According to NBCBayAreaNews.com, firefighters spent two hours battling a fire that caused heavy damage to a near century-old church in San Jose. The fire was spotted around 2:20 p.m., a little more than an hour after the 1:00 p.m. Mass had ended. No was in the church at the time of the fire.
When firefighters arrived on the scene, the roof of the church was already engulfed in flames.
“On arrival, we actually smelled the fire in the second-story attic space,” San Jose fire Cpt. Mike Van Elgort told NBC. “It appears it maybe have been where the organ is, which might have been potentially where the heat came from. We’re still researching that but the fire moved very rapidly, the second story of this large church.”
While firefighters battled the blaze, parishioners stood watching in disbelief. Ann Fitzgerald, 93, said it was like watching a lifetime of memories burn before her eyes.
“Devastating,” Fitzgerald said. “My parents were married in that church in 1919, and we have been parishioners the whole time, and I moved into Willow Glen after I was married, but I came back home. This is my church. This is my church. And I’m devastated.”
But there was one miraculous moment during the blaze – when firefighters were able to rescue an ornate Italian crucifix that was completely unharmed.
“God bless the firefighters for treating this symbol of our Faith with such respect and care,” wrote the author of the popular “Blog for Dallas Area Catholics”.
A commenter on the blog named Damselofthefaith wrote: “Truly this was a miracle and sign from God! Maybe symbolizes that the True Faith stands unscathed amidst the current demolition and destruction of the Faith?”
Pictures of the magnificent cross being carefully handled by firefighters certainly reminded the faithful of Our Lord’s promise to Peter that “upon this Rock I will build my church and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matt. 16:18).
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