Our Lady of America embraced and honored by area’s Police and Fire First Responders.
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September 10, 2007: New York City. The journey of the statue of Our Lady of America began at the Basilica of St. Louis, King, in Saint Louis, Missouri on Saturday, September 8th. Concluding with Benediction offered by Fr. Elias Mary Mills, F.I., She immediately began Her journey towards New York City. The statue was accepted from the volunteer cross-country driver into the care of firemen from the Jackson Mills Fire Department. In addition to other priests, the statue was blessed by Fr. Anthony Forte, of the Newark Diocese, and Chaplin of the Newark Fire Department. From there the journey into the World Trade Center neighborhood began in preparation for the 6th Anniversary of September 11, 2001.
While still in Her protective box, She was transported to the Holland tunnel by the Jackson Mills N.J. Fire Department, where they were met by officials from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. She received a police escort through the Holland Tunnel and directly to the church of St. Peter, one block from WTC – Ground Zero.
Statue escorts were from the Jackson Mills Fire Department, District 4 (in white); Raymond Tremor, Michael Ruggiero, Daniel ConteRaymond Tremor III and Stanley O’Brien Jr. From the Port Authority of NY and NJ, Patrolman Joseph Molina.
When thanked by volunteers of the Our Lady of America Center, Officer Joseph Molina said with a smile, “Anything for Mary!”
As the firemen carried Her up the stairs of the church of St. Peter, Father Kevin Madigan, Pastor, received Our Lady. Bystanders were watching the firemen carrying this precious statue, knowing something very significant was occurring.
The firemen were taken aback with excitement and wonder as they first laid eyes on Our Lady as the protective box was opened.
It was as though Our Lady was releasing Her graces for getting Her to where Her Son is truly present for all Her children and especially for the families of those that had been taken in the 9-11 attacks.
As She was carried into the church, She seemed to come alive. It was the powerful, commanding and gentle movement of Her reaching Her beloved Son and Her earthly spouse St. Joseph at the front side altar of the sanctuary.
Befittingly, She was placed in the perfect position, crowned and placed on Her pedestal in front of St. Joseph’s statue and the infant Child Jesus, which seemed to emanate an essence of joy that She had arrived to join them. The Holy Family radiated with joy, knowing of the graces available to America and the world through the gift of Our Lady of America!
The three day journey from St. Louis, Missouri was now complete!
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September 11, 2007 – 6th Anniversary
Fr .Peter Damian Mary Fehlner, FI, world renowned Mariologist, along with the distinguished, spiritual theologian, Fr. Basil Cole, O.P., traveled to offer prayers and support for the fallen responders, their families, all who were affected by the 9-11 attacks and the Our Lady of America volunteers. The priests were also instrumental in explaining the message of hope and joy brought to this country through devotion to Our Lady of America and our response to Her request. (See video)
The day started off with a 9:00 a.m. Mass, with Fr. Peter Damian Mary Fehlner, F.I. celebrating.
The faithful present in St. Peters Church, at 11:00 a.m. prayed the Joyful Mysteries of the Rosary. At this time the statue was moved out to the front portico of the church of St. Peter, facing Church Street where people could admire Her presence.
Throughout the day throngs of people were praying, touching and learning of the messages of Our Lady of America!
Beginning at 2:00 p.m., there was a ceremony for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, police and 9/11 victims. Former governor of New York, George Pataki, graciously received the messages of Our Lady of America.
At 3:00 p.m., Governor Spitzer of New York, and Mayor Bloomberg of New York City arrived for the service of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Transit, First Responders Lost. The Governor and the Mayor graciously received the message booklets. The Divine Mercy Chaplet was then recited at the Hour of Mercy.
The Blessed Mother was then carried and raised onto the Newark, NJ Fire Department’s Historical Museum’s 1958 Mack Fire Truck Caisson Unit used for the funerals of firemen from 9/11/2001.
As the Newark Fire Depatment’s unit was moving on towards St. Patrick’s Cathedral for the 5:00 p.m. Mass and consecration, the famous New York Fire Department Engine # 10 joined in front of the caisson unit. Engine # 10 had lost the most fire personnel in New York City the day of 9/11.
Engine #10 led the caisson unit of the Newark Fire Department. with Our Lady of America on board from Church St. N.Y.C., around Ground Zero, up the Avenue of the Americas to St. Patrick’s Cathedral. People were chasing, waving, and trying to keep up with the procession to take pictures along the way, cheering Our Queen, Our Mother from Heaven, Our Lady of America, and shouting, “I love you!”
Upon arrival at St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Rev. Monsignor Robert Ritchie, rector of St. Patrick’s Cathedral, received Her. People in throngs waiting for Our Lady formed a large crowd of the faithful and approached Our Lady while still aboard the fire truck. Many waited for some time to take pictures, touching and honoring Her. One woman indicated that she had flown in from Germany just to see Her.
Our Lady was then taken off of the fire truck by the Newark Fire Department officers, Deputy Chief Richard Zeiser, Battalion Chief Jack Doll, Captain Jose Rodriguez, Captain Frank Fonseca, Don Gilmartin, Frank Bellina and his wife, Joann Bellina, accompanied by Father Anthony Forte, Newark Fire Department Chaplin and Associate Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church, Oliver Street, Newark, New Jersey.
With the honors befitting the Queen of Heaven, She was processed into St. Patrick’s Cathedral up the center aisle and temporarily placed in the Our Lady of Guadalupe Shrine. Archbishop Burke’s letter to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops stated, “Our Lady of America being the Patron of the United States and Our Lady of Guadalupe being the Empress of the Americas is completely harmonious.”
After the 5:00 p.m. Mass, the devotion to Our Lady of America was explained by Father Anthony Forte and Father Angelo Gieger, F.I. to the large assembly of the faithful. Afterwards, Rev. Monsignor Ritchie performed the consecration to Our Lady of America. Many were overjoyed that they had finally gotten to see Her. The Newark Fire Department then carried Our Queen out of the Cathedral and onto Her next stop, Our Lady of the Angelus Church, Rego Park, New York.
As the fire engines roared, Engine 65 of Rego Park took over the escort, with the Police Department’s car bringing up the rear. It was on to another church venue to visit Her children, who were wanting to receive Her. Fire and police vehicles escorted Her towards the Queensboro Bridge and into the Queens-Brooklyn Diocese.
As night was falling upon the Rego Park sky, the red, white and blue lights of the emergency vehicles illuminated Our Lady of America’s path. She entered the last stop for this special and moving day in American history. Our Lady of the Angelus Catholic Church received Her statue with cheers of joy and adulation, hailing the firemen and the police for a job well done and especially for their responding to Her call.
Like them, Our Lady of America reminds our nation, the United States of America, that we will make Her proud again by living the message of purity. May we give ourselves unconditionally, like the first responders of our great land who sacrifice and put their lives on the line every day. In the cities and the towns of this great nation, the families of the first responders allow themselves to come second so that their loved ones can respond to their call to serve. May we begin, with their example of heroism, to be brave enough to love without measure, unconditionally, without reserve, and respond to our calling as did Mary, the Blessed Virgin, with Her fiat. May we respond as did Our Lord Jesus Christ, who said, “Father, not my will, but your will be done.” May we follow the selfless example of the first responders on 9/11, who with all odds against them, said, “Let’s go! There are people up there!”
We will never forget or leave anyone’s memory behind. September 11, 2001 was an awakening and a labor pang. Starting today, come and join us in this visitation of Our Lady of America.
Please pray for America’s first responders and their families.
For Additional Coverage see AirMaria.com