Saint Florian (of Lorch)
Died: c. 304 A.D. in Enns (river); Scourged, Flayed Alive and stone Tied to his Neck and Dumped into the River; Body later retrieved by Christians and buried at an Augustinian Monastery near Lorch; Relics translated to Rome in 1138; Part of the Relics given to King Casimir of Poland and the Bishop of Krakow by Pope Lucius III, which led to Florian's Patronage of Poland and Upper Austria
Venerated: Roman Catholic Church; Eastern Orthodox Church
Feast Day: May 4
Patronages: Against Battle; Against Drowning; Against Fire; Against Flood; Barrel-Makers; Brewers; Chimney Sweeps; Coopers; Firefighters; Harvests; Soap-boilers
Places: Linz, Austria; Krakow, Poland; Upper Austria
Representations: Bearded Warrior with a Lance and Tub; Boy with a Millstone; Classical Warrior Leaning on a Millstone, Pouring Water on a Fire; Dead Man on a Millstone Guarded by an Eagle; Dead Man whose body is being Protected by an Eagle; Man Being Beaten; Man on a Journey with a Hat and Staff; Man Thrown into a River with a Millstone around his Neck; Man with a Palm in his Hand and a Burning Torch under his feet; Man with a Sword; Young man, sometimes in Armor, Sometimes Unarmed, Pouring Water from a tub on a burning Church
Florian was an officer of the Roman army, serving Austria in the third century. Accordingly, he held a high position in the administration of the town of Noricum.
During the persecution of Diocletian in 304, when the Roman soldiers were rounding up Christians at Lorch, Florian surrendered to the soldiers of the governor Aquilinus and confessed his Christianity. As a result, he was scourged, skinned alive, and then tossed into the Enns River with a stone tied around his neck. Later his body was retrieved and buried at an Augustinian monastery near Lorch.
In 1138, after Florian's body was taken to Rome, Pope Lucius III gave part of Florian's relics to King Casimir of Poland and to the Bishop of Krakow. Florian today is considered to be the patron of Poland and Upper Austria.
Reflection: Sometimes the good example as well as sufferings of people of faith can move others to accept the Cross of Christ in their lives. When we follow Jesus in both His suffering and His joy, we are in reality living and preaching the Kingdom. It is the kind of evangelization all Christians are challenged to follow in their lives.
For Further Information About Saint Florian (of Lorch), See CatholicSaints.Info Website
Prayer: Merciful God, our Father, be with Your people as they follow Mary's Son on the royal road of the Cross. Through the example and prayers of Saint Florian, give us the courage and grace to fully accept the challenges of Christian life. This we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen.