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St. FLorian.

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St. Florian

A Solider, A leader, but above all else a Christian. St. Florian was not only a great man, but was loyal to God through all his hardships. An admirable characteristic such as that is what deems him a Saint of Christians. While much of St. Florian's life from childhood to adolescence is clouded in mystery, the event that lead to his demise is greatly recorded in history. St. Florian was probably not the greatest Saint ever nor the most famous but he is a memorable saint we can relate to in our everyday lives.

Florian was born in Austria in the 4th century about 250 A.D. in Cetium (Austria). The St. Florian was an officer of the Roman army. He joined the Roman Army as a youth, and through hard work and determination he advanced through the ranks. He occupied a high administrative post in Noricum. His actual position is still disputed; some believe he was a captain while others argue he held the equivalent of a "fire chief" (hence his position in the Christian community as patron of firefighters). The Emperor Diocletian and his assistant Maximian liked Florian because of his abilities to solve problems and work with people. They saw Florian as a man capable of handling heavy responsibilities. He did fulfill his duty for the Roman army and all was well, until Praeses Aquilnus was assigned to Noricum.

Aquilnus was a man who held many of the same views as the emperor, which was probably why he achieved his rank. One of these views was that all Christians were practicing heterodoxy against the Gods of the Roman Empire. With this heresy came the ultimate punishment, death. With Aquilnus' arrival all Christian churches, scriptures, and people alike were destroyed. It is believed that over 20,000 people in that region were tortured and killed. Among the many Roman soldiers ordered to persecute the Christians was St. Florian. Florian was obviously a Christian himself but up until then he had been a closet one. When he was ordered to kill a group of...