Saint Florian (died 303), martyr of the faith, and patron saint of firefighters. Florian was a General of the Roman Guard, assigned to lead an elite firefighting brigade during a time of military restructuring. Stationed in Lorch, Austria, Saint Florian was known for his dedication, hard work, problem solving abilities, courage, and ability to get along with and lead a diverse group of soldiers. It was these qualities that had advanced him quickly through the ranks of the Roman Army, and made him the perfect officer for firefighting.
"Tell the Emperor that I am a Christian and will suffer the same fate as the Christians." Aquilius then offered him a raise and promotion if he would change his mind, which Florian refused, outraging Aquilius. Florian was initially whipped, as incentive to renounce his faith and offer sacrifice to the Roman gods. He told Aquilius that he had “suffered many wounds for the Emperor” and therefore, why should he “fear a few scratches for his own beliefs?” His courage scared Aquilius who feared that Florian would lead others to rebel.
“If you do,” he proclaimed, “I will climb to heaven on the flames.” The emperor, concerned that he might subsequently become a martyr, instead had a stone tied around his neck and Florian was drowned in the river Enns not far from where it enters the Danube.
A prayer for Saint Florian's intercession, dedicated to firefighters, but appropriate for all!
St. Florian, Heaven’s patron of firefighters,
who once was dedicated to the services
of your fellowmen as an official in the
Army of Rome, look with kindly and
professional eye upon your earthly force,
desirous of the preserving of our fellowmen
from the dangers to life and property.
Give us cool heads, stout hearts, strong muscles
an instinct for prudent investigation and
Make us the terror of arsonists, the friends of
law-abiding citizens, kind to the frightened,
polite to the bores, strict with lawbreakers,
and obstinate to temptations.
In troubles give us strength to be efficient,
in times of great danger, give us the ability
to be calm and enable us to impart assurance
to those who verge on panic.
You know, beloved St. Florian, from the
sacrifice of your own life for the sake of
your faith, that the fireman’s lot on earth
is not always a pleasant one, but your
sense of duty that so pleased God, your
courageous strength that so over-whelmed
the devil and your saintly self-control,
give us inspiration.
Make us as fearless in practicing the laws
of God as we are brave in protecting the
lives and property of our fellowmen, and
when we answer our final alarm, enroll
us in your Heavenly force, where we will be
as proud to protect the throne of God as
we have been to protect the city.
Year 2: Day 124 of 365
Prayer Intentions: Courage to be powerful witnesses to the good of the Church.
Requested Intentions: Successful resolution to legal proceedings (N); Freedom from worry and successful employment (M); For successful sale of home and freedom from debt (J); Freedom from pain and illness (E); For successful living arrangements, travels, health, and studies (F); Healing, successful studies, financial success (F); For husband’s successful employment (Y); For children’s faith journey; Recovery of a friend suffering from addiction (M); Successful employment (P); Obedience to the will of the Lord (J); Financial recovery (S); Freedom from evil influence (I); Recovery from illness (J); Freedom from addiction (J); Successful transplant surgery (K); Healing for a daughter (T); Acceptance into school (V); Successful immigration; for a sister’s career and marriage (F); Financial recovery; Successful ministry (A); Financial ability to send children to school (S); Safe return of a runaway (J); Healing of a family (J).
Why pray the Rosary every day for a year?
Each time the Blessed Virgin has appeared-- whether it be to Saint Bernadette Soubirous at Lourdes; to Lucia, Jacinta, and Francisco at Fatima; or to Mariette Beco at Banneux-- she has asserted the importance, saving grace, and power of praying the Holy Rosary on a daily basis. Based upon her words, the Rosary is penance and conversion for sinners, a pathway to peace, an end to war, and a powerful act of faith in Jesus Christ. Pope Paul VI presented the Rosary as a powerful means to reach Christ "not merely with Mary but indeed, insofar as this is possible to us, in the same way as Mary, who is certainly the one who thought about Him more than anyone else has ever done."
To show us how this is done, perhaps no one has been more eloquent than the great Cardinal Newman, who wrote: "The great power of the Rosary consists in the fact that it translates the Creed into Prayer. Of course, the Creed is already in a certain sense a prayer and a great act of homage towards God, but the Rosary brings us to meditate again on the great truth of His life and death, and brings this truth close to our hearts. Even Christians, although they know God, usually fear rather than love Him. The strength of the Rosary lies in the particular manner in which it considers these mysteries, since all our thinking about Christ is intertwined with the thought of His Mother, in the relations between Mother and Son; the Holy Family is presented to us, the home in which God lived His infinite love."
As Mary said at Fatima, "Jesus wants to use you to make Me known and loved. He wishes to establish the devotion to My Immaculate Heart throughout the world. I promise salvation to whoever embraces it; these souls will be dear to God, like flowers put by Me to adorn his throne."