Sept. 11 has become a significant date on the country’s calendar as each year we remember the terrorist attacks on U.S. soil that killed so many Americans.

But it should also be a significant date on Catholics’ calendars. That was the day 479 rescue workers — mostly Catholics — died in their duty at the World Trade Center, among the 14,000 victims.

Priests were heroes that day, too: The rescue workers had the presence of mind to arrange to have priests come to give them general absolution on their way into the buildings, and serve those who made it out.

Sept. 11 is not a liturgical day, and these rescue workers weren’t necessarily saints. But they were regular Catholics who were willing to lay down their lives for their brothers, and “What greater love has a man than this?”

It’s providential that the Church celebrates the Triumph of the Cross on Sept. 14 and Mother of Sorrows on Sept. 15. The first feast should console us about those who fell, and the second should console their families.