This calendar of saints is drawn from several denominations, sects, and traditions. Although it will no longer be updated daily, the index on the right will guide visitors to a saint celebrated on any day they choose. Additional saints will be added as they present themselves to Major.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

May 4 -- Feast of St. Florian of Lorch

The tattoo at right honors St. Florian of Lorch, the patron of firefighters and chimney sweeps. He was said to have extinguished a housefire with one bucket of water and a prayer. If you know any firefighters, wish them a happy St. Florian day. Same for any chimney sweeps you know.

Florian was a crypto-Christian (i.e. a secret one) during the reign of Diocletian. Although he was a mid-level officer, the accusation of Christianity during the reign of Diocletian put his life in jeopardy. It had stemmed from his refusal to execute confessed Christians, and led to his own public confession.

In AD 304, he was scourged, flayed alive, and then tied to a mill stone and dumped in the river.

By the way, if you are concerned about Old Testament prohibitions against tattoos, you may want to consider this page commenting on it.

Post script: As I read this almost two years later (5/2/13), I am struck by the fact that I barely talked about his legend.  In addition to saving the entire house (or some say town) with a single bucket of water and some powerful praying, this captain of an elite Roman fire brigade was particularly brave in the face or torture.  As he was being flogged and clubbed by Roman military colleagues, he shouted over to the folks building his funeral pyre that they needed to stack the wood higher.  That way, his soul could ascend to heaven more quickly. 

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