How centuries of priceless treasures were saved at Notre Dame

PARIS — Jean-Marc Fournier didn’t have much time. As flames ripped through Notre Dame cathedral’s medieval roof on Monday evening, the Paris fire brigade chaplain had a single mission — to rescue two of its most sacred relics.

The problem was that the Crown of Thorns, revered as having been worn by Jesus Christ during his crucifixion, and the tabernacle, containing the Eucharist or holy sacrament, were locked inside a safe in the church’s treasury that no one knew how to open.

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