The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) is celebrating today the Feast Day of St. Florian, the Patron Saint of firefighters. The highlights of the month-long celebration include Novena Masses, Mass Confirmation (Kumpilang Bayan), Mass Baptism (Binyagang Bayan) and Mass Wedding/Mass Validation (Kasalang Bayan).

Earlier this morning, BFP personnel performed zumba dance, rapelling and rescue at the BFP-NHQ ground. Invited guests and visitors from different branches of service and other government agencies joined the celebration of the Fiesta Mass at 10:00 a.m. officiated by the Most Reverend LEOPOLDO S TUMULAK, DD, Bishop, Military Ordinariate of the Philippines.

After the mass, a salo-salo was held at the lobby. Several fast food chains and private companies were invited to put up stalls and booths to sell and showcase their products and services.

Meanwhile, the Kumpilang Simbahan was held last April 25 at BFP-NHQ Adoration Chapel where at least 14 BFP personnel and their dependents were confirmed and the Binyagang Simbahan was held last April 23.

Firefighters donated blood in a blood-letting activity spearheaded by the Nursing Section-Health and Emergency Medical Division, BFP-NHQ last Friday, May 2, 2014. More than 40 bags of blood were collected and turned over to the Philippine Children’s Medical Center (PCMC) for the benefit of their cancer patients.

St. Florian Feast Day is marked as one of the most regarded celebrations in the Fire Bureau’s calendar year. This is the time of the year when St. Florian’s life is being commemorated by Filipino firefighters as he depicts faith and courage of a true Christian.

St. Florian lived during the time of the Roman regime and was commander of the imperial army. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades. When the Roman regime sought to eradicate Christianity, St. Florian refused to follow the order to persecute all Christians in the area. He was twice scourged, half-flayed alive, set on fire, and finally thrown into the river with a stone around his neck.

He is naturally associated with brewers because of a legendary incident in which he miraculously stopped a fire with a single pitcher of water. It has been told that a person was saved from a fire by invoking St. Florian’s name. Since then, Florian has been generally regarded in most countries as the patron saint of the fire service.