The consecration of the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church and National Shrine at the World Trade Center took place on Monday in Lower Manhattan with hundreds of special guests and officials in attendance.
“Ground Zero is now a sacred ground, a place of memory, a place of contemplation, forgiveness and love,” Archbishop Elpidophoros of America said during a speech he gave while leading the services.
The ceremony comes nearly 21 years after nearly 3,000 lives were lost on 9/11, including dozens of Greek Orthodox faithful. The attacks had destroyed the original St. Nicholas Church which stood for decades and served as a spiritual home for parishioners from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn.
Services included the Divine Liturgy and placement of St.Nicholas’s Holy Relics in the altar of the church.
“Though [St. Nicholas] is a Greek Orthodox House of Worship, we welcome all,” Elpidophoros wrote on Twitter. “It will be a place for everyone who comes to the Sacred Ground at the World Trade Center to imagine and envision a world where mercy is inevitable, reconciliation is desirable and forgiveness is possible.”
Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America representatives including former Archbishops Spyridon and Demetrios were present and signed the altar after its consecration.
Dennis Mehiel and Michael Psaros, chairman and vice-chairman (respectively) of the Friends of St. Nicholas, spoke during the event and were recognized as “centennial honorees,” by the archdiocese for their extensive support of its endeavors.
Designed by Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the new St. Nicholas Church and Shrine is scheduled to open later in 2022.
Click here to watch the report from CBS New York.
Click here to watch the full consecration ceremony.
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