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Statuary St. Florian

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St. Florian

St Florian is a Christian saint who was widely venerated in Central Europe. He was a commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades. St Florian is the patron saint of Linz, Austria; he is also the patron saint for chimney sweeps, soap makers and firefighters. His feast day is May 4.

Life

Florian lived in the time of the Roman emperors Diocletian and Maximian, and was commander of the imperial army in the Roman province of Noricum. In addition to his military duties, he was also responsible for organizing firefighting brigades.

The Roman regime sought to eradicate Christianity, and sent Aquilinus to persecute Christians. When Aquilinus ordered Florian to offer sacrifice to the Roman gods in accordance with Roman religion, he refused, and cheerfully accepted the beatings of the soldiers, who used clubs, spikes and fire to torture him. He was executed by drowning in the Enns River with a stone tied around his neck.

Later a woman named Valeria had a vision in which she saw him; Florian, in this vision, declared his intent to be buried in a more appropriate location.

Veneration

Saint Florian was very widely venerated in Central Europe. The Austrian town of Sankt Florian is named after him. According to legend, his body was interred at St. Florian's Priory, around which the town grew up.

Pope Lucius III, in 1184, is reported to have given some of the saint's relics to Casimir II of Poland and to the Bishop of Krakow. Krakow thus claims some of his relics.

A statue of Florian by Josef Josephu was unveiled in Vienna in 1935. It stood at the main firehouse of Vienna, in the city's main square, Am Hof. After the firehouse was bombed in 1945 during World War II the statue was moved to the Fire Brigade Museum (Wiener Feuerwehrmuseum).

Seeking the sponsorship of a helpful saint was a part of the namegiving practice in Catholic areas. It was important to select a saint that might protect them against their main fears; for example, animal plague(s) and fire. In the southern, Catholic parts of the German Empire (mainly present Bavaria and Austria), peasants regularly have used the name, Florian, as one of the given names for at least one of their male children: to secure the saints patronage against fire. Hence the given name is still widespread in these areas. In Austria and Southern Germany, fire services use Florian in radio communications as universal call sign for fire stations and fire trucks. The call sign Florentine for firefighting-related, hand held radio equipment is also derived, somewhat inaccurately, from that usage.

Folk saying

The "Florian Principle" (known in German language areas as "Sankt-Florians-Prinzip") is named after a somewhat ironic "prayer" to Saint Florian: "O heiliger Sankt Florian, verschon' mein Haus, zund' and're an", translating to "O holy Saint Florian, spare my house, kindle others". This saying is used in German much like the English "not in my back yard", when the speaker wants to point out that some person tries to get out of an unpleasant situation by an action that will put others in that very same situation. The name Florian is considered synonymous with fireman in the German speaking world. In some cases call for a fireman will actually be spoken as calls for Florian.

The text in this box was generated from a Wikipedia article, which is released under the CC-BY-SA.

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Title: Carved Wood St. Florian Statue
Item Number: KRCM-216
Description:
KRCM-216: Carved Wood St. Florian Statue. New carved wood statue of St. Florian with multi-colored paint finish. Also available in hand carved marble or cast bronze ut...
Title: New Poly-resin Statue of St. Florian
Item Number: KRFR-1010
Description:
KRFR-1010: New poly-resin statue of St. FlorianĀ  Available Finishes: White Stone, Bronze, and Traditional Color Finish *Please call for sizes and pricing*...