In Nice, France, on April 22nd, 2019.
A Message to All Templar Knights & Dames
Six days ago, in a troubled France, I heard a terrible cry: “The Cathedral Notre Dame of Paris is in flames!” It was for me, born in Paris, a frequent visual witness of this architectural splendor which provides support, a material testimony of the work that belief can build, a very strong shock! Because the Notre Dame Cathedral from Paris is part of my personal story!
In the following hours, the television showed us the vivid images of the flames devouring a place where the divine meets the human, a holy place, a house of God!
It was with relief – like that of hundreds of millions of others – that I learned for myself that the brave firefighters, sustained by the policemen, had managed to extinguish the fire before final, irreparable damage had occurred! When I saw the flames of the burning Cathedral in the news, there was instant horror and grief. I did not only see a roof or a building burning. It was not just a building that easily could be replaced. I saw a history and a symbol burning!
All that history: all the events that took place since the of construction of Notre Dame, the Kings and Emperors of France who set their feet into the Cathedral.
And also that it had survived so many catastrophes and wars – even the French Revolution and the First and Second World Wars. And now that it should go down to be lost to time?
Should this big work of faith and all the prayers and sermons that were spoken there, all the concerts and hymns that were performed and sung there, all the spiritual moments and their atmosphere become prey of oblivion?
I know that spiritually I shared grief with many, many all over the world, who feared that something would be lost that does not only belong to France but that belongs to the whole world community as a symbol of faith and peace and that united visitors from all countries of the world in awe and admiration.List
- There was relief – that no human life was lost and nobody was seriously injured. And that, by the brave acts of the firemen and women and by that of the Police Officers, the main structure of the building was saved as well as many treasures like the Crown of Thorns. And that there were so many people and organizations immediately declared their readiness to donate money fort the reconstruction of this architectural and historical Symbol. There was awe, that after the fire the golden Cross still stood strong!
- But in the aftermath a deeper anger arose within my soul. Anger about the bullying of the donors, because people who couldn’t understand the meaning of this building and Holy place, scolded the donors for giving money for the reconstruction, whilst all over the world people die from warfare, hunger and diseases.
- One cannot put the cultural and faith needs of the world in one jar and balance it on the other hand with all the physical needs of the world. If we did so, all expenses for culture and beauty ought to be canceled and trials created to abolish culture: How can people judge other people who donate their money? And who can say that the donors do NOT give for welfare other humans at the SAME time?
- There is only one fundamental thought to be reminded: there is only ONE Notre Dame.
- In the end there is triumph, because the Cathedral will have its resurrection!
- The number of messages of support that I received from the Templar Grand Priories from various parts of the world was for me, together with the proof of the quality and the proximity of our Grand Priories, a testimony of Christian closeness from everyone!
- The Templars of the “Ordre Souverain et Militaire du temple de Jérusalem -OSMTJ” encounter the French people in this particular moments and express their solidarity and participation.
Professor Dr. Nicolas Haimovici Hastier
OSMTJ Regent Emeritus