Thursday, 4 May 2017

# Saints

Saint Florian

Saint Florian by Francesco del Cossa, 1473
The 4th of May is the feast day of Saint Florian. He is the patron saint of Linz, Austria; Kraków, Poland; chimneysweeps; firefighters; soap boilers; Upper Austria.

Saint Florian lived between 250 to 304 AD and was a commander in the Roman Army in the area of modern Austria during the reign of Emperor Diocletian. The emperor, however, was persecuting Christians and Saint Florian was secretly a Christian. He was known to have miraculously saved a town from being destroyed by fire by first praying to God for help and then throwing a single bucket of water into the blaze and extinguishing it. Emperor heard, furthermore, that Saint Florian was not enforcing the ban of Christianity in his territory. He was then investigated and was found to be a Christian. According to an account, he was discovered when he refused to offer a sacrifice to the gods, and in another account, for refusing to execute a group of Christians. The emperor then commanded him to be executed for his Christian faith. Saint Florian was flayed, scourged, and martyred by being thrown into a river with a millstone attached. His body was later recovered and his relics are at a church in Krakow, Poland.

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