Notre Dame On Christmas Eve – Myths and Legends

Notre Dame Cathedral - "The Christmas Bells Are Ringing For Evening Mass"

The Bell Ringing Angel

The story begins about eight years after the tragic story of the heroic bell ringer of the grand cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris. It is a short tale about how one girl was enchanted by the mysterious bell ringer and how he inspires her dreams, indeed, her entire childhood and life. Sad this story may be, if you read it, you may agree that it is mainly about dreams and hope.

The bells rang out in the dead of night; they brought character to the city of Paris. Even though the city was asleep; the voices of the bells did not go unnoticed, for in one house, just an ordinary insignificant house; someone heard their song. Lying in her bed was a girl aged about sixteen by the name of Marie listening intently to the symphony of the bells of Notre Dame. A tear trickled down her cheek when she heard them; they were dead.

As a child Marie had always heard the chime of the bells, from the first time she heard their delightful sound she was in love. When she was very small she thought that the bells were enchanted and rung on their own accord, but when she got older she heard people talking about a mysterious bell ringer. When she heard this she pondered over it; everyday she thought about the mysterious bell ringer and came to the conclusion that he must be and angel. Through out her childhood she had an obsession with angels as well as church bells; she would dream about the bell tower looked inside. She knew that she was blessed to be named after one of the bells in the tower. To her the bell tower of Notre Dame was a magical kingdom ruled over by a kind angel and emperor in one. Every night she dreamed about the bells and listened to their chorus as she drifted off to sleep.

However, all this ended when she was seven; her parents announced that they had decided to move out of Paris for nine years. When Marie heard this news, she was devastated; it was as if her entire world was falling apart before her very eyes. She would never forget the day the carriage began taking her away from where she had lived her entire life. The bells that rung out on that day sounded even more beautiful than usually, as if her angel, the bell ringer was saying farewell and this was how Marie always remembered the bells of Notre Dame.

In her years away from Paris Marie grew up; the transformation was so gradual that she did not realized until she returned to Paris. In The years she had been away her beliefs regarding the bell ringer had changed; at the age of twelve, she had stopped believing that he was an angel, she decided that he was a person. However she concluded that he was a person better than most, more interesting, strong and braver. He was her hero, her knight in shining amour and he was real. One her thirteenth birthday she promised herself that when she got to Paris she would go to Notre Dame and meet the bell ringer.

A few days after her sixteenth birthday, with high spirits she set off to Paris, to meet the man who had inspired her childhood. So many thoughts, memories and feelings penetrated the soul of Marie and uplifted her soul. So many hopes, indeed, her dreams were to be found in Paris. She entered the gate with the excitement and knowledge that the bells would be ringing any moment now. Suddenly came a sound; it was the bells!

However Maris’s joy ended as aptly as it had begun. They were not the heavenly sounds that she had heard nine years before, something was missing.

We shall end in the same place as we begun; Marie sat up remembering what she had heard that day about the fate of the tragic bell ringer of Notre Dame. The truth was plain and simple: he had disappeared without a trace for several years until they had found what was assumed to be the skeleton of him. The person whom she had spend her entire life seeking, who she had aspired to meet was now dead, gone forever. Although she did not know him properly, or even met him, there was a void in her heart.

Getting up from her bed, she threw open the window and gazed out to Notre Dame and whispered the magic word of her childhood and her entire life: “Quasimodo.”

Notre Dame on Christmas Eve. A family light a candle in front of the Nativity of  the baby Jesus

Christ was born in the first century, yet he belongs to all centuries. He was born a Jew, yet He belongs to all races. He was born in Bethlehem, yet He belongs to all countries.