AS I write this article, I’m watching on television wildfires spreading around Southern California once again. We pray for the end of this disaster and the safety of all people. We pray for families who lost their homes and for firefighters who are trying their best to protect homes, buildings, and, most of all, lives.
It’s hard to stop wildfires in windy weather. We ask for God’s intervention and the intercession of all saints and angels, particularly St. Florian, the patron saint of firefighters.
Here’s a prayer for protection against fire from Catholic Online:
Almighty and eternal God, we ask Your protection against destroying fire. Fire is so very necessary for our existence, and yet when it gets out of control, it can be more damaging than anything else. Keep our homes and building and woods and fields safe from this scourge. Help us always to be most careful in our use of it. Help us, especially in the wintertime, when we need and use it most. For then, if our homes are destroyed by fire, we suffer more than ever.
Give us, too, we humbly pray You, a saving fear of fires of passion, and help of Your grace to control them. Help us to fear the fires of hell, that we may always keep away from serious sin, and live lives of goodness and virtue, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
And here’s a prayer to St. Florian for firefighters published by The Catholic Company (www.getfed.com/prayer-st-florian):
Oh, Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe, watch over all Firefighters. Protect them from harm in the performance of their duty to fight fire, save lives, and preserve property.
We pray, help them to keep our homes and all buildings safe day and night. We recommend them to Your loving care because their duty is dangerous. Grant them Your unending strength and courage in their daily assignments.
Dear God, protect these brave persons, Grant them Your Almighty protection and unite them safely with their families after their duty has ended. Amen.
May all faith communities unite in prayer for the protection of our state and country against fire and all disasters. May we respond in generosity and compassion to those who lost their homes!
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Fr. Rodel “Odey” Balagtas is the pastor of Incarnation Church in Glendale, California.