It was just a very short time ago that I had the honor of gathering with some incredible and courageous people. On February 8th, 2020, our wonderful Knights of Columbus in Visalia held a Public Safety Night during which a number of our great first responders, police officers, sheriffs, highway patrol officers and firefighters were on the receiving end of recognition and awards. Without exception, the recipients and presenters mentioned the ever-present danger involved in such work and the immense sacrifice involved. This morning we were painfully reminded of that by the news of the Library fire in Porterville in which two firemen gave their lives. They are truly representative of what firemen and others do. They run toward danger and never away from it. They take up the challenge and never let it go. Please pray for those who lost their lives and their loved ones who mourn their loss. Remember them at the Eucharist and in our intercessions. Please join me in offering a very special prayer:
Firefighter’s Prayer To Saint Florian
Dear God, through the intercession of our patron, Saint Florian, have mercy on the souls of our comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty, and on all who have gone before us after years of faithful discharge of their responsibilities which now rest on ourselves. Give us grace to prepare each day for our own summons to your tribunal of justice. Into your hands O Lord, I commend my spirit. Whenever you call me, I am ready to go. Merciful Father of all, save me from all bodily harm, if it be your will, but above all, help me to be loyal and true, respectful and honorable, obedient and valiant. Thus fortified by virtue, I shall have no fear, for I shall then belong to you and shall never be separated from you. AMEN
They were all of the above. May they rest in peace.
In Christ, Bishop Joe