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Happy Saint Florian Day!

May 4, 2011

Today is May the Fourth, which is Star Wars day. It's also the day the Catholic Church has opted to celebrate the life of a man whose name was Florianus, which as far as I can decipher, means "flowery butt".

Florian was alive during the times of the Roman Emperor, Darth Diocletian, who was enemy Numerus Unus as far as the early Christian sects were concerned. Florian served in the Roman imperial army stationed in Noricum (modern day Austria and Hungary, see map above), where he commanded the legion. He was also in charge of training the men as firefighters within the division.

Now, Darth Diocletian is known for a lot of good things, but he was also a real prick when it came to persecuting Christians in the empire. In fact, recent archaeological discoveries point toward Diocletian secretly building a powerful weapon that he could use to wipe out the Christians in a single, all-powerful stoke.

As he couldn't make the trip himself, Diocletian sent one of his apprentices, Darth Aquilinus, to Noricum to help...advise...the soldiery there on how better they could improve themselves. Upon his arrival, Aquilinus told the Roman legion that they better start killing some Christians, or else.

Florian refused. This did not sit well with Aquilinus, and so he commanded the troops to turn on Florian. Florian took the abuse as the Roman soldiers punched, kicked and beat him soundly with staves. Seeing that this wasn't doing enough, they tortured him with fire. And then, to be really efficient, they tied a big ass stone around his neck and tossed him in the Enns river, where he drowned.

Death, however, could not hold Florian. He returned in a vision, telling a young woman to go to the Dagobah system, and that he didn't like having his body left on the bottom of a river. He was eventually dredged up and buried near his childhood home, which is now called Sankt Florian. Sorry, I don't know what it was originally called, but we'll just say it was "Tatooine".

Florian is the patron saint of Upper Austria. More importantly, he is the patron saint of firefighters, chimney sweeps, and soap boilers. He is depicted as a Roman soldier, usually with a pitcher of water, pouring water over a fire. His name is invoked to stave off fire, protect against drowning, and making improbable shots down tiny holes in an enormous megastructure without using your targeting computer.

So, Happy Saint Florian Day, y'all! And vis vobiscum!

To add insult to injury (and to completely break with the underlying theme), the Catholic Church does not recognize any Saint Guilder. So much for love, true love.


Auto Title Loans said...

I'm always fascinated as the Catholic (but terrible one) that I am to learn about all the saints that we have and why. Of course, during that time period where even Michael Jackson would have been canonized, I try not to pay attention. But for those deserving, it's really interesting how they've come about. Happy St. Florian Day! Now, avoid fire :)

Anonymous said...

Chelsea or Manchester United?

Wynn said...

My only experience with someone called Florian was an obnoxious analsex-fixated swiss dude. Which kind of coincides with your interpretation of the latin name.


Car Lease Los Angeles said...

Florianus, huh? Talk about your parents not liking you! I guess Anusfloria might be worse...Butt flower?