Day of festivities for the Holy Beard

On December 4th, a day of festivities was organized by the Firemen of Monaco to honour Sainte-Barbe, their Patron Saint.

© Directorate of Communication / Michael Alesi
© Directorate of Communication / Michael Alesi

A religious ceremony at the Parish of St. Nicholas, presided by Father Penzo, Chaplain of the Force Publique, was celebrated, in the presence of the Authorities, by Monsignor Barsi, Archbishop of Monaco, Monsignor Paris, Vicar General, Fabrice Gallo, Chancellor and Canon Di Leo, parish priest.

The church service was accompanied by the organist Franck Barbut and the voices of Manuela Zulberti (soprano) and Massimo Laguardia (tenor). The new Sainte-Barbe, carved in wood, received the blessing of Monsignor Barsi.

Day of festivities for St. Barbe
Day of festivities for St. Barbe

In the presence of HSH the Sovereign Prince and, in particular, the Minister of State and the Ambassador of France in Monaco, a bronze statue made in tribute to the Firemen of the Principality fallen to the Field of Honour during the First World War was unveiled at Place Campanin, close to the Fontvieille barracks.

On the initiative of Colonel Tony Varo, former Chief of Corps and current Commander Superior of the Force Publique, with the support of the Société for the Copyright Law (SOGEDA) and the Direction of Urban Planning, this statue was commissioned from the Monegasque sculptor Blaise Devissi, who offered it to his country.

Day of festivities for St. Barbe
Day of festivities for St. Barbe

The statue, made on a human scale, represents a Fireman starting at the front. Taking one last look at the barracks, he rejoins France holding his rifle in his left hand and puts down his jacket and fire helmet with his right hand. On the ground, have remained his ax and a fire hose.

The plaque bearing the name of the fourteen firefighters who died for France during the First World War, formerly placed in the courtyard of the Condamine barracks, was placed next to this statue.

After the speech of the Chief of Corps, Lieutenant-Colonel Norbert Fassiaux, a “Little Soldier of Fire LEON” was offered to HSH the Sovereign Prince as a memento.

At the end of the afternoon, Colonel Fringant, who ceased to serve as Commander-in-Chief of the Force Publique in September 2018 and who has been confirmed as HSH Prince’s First Aide de Camp, presented his memory book, “The Ultimate Salvation of Colonel Luc Fringant”, to the NCOs of the Corps.

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