Ozanam was beatified by Pope Saint John Paul II in this church in 1997
On April 15, 2019, a major fire destroyed a considerable part of the Cathedral of Our Lady of Paris (Notre-Dame). Fortunately, neither the St. Vincent de Paul chapel nor the plaque commemorating the beatification of Antoine-Frédéric Ozanam were affected. However, the damage to the Cathedral was immense.
During these years of reconstruction, a huge campaign to collect donations was started by the Church through the Notre-Dame Foundation. In support of this fundraiser, the Council General is allocating 5,000 euros for the cleaning and maintenance of the Ozanam plaque.
“The close relationship between the Notre-Dame Cathedral and our Society is evident, for it was there that, in 1997, St. John Paul II declared Ozanam blessed. It is a very significant Catholic church for all of us. Therefore, helping in the recovery of the Notre-Dame Cathedral is, above all, a moral duty for all of us Vincentians”, commented Renato Lima, 16th President General International.
On March 3rd, the President General was hosted by the Vicar General of the Archdiocese of Paris, Monsignor Michel Gueguen (photo). Monsignor Gueguen is also Secretary of the Notre-Dame Foundation, created by the Holy Church to collect funds for the renovation of the Cathedral. It was a very cordial visit during which our President General expressed our admiration and gratitude.
Also on December 8th last year, the President General and Marie-Françoise Salesiani-Payet (Secretary General) took part in a ceremony in front of the Cathedral where General Jean-Louis Georgelin, appointed by President Emmanuel Macron to carry out the reconstruction of the site, gave an update of the works being carried out. It is estimated that the renovation of the Cathedral will be completed in 2024, probably in time for the Olympic Games.