Flames and smoke rise from Notre Dame cathedral as it burns in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)


—With AFP

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