St. Florian is most well-known as the patron saint of fire fighters,
fire, and chimney sweeps. His association with fire comes from
his life as a Roman army commander, when one of his collateral
duties was organizing the firefighting brigades. He is also reputed
to have saved an entire town from burning by throwing a single
bucket of water on the conflagration.
Saint Florian is also the patron saint of Poland and upper Austria.
His death at the hands of his own Roman army was due to his faith,
and he died after being thrown into the river Enns with a millstone
tied around his neck. The river Enns is currently part of Austria.
He was retrieved from the river by a faithful woman of the town
and buried nearby. Later, his body was removed to the Augustinian
abbey now known as St. Florian (Sankt Florian), near the current-day
town of Linz, Austria.
In 1138 Pope Lucius III gave some of St. Florian's relics to
King Casimir of Poland as well as the Bishop of Cracow. Since
that time he has been associated with both countries and is regarded
as their patron saint.
He is also invoked as the patron saint of soap-boilers, and protection
is sought from him against floods and for drowning victims, obviously
associated with the method by which he died. Coopers and brewers
consider him their patron saint, and this is associated with a
fire in the town of Nurnberg, Germany. A large fire in the 8th
century was reportedly put out by St. Florian, though whether
beer or water was used to douse the flames is not clear. But since
that time people who make and store the beverage have considered
him their patron saint.
Patron saint against battles
Patron saint against drowning
patron saint against fire
patron saint of Austria
patron saint of barrel-makers
patron saint of brewers
patron saint of chimney sweeps
patron saint of coopers
patron saint of drowning victims
patron saint of fire prevention
patron saint of firefighters
patron saint of floods
patron saint of harvests
patron saint of Linz, Austria
patron saint of Poland
patron saint of soap-boilers
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