The event coincided with the Feast of Saint Michael on Sept. 29. Saint Michael is the patron saint of all those who defend the community, including paramedics and EMTs. The event included lunch and the gift of a Saint Michael medallion for first responders. The blessing was non-denominational and open to all faiths.
"We partner every day with EMS workers to make sure our patients get the care they need at the time they most need it," said Sr. Mary Kieffer, vice president of mission integration at Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican, San Martin, and the Sister who started the tradition three years ago. "We wanted to take the day of the Feast of Saint Michael to thank our partners for their work, break bread and bless these special people who save lives every day." A long tradition identifies Saint Michael the Archangel as the leader who remained faithful to God and cast out Lucifer at God’s command. His powerful aid has always been invoked by the Catholic Church in time of emergency. The Popes have constantly called on Saint Michael as the special protector of the Church whenever great evils threatened God’s people. For this reason, Saint Michael is especially honored at Rome, on Monte Gargano, near Foggia, in Italy, and in France on Mont Saint Michel in Normandy. The Feast of Saint Michael is also known as Michaelmas.