My mom got me a medallion for Christmas. I opened it and looked at it and went ok…who’s St. Florian?She saw the medallion at a fundraiser auction my church was having. She asked others and no one knew. Finally someone pulled out their phone to do a search (gotta love modern technology). This is what they read:
Saint Florian is a Christian saint, and the patron saint of Linz, Austria; chimney sweeps; soapmakers, and firefighters.
My mom laughed and said I have to have it for my daughter. Who knew there was a patron saint of soap makers! I love it. I think about it and it seems a weight lifts off my shoulder. It might be silly or seem superstitious, but the idea that there’s a saint of soap makers makes me smile and know that I’ll be ok. I will succeed with my business and that just maybe there’s someone watching over me.
A search of Catholic Online produced this background on St. Florian:
The St. Florian commemorated in the Roman Martyrology on May 4th, was an officer of the Roman army, who occupied a high administrative post in Noricum, now part of Austria, and who suffered death for the Faith in the days of Diocletian. His legendary “Acts” state that he gave himself up at Lorch to the soldiers of Aquilinus, the governor, when they were rounding up the Christians, and after making a bold confession, he was twice scourged, half-flayed alive, set on fire, and finally thrown into the river Enns with a stone around his neck. His body, recovered and buried by a pious woman, was eventually removed to the Augustinian Abbey of St. Florian, near Linz. It is said to have been at a later date translated to Rome, and Pope Lucius III, in 1138, gave some of the saint’s relics to King Casimir of Poland and to the Bishop of Cracow. Since that time, St. Florian has been regarded as a patron of Poland as well as of Linz, Upper Austria and of firemen. There has been popular devotion to St. Florian in many parts of central Europe, and the tradition as to his martyrdom, not far from the spot where the Enns flows into the Danube, is ancient and reliable. Many miracles of healing are attributed to his intercession and he is invoked as a powerful protector in danger from fire or water. His feast day is May 4th.
Reading about him there’s much more on him being the Patron Saint of Firefighters (and why). I’d love to learn more about where and how he became associated with soap makers. It’s fitting anyway you look at it though. My grandfather (who I never knew as he died when I was just three) was a firefighter. There’s just something about all of it that makes me smile.