NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The church destroyed in the September 11th attacks was consecrated Monday morning in a ceremony that attracted more than 1,500 people to make it a permanent house of prayer.
The consecration of Saint Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church was held on July 4 because the shrine will forever be tied to the birth of America, church leaders said.
During the service, holy relics of Saint Nicholas were sealed within the altar table, and the church doors, walls, and icons were anointed by the bishop.
The only house of worship at Ground Zero, it will officially open to the public later this summer and will welcome people of all backgrounds. Regular prayer services will commence in the fall.
The church was destroyed on Sept 11th, crushed when the South Tower fell. It took 20 years to rebuild, beset by delays and cost overruns. It was partially opened for a memorial service commemorating the 20th anniversary of the September 11 attacks.
Now, the beautiful domed shrine, inspired by the Hagia Sophia, sits completed atop Liberty Park, overlooking the memorial pools where the twin towers once stood.