Parisians kneel in the streets, sing 'Ave Maria' in honor of burning Notre Dame Cathedral

A video showing Parisians kneeling and singing "Ave Maria" outside the burning Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris went viral on Monday, as the world mourns the loss of the historic, centuries-old landmark.

A correspondent for El Mundo in France posted the video Monday evening local time on Twitter. Within an hour, it had more than 780,000 views.

It shows a number of people kneeling and singing "Ave Maria" in French as night falls over the city and the blaze of the cathedral burns in the background.  

ADVERTISEMENT

A devastating fire broke out at Notre Dame in the afternoon and quickly engulfed the building, resulting in the collapse of its iconic spire and the destruction of its stained-glass windows.

Officials said later Monday afternoon that the fire had spread to the entire interior of the building and that they did not believe anything would remain from its frame. It later spread to its iconic rectangular towers as well.

French President Emmanuel Macron expressed sadness over the fire.

"Notre-Dame is aflame. Great emotion for the whole nation. Our thoughts go out to all Catholics and to the French people. Like all of my fellow citizens, I am sad to see this part of us burn tonight," he tweeted.

Police are reportedly treating the fire as an accident that potentially occurred as a result of renovations being made on the building. Local fire department officials have been responding.