Sunday, March 31, 2013

The Liberation Memorial, Notre Dame de Paris

1. Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris (March 2013) 
2. The Liberation of Paris Memorial Plaque
Commemorating General de Gaulle's visit (26/08/1944)

[Unveiled on the 60th anniversary: 26 August 2004]
 For additional information click on 'Comments' below.


Blogger ritsonvaljos said...

Additional information

Following his election as Bishop of Paris in 1160, Maurice de Sully decided that Paris would have a new cathedral. Construction began in 1163 with the laying of the cornerstone during a ceremony at which the Pope Alexander III attended.

The previous cathedral was dedicated to St Stephen. Yet, Bishop Maurice de Sully's Gothic creation would be dedicated as 'Notre Dame de Paris', or in English, 'Our Lady of Paris' (Photograph No 1 above). Although many alterations and restorations of Notre Dame have been carried out in the centuries since, Notre Dame has witnessed much of the history of Paris and France.

It was here at Notre Dame, in December 1431, that King Henry VI was also crowned King of France. In 1558 Mary, Queen of Scots married the French Dauphin Francis (later Francis II) inside Notre Dame. It was in front of Notre Dame cathedral that the Protestant Henri de Navarre married the Catholic Marguerite de Valois ('La Reine Margot') in 1572.

During the Second World War, on 26 August 1944, to celebrate the Liberation of Paris, it was to Notre Dame de Paris that General Charles de Gaulle, accompanied by General Philippe Leclerc and the leaders of the French Resistance, came to take part in a 'Te Deum'. In June 2002 a 'Foundation Mass' was established at Notre Dame to commemorate the visit of Charles de Gaulle and the Resistance leaders on 26 August 1944.

On 26 August 2004, an international denominational service was held on the 'parvis' outside Notre Dame Cathedral in honour of the French veterans from the 2nd French Armoured Division who lost their lives in the Liberation of Paris. The service was led by the Cardinal - Archbishop of Paris, Jean-Marie Lustiger (1926 - 2007). Representatives of the French and international communities attended, including the then President of France, M. Jacques Chirac.

At the invitation of Cardinal Lustiger, representatives of the different faiths to which these soldiers belonged read a prayer. Cardinal Lustiger, accompanied by Cardinals from Washington, Westminster (London) and Berlin and the Bishop of Ottowa then said Mass and sang the Magnificat. Also on this day in August 2004, a memorial plaque was unveiled on the south transept inside the cathedral (Photograph No 2 above).

In French, the memorial plaque reads as follows:

« Le 26 août 1944, le Général de Gaulle accompagné par les Chefs de la Résistance et par le Général Leclerc, libérateur de Paris à la tête de la 2ème Division Blindée, s'est rendu à Notre Dame pour y chanter le Magnificat

Le 26 juin 2002, une Messe de fondation a été instituée pour en garder la mémoire et pour que, chaque année de la libération de Paris soit l'occasion de prier à Notre Dame pour les victimes de la deuxième guerre mondiale et pour la paix ».

This can be translated as follows:

""On 26 August 1944, General de Gaulle accompanied by the leaders of the Resistance and General Leclerc, the liberator of Paris at the head of 2nd Armoured Division, visited Notre Dame to sing the Magnificat.
On 26 June 2002, a Foundation Mass was established to preserve this memory and so that, each year, there will be an opportunity to pray at Notre Dame for the victims of the Second World War and for peace ".

Sunday, 31 March, 2013  

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