Martyr (d. 304)
+ Florian was an officer in the army and civil official in the area of modern-day Austria
+ During the fierce persecution of Christians ordered by the Roman Emperor Diocletian, Florian handed himself over the authorities and, after being cruelly tortured, he was thrown into the River Emms with a stone tied around his neck.
+ The body of Florian was pulled from the river by a pious woman and, years later, his relics were enshrined in an Augustinian abbey near Linz. Because some of his relics were given as a gift to King Casimir of Poland and to the bishop of Krakow, Saint Florian is honored as one of the patron saints of Poland.
+ In recent years, Saint Florian has come to be honored as the patron saint of firefighters and for protection against fire and floods.
On this day, the Church also remembers Saint Richard Reynolds, who was among the first martyrs under King Henry VIII. A gifted and highly respected scholar, he was a monk of Syon Abbey and is the only Brigittine monk to be honored as a saint. Saint Richard was martyred with four Carthusian monks on May 3, 1535, and was canonized with other 39 other martyrs from England and Wales in 1970.
“How precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.”—Psalm 116:15
O God, who were pleased to give light to your Church by adorning blessed Florian with the victory of martyrdom, graciously grant that, as he imitated the Lord’s Passion, so we may, by following in his footsteps, be worthy to attain eternal joys. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Martyrs—For One Martyr During the Easter Season)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.