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The impressive moment when a fireman delivers flowers to Our Lady

Homage Of The Fire Brigade To The Immaculate Conception Column In Piazza Di Spagna Rome

RICCARDO FABI | NurPhoto via AFP

Cerith Gardiner - published on 03/05/24

A fireman climbs up a 30-yard ladder to hang a wreath of white flowers on the statue's arm.

Joining the fire service can provide for an exciting career: From rescuing people to putting out fires, firefighters never know what each day will bring.

However, the Rome Command’s highest ranking firefighter has a special job to fulfill on the feast of the Immaculate Conception every December 8.

As head of Italy’s finest, the officer has to climb more than 100 steps of the truck’s long ladder with a heavy wreath in hand, to hang the floral tribute on the statue’s arm in honor of the special feast day. Accompanying the flowers is a message with the motto: Flammas domamus, donamus Corda, or “We stop fires, giving our hearts.”

The firefighters have a special relationship with the statue, which sits atop a marble column near the Spanish Steps, considering it took numerous members of the fire service to erect the column originally. And as the video below shows, once the wreath of white flowers is safely delivered, the firefighter then gives a perfect salute to the Blessed Mother.

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A post shared by Vigili del Fuoco – Italy (@vigilidelfuoco_officialpage)

An annual event

Traditionally, the flowers are delivered in the morning — a great start for any feast day. The pontiff then visits the statue, which is located in the Piazza Mignanelli in Rome, as an act of devotion later in the day.

The pope’s annual visit has been taking place since the pontificate of John XXIII, with a temporary suspension during COVID.

Considering the feast day is a national holiday, crowds are able to gather to see both the placing of the wreath and the pope’s visit, and admire Our Lady in all Her glory.

The statue itself stands atop a column of Cipollino marble 11.8 meters tall. The bronze sculpture of Mary was created by Giuseppe Obici. And at the base of the column stand four key Bible figures: King David, and the Prophets Moses, Ezekiel, and Isaiah.

Don’t forget, while you might not have a giant statue of the Virgin Mary at home, you can always honor Her on Her numerous feast days by placing a little bouquet of flowers next to any image or small statue you may have and say a little prayer.

Tags:
Devotions and FeastsFaithItalyVirgin Mary
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