One Pennsylvania parish annually offers a blessing to their hometown heroes, praying for their firefighters in the “Blessing of the Fire Trucks.” Trib Live reports that St. Florian Catholic Church in Mt. Pleasant holds this gathering every May, honoring the feast of St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.
“Give them the courage, the alertness to protect their neighbors and all others they aid when involved in fire or medical emergency,” Rev. John Sedlak said in a prayer, according to Trib Live. “By your favor protect them from adversity, so that they arrive safely at their destination and accomplish what they set out to do. May these fire trucks and other equipment function properly and enable those who use them to protect and rescue your people in harm’s way.”
According to Trib Live, St. Florian was a fourth-century Roman army officer in charge of a fire-fighting special unit. Channeling the spirit of the church’s patron saint, Sedlak welcomed the 10 fire departments and ambulance services.
“This is a place I’d like you to think of as home,” Sedlak said at the service, according to Trib Live. “We’re grateful for all that you do.”
Firetrucks generally run on diesel fuel alone, which is 25% to 30% more energy rich than gasoline, but this community wants these emergency vehicles to run on their prayers and best wishes as well. The community’s youngest members were also in attendance, as the service was the last of the K-7 parish school year.
“The kids get to check out the fire trucks and meet the firemen. It’s a nice way to close the program for the year,” parish secretary Angela Reese said in a statement to Trib Live.
Clyde Sanner, one of the fire chiefs in attendance and St. Florian parishioner, said that his crew takes the prayers to heart as they are out doing their dangerous jobs.
“Every time they get on a truck and go on a call,” he said, “in the back of their minds, they’re saying a prayer — for themselves and for the person they’re about to rescue.”