Catholic Company / Magazine

Saint Florian the Master of Fire and Water

May 04, 2012 by

St. FlorianSaint Florian is one of the most courageous and fearless saints to have lived. He lived in Rome during the third century which featured one of the most savage and ferocious persecuters of Christians of all-time known as, Emperor Diocletian. Saint Florian was a Roman officer in modern Austria, military administrator of Noricum, and a closet Christian. As a closet Christian, he “neglected” to enforce the anti-Christian laws in Noricum which was eventually brought to the attention of higher Roman officials. Aquilinus investigated Florian by ordering to execute a group of Christians and sacrifice to the pagan Roman gods.

St. Florian REFUSED to do so and therefore was:

  • 1) scourged with clubs and spikes . . . twice. 2)  flayed alive. 3) Had a stone tied around his neck and dropped in the river

Little Known Facts/Legends of St. Florian:

  • He is the patron of firefighters because: FACT – He he was the leader of an elite Roman fire brigade. LEGEND – He prayed over a burning town and poured one bucket of water which extinguished the entire fire and saved the town.

  • His remains were: FACT – found by local Christians whom transported the remains to an Augustinian monastery near Lorch. LEGEND – A pious woman named Valeria found his body and had a vision in which St. Florian told her he wanted a proper burial. And therefore, she brought him to the Augustinian monastery near Lorch.

  • LEGEND: Saint Florian cheerfully accepted his beatings and even challenged those building the funeral pyre to build it higher and higher in order that his soul might ascend even faster to God.

  • Saint Florian is the patron of Austria and Poland because some of his relics were moved to those locations.

  • Saint Florian's feast day is May 4th.

  • He is usually presented either pouring the water over the fire,especially in St. Florian Medals, as a boy with a millstone around his neck, or as a man being beaten.

 The Rarity of St. Florian

  • One cannot help that notice he accepted incredible suffering and torture for his faith.

  • He lived his faith despite the dangers and did so undetected by pagan authorities for quite some time which certainly saved countless Christian lives.

  • St. Florian had such a strong faith that he was able to smile in the face of death and unimaginable suffering.