Heartbreaking moment Parisians sing Ava Maria in front of blazing Notre Dame

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Parisians gathered in front of the Notre Dame as it burns to the ground singing Ava Maria. Source: Getty and Twitter/ Jared Bruh

The beautiful sound of hundreds of heartbroken Parisians singing the sweet song Ava Maria echoed through the French capital on Monday, as the world mourned the collapse of one of the most iconic religious buildings.

Crowds of people gathered outside Notre Dame Cathedral, to sing a haunting version of the world-famous tune, visibly struggling to hold back tears as a blazing fire ravaged the structure which collapsed into dust in front of their very eyes.

The heartache of losing the historic building, which housed some of the world’s most prized relics, is etched on the faces of the young and old as they stood together, hoping that some of the cathedral could be saved.

Footage of the emotional moment has since been shared online, as the world watched in shock and sadness as the 13th century disappear in flames.

Pretty much anything that can be said about the tragedy unfolding is captured in some way by this video of Parisians singing Ava Maria as they watch Notre Dame burn,” one person wrote on Twitter.

Another saddened by the tragic event added: “People singing Ava Maria in front of the #NotreDame. This is what dignity and resilience looks like.”

While the extent of heartbreak felt was highlighted as one loving mother said: “10 yr [sic] old Catholic daughter has gone to bed singing Ava Maria for Notre Dame.”

According to a spokesperson for the cathedral the fire broke out at around 4.50pm on Monday afternoon, The Guardian reports. As shocked Parisians watched on, flames engulfed the medieval cathedral, bringing down the spire and the roof.

However, fears remain that it too will topple, possibly destroying relics and artwork viewed by millions of people each year. Reports have claimed Jesus Christ’s Crown of Thorns could be one of those burnt in the horrific fire.

French President Emmanuel Macron has also expressed his sadness in losing the structure, taking to social media to share in the sorrow of the country’s people.

“Our Lady of Paris in flames. Emotion of a whole nation. Thought for all Catholics and for all French. Like all our countrymen, I’m sad tonight to see this part of us burn,” he wrote on Twitter.

While in a later post he claimed they will work together to rebuild the iconic building.

“This Notre-Dame cathedral, we will rebuild it,” he said.  “All together. It’s part of our French destiny. I commit myself: tomorrow a national subscription will be launched, and well beyond our borders.”

Though thousands of kilometres away, former Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull has called on the country’s politicians to support  France in helping to rebuild the Notre Dame.

Taking to Twitter in the early hours of Tuesday morning he wrote: “Our heartfelt sympathies are with the people of Paris as their ancient Notre Dame Cathedral is engulfed by flame. I have no doubt that @EmmanuelMacron will make it his mission to ensure the Cathedral is restored as so many other great churches have been after devastating fires.”

Read more: Fire ravages iconic Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris

He added: “PM @ScottMorrisonMP & Oppn Leader @billshortenmp should today agree to establish an Australian fund to support the restoration of Notre Dame so that Australians can show their solidarity once again with the people of France.”

Did you ever get the chance to visit Notre Dame? Have you been following this story?

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