Along with the many firefighters, first responders and individual citizens killed in the terror attacks of 9/11 was a priest, Father Mychal Judge, a Franciscan fire chaplain killed by falling debris in the North Tower.
Saint Peter’s Church was the first Parish church in New York and stood in the shadows of the World Trade Center. A landing gear from one of the planes struck the roof of St. Peter’s. The pastor of St. Peter’s, Father Kevin Madigan, narrowly escaped death when he hurried out toward the flaming towers to see if he could be of help.
The body of Father Mychal was carried to the church and placed in front of the altar. The church was later repaired and to commemorate not only him but all who lost their lives that day, a Catholic Memorial at Ground Zero was placed in Saint Joseph’s Chapel of the Church in New York and consecrated by Cardinal Egan in 2005.
Four life-size statues were commissioned as memorials to groups affected by the tragedy: St. Joseph, patron of construction workers; St. Michael the Archangel, patron of police; St. Florian, patron of firefighters (shown here), and St. Mary Magdalen, first witness to the Resurrection and “apostle to the apostles.