Thoughts on the beauty of Notre Dame



Sixty years ago this September, I visited the Cathedral of Notre Dame de Paris. I have visited it many times since then. Because I was fortunate to have lived several years in Europe, I was able to visit many of the great European cathedrals and appreciate them as masterpieces and as works of art. I learned Gothic cathedrals capture the spirituality of the times. When entering Notre Dame Cathedral, one’s eyes are drawn immediately upward along the magnificent columns as if to the heavens, the hope of all the faithful. There, portrayed in glorious stained glass is God sitting in judgement, a just but welcoming God. This hieratic sense of religion that draws all things heavenward inspired and challenged the faithful. It’s as if in this holy building’s faith comes alive. In addition to the other great European Gothic cathedrals Notre Dame carries with it not only great beauty, but also history, tradition and the spirit of a nation.

Mortimer C. Newton, East Greenwich