St. Florian (c. 250-304 A.D.) was a commander in the Roman army serving under the Emperor Diocletian in present-day Austria. Among his duties was the organization of firefighting brigades. He was secretly a Christian and became famous for miraculously saving a town from being destroyed by fire; after he prayed and threw a single bucket of water on the blaze, it was extinguished.
Word reached the Emperor that he was not enforcing the ban against Christianity in his territory, and under investigation he was found to be a Christian. He was then condemned to be tortured and executed for his Christian faith. Refusing to recant his faith, St. Florian was flayed alive and martyred by being dumped into the river.
His body was later recovered and today his relics rest at a church named for him in Kraków, Poland. St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, chimney-sweeps, brewers, drowning victims, and of Austria and Poland. He is often invoked when in danger of floods, fires, and battles. St. Florian's feast day is May 4th.
St. Florian, pray for us!
Prayer to St. Florian for Firefighters (Recited by Firefighters)
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, wherever 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. Amen.
Prayer to St. Florian for Firefighters (Recited for Firefighters)
Oh, 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.
We pray, help them to keep our homes and all buildings safe day and night. We recommend them to Your loving care because their duty is dangerous. Grant them Your unending strength and courage in their daily assignments.
Dear God, protect these brave persons. Grant them Your Almighty protection and unite them safely with their families after duty has ended. Amen.
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