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New docuseries shows relevance and reverence of Catholic relics

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The Crown of Thorns, pictured being venerated during a Good Friday service, would have been destroyed if not for the bravery of many during the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix
The Crown of Thorns, pictured being venerated during a Good Friday service, would have been destroyed if not for the bravery of many during the Notre Dame Cathedral fire. Photo: Courtesy of Netflix

In April 2019, a fierce fire engulfed the 850-year-old cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris, collapsing its main spire and roof.

Firefighters from across the city worked round the clock to contain the blaze as onlookers stood in silence, mourning the destruction of an icon of not only their city but the world.

The cathedral, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, took over a century to construct and is considered one of the finest examples of French Gothic architecture.

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Captain Frank from the Paris fire brigade was one of the hundreds who braved the flames, but his concern was not for the safety of the sacred structure that crumbled before him.
He was on a mission to rescue a priceless artefact hidden within.

The Crown of Thorns, worn by Christ during his crucifixion and finding its way to France via Constantinople by King Louis IX in the 13th century, was saved from destruction mere moments before fire engulfed the cathedral.

The fear that the crown might be lost was not just felt by the heroic Parisian captain and his fire brigade but by the thousands of pilgrims who venerate the relic each year on Good Friday.

Its rescue was nothing short of a miracle, just the latest in the relic’s long and storied history.

But why does this unique artifact mean so much to the faithful? How has its history shaped the world? And why does it continue to inspire people today?

Through personal testimonies and professional analysis, a brand new docuseries from Netflix aims to carefully examine these questions and shine a light on Christianity’s most cherished relics and their impact on those most devoted to them.

From the Holy Grail to the blood-stained shirt worn by a modern day saint, Mysteries of the Faith explores the secrets of these revered relics that have inspired millions over the centuries with full behind the scene access to some of the world’s holiest sites.

This balanced series is a celebration of faith, which takes audiences through the personal experience of those who care for these sacred treasures.

It also embraces those who have been blessed by them in miraculous ways.

An epic soundtrack reflects the grandeur of these gold-encrusted relics and the gothic structures that guard them, while enchanting animations bring context to their hidden histories of survival through two millennia of war, famine and bloodshed.

These stories are truly fascinating and it isn’t difficult to see how they have become the centre of humanity’s quest for the divine.

Mysteries of the Faith does not seek to give a definitive conclusion on the power of these relics or its significance among the faithful.

Instead, the series relies on eyewitness accounts and the credibility of professionals, both secular and religious, to let audiences discover these answers for themselves.

The docuseries will be streaming on Netflix from 1 November.

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