In Memoriam – Father Mychal Judge
This is a story that you may not have heard – Burkasrugly
After an early morning Mass for AIDS patients on September 11, 2001 Father Mychal Judge got in his car started driving through Manhattan. Father Judge was a Roman Catholic priest of the Franciscan order. He was also the chaplain of the New York City Fire Department. While in his car the good Father noticed his scanner was sounding a full alert. Immediately he raced through traffic frantically trying to reach the first tower of the Trade Centers. The second tower had not yet been hit. He had to park several blocks away. There was a multitude of screaming panic stricken humanity streaming out of the building. Father Judge did what he could to comfort the terrorized people.
He noticed that his beloved firefighters were rushing into the north Tower. As the good priest rushed toward the building he encountered Mayor Rudy Giuiani. Guliani cried out, “Father Mike pray for us!” To which the Father replied. “I always do ! I always pray for you !” He continued rushing toward the WTC building heedless of the bodies raining down all around him, people who were forced to make the horrible decision of jumping to their certain death or burning alive in the Towers. The Fire Department commanders gave the orders to evacuate. Father Judge knowingly stayed on the site helping the injured firefighters. At approximately 9:55 AM Father Judge finished giving a dying fireman the Last Rites of the Roman Catholic Church. Witnesses said Father Judge cried out fervently and repeatedly, “Jesus, please end this right now ! God, please end this !” Just as he finished this prayer, a human being hurtling from a hundred stories up slammed into Father Judge. He was killed instantly.
Mychal Judge was one of many that horrible day who sacrificed his own life willingly that others might live. He placed his priestly vows above his own personal safety. While others were rushing away from the towers, he ran toward them. After all, he was the chaplain of the New York Fire Department. And where his men were in danger, he had to be in their midst.Please notice the picture below.
The dead Father Judge is being carried out by five New York City firefighters. They are using a chair as an improvised stretcher. Look at the sorrow, pain and hurt on their ash stained faces. There is also great similarity to classical paintings of Christ being taken down from the cross. These paintings are often collectively referred to as Pietas (the pity). On September 11, 2001 Father Mychal Judge, faithful priest, experienced his own personal Calvary. Yet now he lives forever in the presence of a loving God. The very same God who taught him to love people so much. The same God, whose Son said, “Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”
Father Judge’s body is being carried out the building by five New York City firefighters.
Good and faithful, Father Mychal Judge, enter the kingdom prepared for you
from the foundation of the world !
Laus Deo !
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