MARTIN BUREAU / POOL / AFP
The first ladies of the United States and France visited together the cathedral of Paris, as part of the official visit of the lessee of the White House.
After accompanying Donald Trump and Emmanuel Macron on Thursday to visit Les Invalides and the tombs of Napoleon I and Marshal Foch, their wives turned their steps towards the Ile de la Cité and the Gothic vault of Notre-Dame. But beyond its strictly protocolary dimension, the meeting of Melania Trump and Brigitte Macron was the opportunity to witness an unexpected scene.
Guided by Bishop Patrick Chauvet, rector of the cathedral, the two women were led before the Holy Crown of Thorns, the precious relic brought back from the Holy Land by Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine, and preserved in Notre Dame since the 19th century, after having been venerated for a long time at the Sainte Chapelle. With a diameter of 21 centimeters, its thorns having been distributed in many sanctuaries, this crown would have been, according to tradition, the one Christ wore during His Passion.
After contemplating Crown of Thorns, Melania Trump made an offering to the cathedral, lit a candle and signed the guest book. “At the end of her visit, Mrs. Trump wanted to lit two candles. I do not know what she prayed for. But she wanted to entrust all this to Notre-Dame de Paris,” confided Monsignor Chauvet to Famille Chrétienne.