St. Michael the Archangel Stands Vigil for Fallen Police Officers

The half-ton sculpture depicts the patron saint of police officers with his sword raised high.

“St. Michael the Archangel”
“St. Michael the Archangel” (photo: Peggy Maysonet / Used with permission)

New police officers are sworn in, they are often given a medal of St. Michael the Archangel. Police cars frequently display a St. Michael visor clip, and officers are known to say a quick prayer to St. Michael before their shift.

The patron saint of police is now depicted in a moving sculpture placed outside the stationhouse of the New York Police Department’s 34th precinct. The 900-pound sculpture of St. Michael holding a downed policeman beneath his wings, with his sword raised above, stands beside flowers, photos and candles.

Retired NYPD detective Patrick Brosnan first had the idea of the art piece after the murders of police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos in 2014. He found a sculpture who created a similar sculpture in 2010 in honor of Odessa, Texas, police officers.

Fundraising for the work to honor fallen police officers was ongoing until Brosnan himself came forward with the $100,000 for the finished work. In November the stunning, 8-foot statue was delivered to his home.

“I prayed and hoped that it would remain like some kind of fountain in my yard and never have to be deployed to the precincts or stationhouses where officers may have been murdered,” he said.

That changed Jan. 21 when NYPD officers Wilbert Mora and Jason Rivera were killed in a Harlem ambush. That prompted him to have the enormous piece transported by truck to the police station, where it stands in honor of the two slain policemen.

Brosnan plans to have the tribute moved around the country to the sites of officers killed in the line of duty, to bring comfort, hope and prayer.