Two years ago today, a major electrical fire damaged the centuries-old Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France.  Many of the cathedral’s priceless artifacts were rescued during the blaze when bystanders formed a human chain to retrieve art and religious artifacts.  Among the items saved were a reliquary (a repository for relics) containing Jesus’ crown of thorns.  Among the saved art were sculpturing of the 12 apostles and the four evangelists. The sculptures of the apostles each weigh about 500 pounds. They were installed at Notre Dame in 1859 and 1860 by 30-year-old architect Eugene Viollet-le-Duc. During the French Revolution many statues were destroyed, and its bells melted down into cannons.  After years of neglect , the cathedral also needed a new spire.  Eugene Viollet-le-Duc is said to be the model for the statue of St. Thomas the Apostle.

The Little White Book of Easter, Bishop Kenneth Untener

“You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord; blessed are those who have not seen, but still believe!” (John 20:29, from the Alleluia Verse at today’s Second Week of Easter Mass) St. John Berchmans, pray for us.  St. Ignatius Loyola, pray for us.

“Moses said to the people , ‘Do not be afraid!  Stand firm, and you see what Yahweh will do to rescue you today…Yahweh will do the  fighting for you ; all you need to do is keep calm.’” (Exodus 14:13-14)

“There comes a time when our spiritual efforts are largely futile or even get in the way of our spiritual growth.  Experiences of personal failure and loss, a serious accident, being victimized, becoming seriously ill, or simply undergoing the aging process – events like these teach us we are not in control of our life.  We have learned to surrender and let God take the lead.”  (Fr. Bernie Owens, S.J., More Than You Could Ever Imagine, On Our Becoming Divine.  Fr.Owens teaches theology to seniors at St. John’s Jesuit.)