Hero Priest Leads Human Chain In Saving Countless Artifacts From Notre Dame Fire

"Father Fournier is an absolute hero."

Jean-Marc Fournier, the chaplain of the Paris Fire Brigade, helped save "priceless" religious artifacts by participating in a human chain to retrieve them from the burning Norte Dame Cathedral, French officials said on Tuesday.

The Notre Dame Cathedral contains a number of one-of-a-kind Christian relics that were at risk of being destroyed in Monday's fire. Those relics include the Crown of Thorns many believe was worn by Jesus Christ and a linen tunic believed to have been worn by St. Louis, according to BuzzFeed News. Etienne Loraillère, the editor of France's KTO Catholic television network, tweeted that Fournier also saved the Blessed Sacrament. Fournier joined firefighters in creating a human chain, locating the relics and passing them from inside the church to safety.


It's not Fournier's first time being called a hero. In 2015, after the terrorist attacks at Bataclan concert hall in Paris, Fournier was covered across the globe for helping injured victims and praying for those who had died, The Guardian reported. Before becoming a chaplain he spent seven years in the French armed forces.

"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." 

The Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo also confirmed that the relics have been rescued.

"Thank you to the Paris Fire Brigade, the police, and municipal agents who made a formidable human chain to save the works of Notre Dame," she wrote on Twitter. "The Crown of Thorns, the tunic of St. Louis, and several other major works are now in a safe place."

Monday's devastating fire drew global sorrow, but as the smoke cleared on Tuesday hope began to grow. Fire department officials confirmed that the frame of the cathedral had been saved and it would be rebuilt. Shortly after, three of France's wealthiest families pooled together over $700 million to repair the damage, according to CNN.

Cover image via Gilmanshin / Shutterstock.com.


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