Christopher Wheatley, 31, died early Monday after he fell several stories on the scene if a West Loop restaurant fire.
Wheatley's funeral will be held at 10:30 a.m. at St. John Fisher Church, 10234 S. Washtenaw Ave., Chicago. But first, friends, family and fellow firefighters will hold a prayer service and a procession, and then Wheatley's body will be taken to the church in a Chicago fire truck.
May St. Florian* Patron of Firefighters give you strength and the peace that comes with it.
Firefighter's Prayer of St. Florian
Dear God, Through the intercession of our patron, Saint Florian, have mercy on the souls of our comrades who have made the supreme sacrifice in the performance of their duty, and on all who have gone before us after years of faithful discharge of their responsibilities which now rest on ourselves. Give us Grace to prepare each day for our own summons to Thy tribunal of justice. Into Thy hands O Lord, I commend my spirit. Withersoever Thou callest me, I am ready to go. Merciful Father of all men, save me from all bodily harm, if it be Thy will, but above all, help me to be loyal and true, respectful and honorable, obedient and valiant. Thus fortified by virtue, I shall have no fear, for I shall then belong to Thee and shall never be separated from Thee.
Florian lived in the time of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, and was commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades.
The Roman regime sought to eradicate Christianity, and sent Aquilinus to persecute Christians. When Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the pagan Roman gods in accordance with Roman religion, he refused, and cheerfully accepted the beatings of the soldiers, who used clubs, spikes and fire to torture him. He was executed by drowning in the Enns River with a stone tied around his neck.
Later a woman named Valeria had a vision in which she saw him; Florian, in this vision, declared his intent to be buried in a more appropriate location.