Father Mychal Judge

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Father Mychal Judge:

Father Mychal Judge A little known story from 9/11/01 1

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The details of Father Mychal Judge's last hour and death reflect the great heroism and holiness of his entire life. As Mychal rushed into the North Tower with firefighters, Mayor Rudy Giuliani called out, "Father Mike, pray for us!" Mychal responded , "I always do ! I always pray for you!" These were his last public words -- his promise to always pray for us. Other priests also came to the scene, but Mychal was the only priest to actually enter either WTC building. He continued to offer absolution, prayers, and assistance in the lobby as death rained all around him, until his own death. 2

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When commanders gave orders to evacuate the building, he refused to abandon the hundreds of firefighters still trapped inside saying, "My work here is not finished." (Ford & Daly). It was initially reported that Mychal died while anointing a fallen firefighter. But he actually died after anointing FF Daniel Suhr; he anointed Suhr on the plaza outside before he entered the building. Nor was he struck by a falling body. The jumpers were falling outside onto the plaza; Mychal died inside the WTC lobby (Daly). 3

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Mychal praying anxiously in the lobby about half an hour before his death. He was probably saying the Rosary, as he often did at fires. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. At 9:50- 9:55 AM, Mychal climbed up to the mezzanine attempting to reach some injured firefighters. Seeing dozens of jumpers crashing onto the plaza outside, he cried out fervently and repeatedly, "Jesus, please end this right now! God, please end this!" 4

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Mychal Judge died while pleading with his Best Friend to miraculously intervene and put an end to the devastation. Mychal was struck and killed at 9:59 AM when the South Tower collapse sent concrete and debris flying through the North Tower lobby at speeds of over 100mph. The Medical Examiner found, and his death certificate states, that Mychal Judge died of blunt force trauma to the head (Daly). The wound was visible on the back of his head. He was designated as Victim 0001 because his was the first body recovered from the scene. 5

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God answered Mychal’s pleas, but not quite the way he asked. By a series of smaller miracles and good fortunes, most people did safely escape the towers that day, and tens of thousands of lives were saved. And for those who didn't make it, God sent Father Mike to greet and guide them on the other side, where he continues to pray for all of us. 6

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