April 08, 2022 2 min read
The Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris is a jewel of medieval Gothic architecture and a banner of Catholicism; the construction encompassing almost 200 years. One of the characteristics of Gothic art is the affirmation of Truth, the truth which is not just a concept, but a divine Person.
The unjustly reviled "Middle Ages" saw the blossoming of authentic masterpieces that continue to radiate their light in the darkness of contemporaneity. The ambition of the builders was to erect the highest sanctuary ever built, with a nave of 35 meters and two towers reaching 60 meters.
The refined character of the sacred building, imposing yet very light, is still today a shining example of how to represent the Kingdom of Heaven architecturally.
This iconic House of God, with its colorful rose windows and its elevating perspectives, wants to lift the soul of the faithful towards the celestial goal.
The owner of the cathedral is the Holy Virgin Mary, as Louis XIII in 1638 decided to pay homage to her for the birth of the longed-for heir to the throne with a new high altar. He died after only 5 years, and it took another 70 for Louis XIV (the Sun King) to complete and honor the promise.
On the altar stands the Cross, a contemporary creation in wood and gold leaf by the sculptor Marc Couturier, which deserves a particular mention. In front of it is the Pieta, where the Mother of God is depicted with her arms outstretched as a sign of offering her will to the designs of the Eternal Father. The expression of Mary seems to confirm that "everything is finished," but death will not have the last word, because the final sentence belongs to God alone.
Ghirelli's intent is to make the many values that this Cathedral embodies echo for the man of today. We are aware that if we are not children of our glorious past, there will not be a future for us that is worthy of the efforts of our ancestors.
These instruments of prayer have the sublime purpose of bringing the culture of prayer into our lives.
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