A Parisian chaplain who aided survivors during a 2015 terrorist attack in his city is being credited with running into the burning Notre Dame Cathedral on Monday to help rescue its priceless relics.
Rev. Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain to the Paris Fire Brigade who previously served as a military chaplain in Afghanistan, entered the cathedral with firefighters and helped form a human chain to remove some of the artifacts, the Washington Post reported.
A local journalist shared Fournier’s efforts by posting a photo of the chaplain and a story of his heroism on Twitter, detailing how he helped save the Crown of Thorns. Some Catholics believe Jesus Christ wore the headpiece at his crucifixion.
— Etienne Loraillère ن (@Eloraillere) April 15, 2019
Fournier was previously recognized for comforting victims and praying over the dead in the wake of the 2015 attacks that left 130 dead.
“I gave collective absolution, as the Catholic Church authorizes me,” he was Sky News quoted him as saying at the time.
Paris’ Mayor Anne Hidalgo on Twitter recognized the volunteers who ran inside the cathedral to save the precious pieces and shared a video of some of the items being moved to the city hall for safekeeping.
ASSOCIATED PRESS The crown of thorns, which was believed to have been worn by Jesus Christ and was bought by King Louis IX in 1239, is seen at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris prior to Monday’s fire. RELATED COVERAGE Pope Francis Responds To Fire At Notre Dame CathedralWhat Burned — And What Was Saved — In Fire That Consumed Notre Dame Massive Fire Engulfs Notre-Dame Cathedral, Destroying Spire Download