Vatican Fire Brigade © Vatican Radio

Vatican Firemen Celebrate Feast of Saint Barbara

Their Chaplain Exhorts Them to Courage, Perseverance and Vigilance

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On December 4, 2020, the Vatican’s firemen celebrated the feast of Saint Barbara, Patroness of the Corps, instituted by Pius XII in 1941.

According to L’Osservatore Romano, Father Franco Fontana, chaplain of the Management of the Civil Security and Protection Services, encouraged them to have “courage,” “perseverance” and “vigilance” in order to render “a true service of love.”

On celebrating Mass in the Governorate’s chapel, he stressed in his homily that God speaks through his Saints, who are “living pages” of his Gospel. He hailed Saint Barbara’s courage, exposing “her life in defense of man.”

At present, there are about thirty Vatican firemen. Besides their urgent interventions, they ensure the maintenance of the anti-fire systems in the Vatican and in its extra-territorial properties.

According to the Website of the Conference of the Bishops of France, Barbara was a 3rd-century martyr in Nicomedia. Among the legends is that she refused to offer incense to the Emperor or that her father locked her in a tower to force her to marry a pagan, which she refused to do and was decapitated.

Her executioner having been struck by lightning, popular devotion invokes her against the dangers of sudden death, caused by fire or electricity, making her the Protectress of arquebusiers, gunners, artificers, and firemen.

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Anne Kurian-Montabone

Laurea in Teologia (2008) alla Facoltà di teologia presso l'Ecole cathedrale di Parigi. Ha lavorato 8 anni per il giornale settimanale francese France Catholique" e participato per 6 mese al giornale "Vocation" del servizio vocazionale delle chiesa di Parigi. Co-autore di un libro sulla preghiera al Sacro Cuore. Dall'ottobre 2011 è Collaboratrice della redazione francese di Zenit."

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