CHICAGO — For survivors of the Our Lady of the Angels fire Tuesday was a day of emotion. Ninety-five people, nearly all of them children perished the blaze in 1958. Survivors and community members gathered at the site for a ceremony decades in the making.
The statute of the Virgin Mary, that stood on site that fateful day 62 years ago, is home again — with a little help from the Chicago Fire Department.
Those who survived the fire, like Larry Source, said they are eternally grateful.
“We have to honor our classmates and our sisters who lost their lives,” he said.
The location now houses the Mission of Our Lady of the Angels and serves thousands of families a year. Now the Blessed Mother Statue, once again, greets visitors when they step in the door at 3814 West Iowa.
Members of the Chicago Fire Department moved the sacred statue to the Church of the Holy Family on Roosevelt Road in 1999 after it fell in disrepair,
Tuesday, the fire department brought the statue back to West Humboldt Park.
Firefighter escorts carefully delivered the fragile 300-pound Italian marble statue back to where she belongs.
As part of the day’s events, the Archbishop of Chicago Blaise Cupich and his flock honored the 95 who perished all those years ago.
“We ask Mary, Mary the Queen of Peace, to bring consolation to those who continue to suffer due to the event due to the events of that day,” Cupich said.