This vigil is named for Saint Andrew Avellino, a Sicilian saint commonly invoked against sudden death, similar to how Catholics traditionally ask assistance of Saint Anthony to help find lost things. 

Our term “Zero Day” is taken from the information technology field, and refers to an unknown (except to nefarious actors) security vulnerability that has no technical remediation developed or put in place.  The day the vulnerability becomes known to targeted parties is “day zero”.

When we are asked to pray for sick or others in need, often the request is made well after the discovery of the malady has occurred. With this vigil we have the opportunity to pray for those in need immediately, perhaps at “minute zero”, before their family members and friends (or perhaps they themselves) know that prayers are needed.  

With the emergence of very inexpensive means to listen to first responder actions via online or mobile app-based scanner feeds, we can pray for specific people at the very moments they need prayer.  A victim of violence or a vehicle accident may now have a Divine Mercy Chaplet prayed on their behalf shortly before death, a firefighter heading into danger may receive specific prayers for safety at the moment they are serving, and medical technicians can be aided with our prayers as they tend to specific situations in our local community.


The only two things you need for this vigil are a first responder scanner feed and time.  If you do not have a standalone scanner radio, online feeds can be found freely at Web sites such as broadcastify.com, or with free or inexpensive mobile apps such as Scanner Radio (Android), 5-0 Radio Police Scanner (iOS), or the Broadcastify app for either platform.

The Vigil

Begin with asking for Saint Andrew Avellino’s intersession in aiding all those who during this time may be facing sudden death:

Saint Andrew Avellino, whom God has made our protector against sudden illness, seeing that you died of this affliction, we earnestly pray we be preserved from afflictions so dangerous and so common.

O most glorious saint, if ever by the just judgment of God we should be stricken with sudden grave illness or injury, we beseech thee to obtain for us time enough to receive the Last Sacraments and die in the grace of God.

Saint Andrew Avellino, who endured a terrible agony before dying, through the assaults of the devil, from which the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Michael delivered you, we beseech thee to assist those in the tremendous moment of death.

By the intercession of St Andrew Avellino, deliver us O Lord from a sudden and unexpected death.

Next, ask for the intercession of Saint Michael for police officers:

For our police officers, Saint Michael, we pray for them.

Saint Michael, the Archangel, defend us in battle. Be our protection against the wickedness and the snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, cast into hell satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.

Next, ask for the intercession of Saint Florian for firefighters:

For the safety of firefighters we ask with Saint Florian,

Almighty God, whose great power and eternal wisdom embraces the universe, watch over all firefighters. Protect them from harm in the performance of their duty to fight fire, save lives, and preserve property.

Help them to keep our homes and all buildings safe day and night. By their dangerous duty we recommend them to Your loving care. Grant them Your unending strength, courage, and Almighty protection in today’s assignments, and unite them safely with their families after duty has ended.

Finally, a request for intercession of Saint Albert the Great, patron saint of medical technicians, for all providing medical assistance to those in need during the vigil:

O Divine Creator, I ask Saint Albert to pray for all medical doctors and technicians today responding to your children in need, especially those we pray for in this vigil, for their talents to be used to promote life rather than to destroy it, for elusive cures to be found, and for the moral use of all medical discoveries.

O Lord, fill them with Your Holy Spirit to guide them into understanding and respecting that You are the Author and Master of all creation.

Saint Albert, pray for us and all who are in need of the Father’s healing graces today.

Turn on local fire/rescue/police scanner or online scanner feed for your local jurisdiction for half an hour or whatever time period works for you. This vigil’s focus on immediate medical needs mainly refers to fire and rescue feeds, but if you have a way to combine fire and rescue with a local police feed that is even better.

During the vigil, if something sounds grave or dire for a person (some ALS emergencies), pause/silence broadcast and pray a Chaplet of Divine Mercy1 for that person.

For lesser events that do not appear to be life-threatening (BLS emergencies and some ALS emergencies) pray:

Father of goodness and love, hear our prayers for the sick members of our community and for all who are in need, especially (description of person in need heard on scanner).

Amid mental and physical suffering may they find consolation in Your healing presence. Show Your mercy as you close wounds, cure illness, make broken bodies whole and free downcast spirits.

May these special people find lasting health and deliverance, and so join us in thanking You for all Your gifts. We ask this through the Lord Jesus who healed those who believed.

For fires without injury mentioned, repeat St. Florian prayer for firefighters.

For police responding to dangerous situations, repeat St. Michael prayer for police.

At end of vigil, close with Hail Mary2 for all in need of assistance throughout the rest of the day.

1  3x “O Blood and Water, which gushed forth from the heart of Jesus as a fount of mercy for us, I trust in You”. Then Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostles Creed3. Then five decades of following: (1x “Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world.”, 10x “For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world). Close with 3x “Holy God, Holy Mighty One, Holy Immortal One, have mercy on us and the whole world”

2 “Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death.”

3 “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth; and in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord: Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary; suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried. He descended into hell; the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty; from there He shall come to judge the living and the dead. I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, the communion of Saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and life everlasting.”


A printable version of the Zero-Day Vigil is here:

Zero-Day Vigil of St Andrew Avellino  (PDF, 591k)

A note from the author: I often have a scanner radio playing in the background while working, and found myself praying for people who sounded like they were in dire situations.  I eventually formalized the process and hope this gives others a framework to pray for those in immediate need. – Bill Rouck, member of the St Veronica Catholic Church family in  Chantilly, Viginia, Twitter @syntap, email is bill (at) zerodayvigil.faith