Drone Cam Visits 112-Year-Old Steeple, Accompanied By 1,200-Year-Old Music

November 21, 2013, 11:50 PM

The camera-equipped drone operated by Detroiter Harry Arnold this week visited the iconic steeple of St. Josaphat Catholic Church, which was heavily damaged by high winds Sunday and Monday and likely will have to be removed permanently.

The drone cam offers a never-seen-before view of the 200-foot spire, which was swaying in the wind during the storm. The camera shows the steeple's curvature and missing tiles and also provides a sweeping view of the neighborhood around E. Canfield and I-75, which includes other historic Catholic churches that once formed the nuclei of Detroit's original Polish neighborhood.

In addition to the visible damage to the steeple, the drone cam reveals apparent cracking on the large golden cross at the steeple's summit.

St. Josaphat's steeple is a familiar sight to motorists driving southbound along I-75 south of I-75. At one point the spire lines up in the middle of the Renaissance Center, which looms in the distance.

The musical accompaniment to the drone's examination of the steeple is the Litany of the Saints, a Catholic prayer in Latin that dates from the first millennium and is chanted at various Catholic ceremonies.  

The first three lines heard in the video:

Voice: Sancta María. V. Holy Mary.
Response: Ora pro nobis. R. Pray for us.

V. Sancta Dei Génetrix. V. Holy Mother of God.
R. Ora pro nobis. R. Pray for us.

V. Sancta Virgo vírginum. V. Holy Virgin of virgins.
R. Ora pro nobis. R. Pray for us.

St. Jospahat is one of the churches in the Archdiocese of Detroit that celebrates the mass in Latin, which mostly was replaced with English in North America in the 1960s.

St. Josaphat is one of three churches in the Mother of Divine Mercy Parish that includes two other historic churches: Sweetest Heart of Mary on Russell Street and St. Joseph on Jay Street. 

Read all about St. Josaphat Church, which has a battle mural inside.

Read more:  YouTube

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