St. Florian- Patron of Firefighters
Written by Fr. Peter Pearson
The feast of St. Florian is celebrated May 4, coinciding with International Firefighter’s Day. Florian was a 3rd-century commander in the Roman army. He organized the army's firefighting brigade and personally trained an elite group of firefighters. When Roman leaders ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the gods, he refused and was sentenced to be burned at the stake. Even then, Florian stood strong and brave. Tied to the stake, he challenged his executioners to light the fire. "Do it,” he declared, “I will climb to Heaven on the flames.
In the spring of 2020 we will invite our fire-fighters on Mount Lemmon to attend a dedication service at the Shrine in their honor.
This icon hangs outdoors on the east-side of the chapel.
Our Lady Help of Persecuted Christians
Written by Chuck Albanese
The icon originally commissioned by the Knights of Columbus shows “the Blessed Mother, with the Child Jesus in her womb, spreading her protective mantle around a representative gathering of recent Christian martyrs — men and women, young and old, priests, religious and laypersons, including one of the six priest-members of the Knights of Columbus who were killed by the Mexican government in the first half of the 20th century. The four crosses represent an ‘ecumenism of blood’ among martyrs of Roman and Eastern Catholicism, as well as those of Coptic, Armenian, Syriac and Orthodox traditions,” according to the Supreme Knights Council.