On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11: Remembering the Saint of 9/11

On the 10th Anniversary of 9/11: Remembering the Saint of 9/11

On Sunday, September 4th, marchers turned out by the hundreds in New York City to honor the memory of the Rev. Mychal Judge, the beloved FDNY chaplain killed on 9/11. Firefighters and their families, friends of the Franciscan priest, and well-wishers from near and far, all came together for a four-hour Walk of Remembrance through the streets of Manhattan. Father Judge, commemorated as The Saint of 9/11, was killed while giving last rites to a firefighter at the World Trade Center. The group walked from midtown to Ground Zero, stopping at firehouses and police precincts along the way to pray and read the names of the 9/11 dead.

Father Mychal Judge was a Franciscan priest who served everyone that he encountered with the passion and spirit of St. Francis. Those who knew Mychal Judge have described him as carefree, open-eyed, laughing and humble. Some of his greatest friends were alcoholics whom he had saved from street corners, a mother who lost her daughter on TWA Flight 800 and a disabled former policeman whom he wheeled across an embattled Northern Ireland in an attempt to persuade the people there of God’s healing power of forgiveness.

Mychal Judge was also the dedicated official Chaplain for the New York Fire Department. He rushed to be with the FDNY firefighters at the site of the 9/11 World Trade Center tragedy, and as he was kneeling to give Last Rites to a fireman who had just perished there, Mychal was struck by falling debris from the burning towers and killed.

Father Judge was gay, which he knew would have caused him to be barred from the priesthood under the current Pope. He kept knowledge about his sexual orientation closely guarded, because he was acutely aware that it could become an obstacle to his work with some of the beloved firemen to whom his ministry was so dedicated.

In addition, many people have a special remembrance of Father Judge for his labors with and on behalf of persons who were suffering with AIDS during the early years of the crisis. Beginning in the early 1980s, when HIV really began to emerge with its fury of terror, Father Judge was one of the first persons to courageously devote himself to caring for those who were stricken, mostly alone, isolated from society and totally abandoned by their families. His steadfast kindness continues to stand as a role model for us all.

The Saint of 9/11 (Trailer)

The Saint of 9/11 (Full Movie)

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