CHANCES ARE, as many American
Catholics associate Notre
Dame with a university in
South Bend, Indiana, as they
do with Our Lady. Some may
even wonder why a cathedral in Paris
was named after a football team with
a fighting leprechaun as a mascot.
Fewer still are likely to be familiar with
the Basilica of Notre Dame de Fourvière
in Lyon, France. Admittedly, I was one
of those in the dark until an inadvertent
discovery on a recent vacation.
Our adventure started out as
planned, with a few days in Paris, visiting
many of the popular attractions
including the Louvre, Arc de Triomphe,
and Luxembourg Gardens.
When we arrived at the Cathedral of
Notre Dame, it was immediately apparent
why it is the most visited site in the
city, even outranking the Eiffel Tower.
Simply observing the 14th-century
cathedral’s twin 228-foot towers—
sculpted portals that portray scriptural
themes and stained-glass artistry—
makes it impossible to imagine a more
magnificent structure anywhere on
earth. And we hadn’t yet left Paris.