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St. Florian

Florian was an officer of the Roman army during the third century. He was the military administrator of the Noricum in modern Austria and a secret Christian. He is reported to have miraculously saved the town from burning when he prayed while through one bucket of water on the fire. During the persecutions under Diocletian, Florian was ordered to execute some Christians. He refused, stating that he too was a Christian. After being tortured, he was thrown in the river with a millstone about his neck. His body was recovered and he was buried near Lorch; a pope later gave some of Florian’s relics to King Casmir of Poland. St. Florian’s feast day is May 4. He is the patron of firefighters, chimney sweeps, Poland, and Upper Austria, and he is invoked against battle, drowning, fire, and flood.

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