The cathedral of Notre Dame, which is French for ‘our lady,’ has just received a glistening bronze bell weighing in at six and a half tons. The bell aptly named Mary is the loudest and largest of nine new bells blessed at the Notre Dame’s cathedral on Saturday by Archbishop Andre Armand Vingt-Trois.
Father Edouard, a priest from outside Paris who came for the blessing said, “They are beautiful (bells)… We will hear them ringing today during the celebration, and we will hear them during coming years as Notre Dame Chimes.”
The nine bells were ordered for the famous cathedral’s 850th birthday and replaced the discordant ‘ding ding’ of the previous four 19th-century chimes. Notre Dame’s rector Patrick Jacquin said, “During the French Revolution, they (the original bells) were all brought down and broken except (one) and four other bells that were recast in the middle of the 19th century … This will complete in a definitive manner the entire set of 10 bells as conceived … in the Middle Ages.”
The bells Jean-Marie, Maurice, Benoit- Joseph, Steven, Marcel, Dennis, Anne-Gevevieve, Gabriel and Mary will ring together to add harmony to the French gothic landmark, not heard since 1789. Travelers can come from far and wide to see the bronze bells which will be on public display until February 25.