Friday, September 10

Lessons from Saints - St. Mychal Judge

Father Mychal Judge knew from the age of 6 that he wanted to become a friar and join the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor. After seminary and ordination into the priesthood, he joined the order. Stories of his life are filled with unmitigated compassion and generosity.

For the last nine years of his life, Mychal Judge was the chaplain to the New York Fire Department and would go where they went, giving rites and dispensing care to those who needed it most. Such dedication to the firemen led Mychal into the burning Trade Center towers on 11 September 2001.

When the south tower came crashing down, he was inside, giving rites to the dying. His body was the first to be brought out and identified, making Mychal Judge officially the first victim of 9/11.

After his death, at least four miracles have been directly attributed to prayer to him or the presence of his clothing (2nd class relic) in the room when the incurable illness was instantly cured.

Due to politics and Vatican sentiment, attempts to start an investigation into canonization has been quashed, but the point of saints is that they are people who inspire and serve as a tangible link between the material and the Divine. As such, Mychal Judge is a 21st century American saint.

Mychal Judge. Martyr for Christ, Healer of the sick, Defender of the defenseless, Lover of the forsaken, may your exemplar of boundless love and compassion inspire us on this every day.

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