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.
For prayer and reflection
“How precious in the eyes of the Lord is the death of his faithful ones.”—Psalm 116:15
Today we also remember Blessed Jean Martin Moyë. A priest of the Diocese of Metz, France, he had a special desire to help poor children in the countryside. To support this work, he established the Congregation of the Sisters of Divine Providence. He later served as a missionary in China and later returned to France. He died of typhoid fever in Trier, France, on February 8, 1793, during a time when the anti-Catholic soldiers of the French Revolution had occupied Trier. Blessed John Martin was beatified in 1954.
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, 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.