Archbishop Offers Condolences to Those Mourning After Philadelphia Fire

Seven children are known to be among the dead.

Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia.
Archbishop Nelson Perez of Philadelphia. (photo: Courtesy photo / Archdiocese of Philadelphia)

PHILADELPHIA — Following a fire in a Philadelphia apartment building that killed at least 13 on Wednesday, the city's archbishop offered condolences and prayed for those who died.

“In the name of the people of the Archdiocese of Philadelphia, I extend my deep condolences to all those in mourning. Please join me in praying fervently for the happy repose of the those who have died, for the speedy recovery of those who were injured, and in gratitude for the fire, police, and medical personnel responding to this tragedy,” Archbishop Nelson Perez said Jan. 5.

“May the Lord wrap his loving mantle of mercy around them all.”

The fire occurred at a public housing block owned by the Philadelphia Housing Authority. There are believed to have been 26 people in the building when the fire started around 6 am. Seven children are known to be among the dead. 

A public housing official said the building was inspected in May, and that smoke detectors were then working.

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Family of the Virgin,” ca. 1650

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us?

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.’ In her association with the apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.’” (CCC 965)

Francisco de Zurbarán, “The Family of the Virgin,” ca. 1650

Why Do We Ask Mary to Pray for Us?

“After her Son’s Ascension, Mary ‘aided the beginnings of the Church by her prayers.’ In her association with the apostles and several women, ‘we also see Mary by her prayers imploring the gift of the Spirit, who had already overshadowed her in the Annunciation.’” (CCC 965)