The Sound of Sirens

By Jenny Dendinger

Whenever I hear sirens from an emergency vehicle, I immediately make the sign of the cross and pray a Hail Mary. This practice has been ingrained in me for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure where I first picked it up; all I know is, the sound of sirens means someone’s in trouble. And, when someone needs help, I pray.

In those moments, I ask Mary to intercede for the people in need of help. I also pray for the first responders that are providing the assistance.

This simple practice took on a whole new meaning for me a few months ago when a close family member had to call 911 due to a health concern. While the ambulance raced over to give him care, my family was at home feeling helpless, so we prayed a Hail Mary together.

Thankfully, in the end, everything turned out to be okay.

Later that day, my kids and I were out walking when we heard sirens from an emergency vehicle racing down the highway near our house. Instinctively, we made the sign of the cross and prayed a Hail Mary together.

As soon as we finished the prayer, it hit me. We aren’t the only ones that pray when hearing sirens, and that made me wonder. How many strangers (or friends!) heard the sirens for our family member that morning and prayed for him and his medical team?

Just the thought touched my heart and brought me to tears. I was so thankful for every Hail Mary that had been offered for my loved one!

Ever since, the sound of sirens has taken on a deeper meaning for me. We’re not just praying for strangers in need; we’re praying for someone’s family member or friend and for all the people that love them and are worried in that moment.

Praying one Hail Mary is a powerful reminder that we are one body in Christ, and, even in our scariest moments, we are never alone.


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