NEW YORK – When Pope Francis visits the 9/11 Memorial at Ground Zero on September 25, he will greeted by a huge banner with a message from Archbishop Demetrios and the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America welcoming him to the site and announcing that the St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox National Shrine at the World Trade Center is now under construction.
Archbishop Demetrios participated in an Interfaith prayer service, reading the beatitudes in Greek at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum held as part of Pope Francis’ visit to Ground Zero, on Friday, September 26.
The sign was placed on the eastern wall of the construction site on the morning of September 24 and immediately caught the attention of passersby and area stalwarts like Yannis Kostallas, who have been in the area for decades. The proprietor of the nearby Essex World Café witnessed the horror of September 11 and struggled like many of his neighbors to re-open his business in the months that followed.
Archbishop Demetrios inspected the site after the sign was placed there and Kostallas was one of a number of Greek-Americans who greeted him.
Kostallas is excited about the rebuilding and expressed his satisfaction to The National Herald that the sign indicated that the name of the institution, which had heretofore been called the St. Nicholas National Shrine, now contains the phrase “Greek Orthodox.”