VIDEO: Interview with Fr. Jean-Marc Fournier

Here is an interview with Fr. Jean-Marc Fournier, the priest military chaplain to the firefighters of Paris.  He was a member of the FSSP.

Generally accurate translation (by someone out there):

‘I am Father Fournier, chaplain-major at the Paris Fire Brigade and I was the chaplain on duty this 15th of April when an extraordinary fire occurred in the Notre Dame cathedral.

As I was on duty, I was called on the scene, and right away two things must absolutely be done : save this unfathomable treasure that is the crown of thorns, and of course Our Lord present in the Blessed Sacrament.

As I entered the cathedral, there was little smoke and almost no heat, but we had a vision of what hell may be : like waterfalls of fire pouring down from the openings in the roof, due to the downfall not only of the spire but also of other smaller debris in the choir.

I was escorted by a senior officer; the difficulty was in finding the holder of the code to the safe that sheltered the Crown of Thorns. This took us much time, and during this quest for the code a team of firefighters was trying to break open the safe, and they did just as I got a hold of the keys.

The relic was then extracted [from the building] and guarded by police officers.

Everybody understands that the Crown of Thorns is an absolutely unique and extraordinary relic, but the Blessed Sacrament is Our Lord, really present in his body, soul, divinity and humanity and you understand that it is hard to see someone you love perish in the blaze. As firefighters we often see casualties from fire and we know its effects, this is why I sought to preserve above all the real presence of Our Lord Jesus Christ.

[Something about Macron and the fact that there were 400 up to 600 firefighters on scene…]

[Compliments to the general officer commanding the Paris fire brigade who showed exceptional leadership]

The time when the fire attacked the northern bell tower and we started to fear losing it, was exactly the time when I rescued the Blessed Sacrament. And I did not want to simply leave with Jesus: I took the opportunity to perform a Benediction with the Blessed Sacrament.

Here I am completely alone in the cathedral, in the middle of burning debris falling down from the ceiling, I call upon Jesus to help us save His home.

It was probably both this and the excellent general maneuver of the firefighters that led to the stopping of the fire, the ultimate rescuing of the northern tower and subsequently of the other one.

We started Lent by imposing ashes and saying “remember you are dust”, and truly this was a miniature Lent: the Cathedral went to ashes, not to disappear, but to emerge stronger, as we Christians are, after the Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ.’


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. bobbird says:

    This is GREAT. I love French! … except with a background in Italian, Latin and Spanish, I can only understand French if it is printed out for me, and then maybe 50-60 %. Or over-voiced or sub-titled.

    C’est le vie!

  2. MissBee says:

    Thanks for sharing this, and it’s wonderful to see Priests appearing in the media who speak true Catholicism… Fr. Fournier using the words Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, Can. Benoit Jayr on local news in Milwaukee stating that France is consecrated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus… brick by brick as you say!

    Also, here is a link to the bells of Notre Dame chiming. Play over your car’s stereo for maximum effect:

  3. Diana says:

    wow! Awesome. So well put. Praise God.

  4. OrdinaryCatholic says:

    Extraordinary!! Fr. Jean-Marc Fournier was so precise and so articulate in his description of the events after the call for the fire went out. This priest has his head in the right place. He did not, could not leave the Cathedral without our Lord in the blessed sacrament ( “because it is a horrible thought of having a loved one perishing in a fire”) and to even have the thought of a final blessing of the Cathedral and asking Christ to keep it from perishing completely before exiting the burning building. May God bless this good priest.

  5. Pingback: New York Times Forced to Correct at Notre Dame: ‘Body of Christ’ Is NOT a Statue | TrumpsMinutemen

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