On Monday the world watched as one of the most stunning examples of French Gothic architecture crackled under a fire that spread billowing clouds across the sky. There has been an incredible amount of support, and comments from around the globe, on the horrific spectacle. And although the damage is mind-numbing, indeed, it seems as though, miraculously, many of the Notre-Dame's priceless works of art were saved. The photographs that are quickly popping up on different news platforms often show something absolutely awe-inspiring: the famed gold cross of the cathedral still standing tall amongst the smoke. In tribute to the Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris, we have selected these beautiful Jesus tattoos that show how devotion and love burn strong, even through strife.
Among the relics that were saved was the Crown of Thorns that so many of these Jesus tattoos are bedecked with...this one, however, was the real deal apparently. Thanks to the head priest, Friar Jean-Marc Fournier, many pieces like this were recovered. “Father Fournier is an absolute hero,” a local Parisian firefighter told the 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.” Thanks to Fournier, and others, they were able to save about 40 works of art as the fire continued amongst the wooden roof of the chapel.
As many mourn the loss of the spire, but take solace in the safety of many sculptures, stained glass pieces, and more, it seems that, unfortunately, the church was very vulnerable at this particular time. "If there is a most vulnerable time for a church, it is when it is under construction," one fire expert said to NBC. Notre-Dame had been under reconstruction, and it is believed that the extensive renovations could have been the reason why the fire happened in the first place. But it seems that many are coming to the rescue after all the damage has been done. Parisian companies, in an effort to show solidarity, have contributed to the fundraising efforts. "The billionaires behind luxury giants LVMH Group [which owns Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior and Givenchy], Kering and L'Oreal on Tuesday pledged a combined €500 million ($565 million)".
It is times such as these that differences in culture, or religious affiliation, should be set aside. The most important point now is to support the recreation of a building that not only stands for devotion and beliefs, but also the human strength of creation. Like these Jesus tattoos, this cathedral symbolizes the greatest love and tenderness for an ancient belief. And regardless of opinion, it is always important to try and preserve that which is sacred. This includes Catholic churches, Native American lands, Syria's archeological treasures, and more.
It is also interesting to note that although Catholicism has waned in popularity, the Notre-Dame, and countless others around the world, still hold fascination, and deep symbolism for many. The same could be said of Jesus tattoos, and other religious pieces, that are often tattooed on the skins of non-believers! But why could this be? It's partly that Christian iconography is a mainstay of traditional tattooing, but even deeper than that...centuries of belief in the divine is powerful. And regardless of personal philosophies, the ideas of love, sacrifice, and compassion that surround any type of faith is profound. It would only follow that the symbolism, designs, and places of worship would be imbued with those sentiments...
We hope that whatever you believe in, you believe in it with all your heart. Whether you tattoo those philosophies on your body for all to see is up to you...but there certainly is beauty in that type of commitment and devotion.