St. Joseph the New of Partoș – the Icon in the Firefighters' Heart
I had found out about St. Joseph the New of Partoș, probably not by mistake, 16 year ago, in 1997, when, following a memo from the Ministry of the Interior to the Saint Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, he was designated as the spiritual patron of the Romanian Firefighters. As of that year, Saint Joseph the New of Partoș had become the icon that every firefighter holds close to his heart. The Saint, through his prayers, protects these brave knights of the incandescent front.
Who could have better protected them than a parent whose prayers had extinguished burning flames? And who could have better protected them than a parent returning, by God's mercy, after 62 years of holy living in the heart of Mount Athos – the Holy Mother's Garden, to extinguish the flames on Romanian land ?
St. Joseph the New of Partoș is himself a worthy role model for the brave Romanian firefighters, being courageous, swift benefactor and with a steady faith in God, as shown in his Prayer: „...when the fire threatened to spread to the whole fortress of Timișoara, you did not run like a coward, but stayed like a brave man, defeating the power of fire through your prayer hotter than its flame, thus protecting your church of worship and stopping the fire spreading, through heavy rain that Heaven sent to your help...”.
St. Joseph the New of Partoș is there whenever the fire alarms raise their heartbreaking sound to Heaven, thus signaling a clear and present danger. He is there by every one of the firefighters when they hurry to the rescue of people in need. He sees every teardrop, emotion, desperate cry for help. He is by their side whenever they are in battle and they sain, thus asking for his protection. He is there everytime they return from their mission and bow their heads to his icon, thanking him for his care and parental love. He is there for those with heavy souls and when the everyday problems overwhelm them. His prayers for the firefighters whom he protects are ceaseless. He never abandons them.
Moreover, the love of St. Joseph the New of Partoș overflows those who faithfully seek for him, like a purifying and blessed fire that does not burn but indeterminably touches souls with His holiness.
And the Romanian firefighters, they who are ready to sacrifice their lives in order to rescue others, cannot stay away from the love of St. Joseph the New who protects them. By taking a deeper look, each mission in which they rescue lives or bring back the hope in the people's soul, is like a Holy Mass whose Altar is the incandescent front on which the firefighters make their sacrifice for God, being blessed by the prayers of their beloved and Saint Protector - St. Joseph the New of Partoș.