Staying True to Our Namesake

Posted Aug 10, 2023 in News

St florian
St. Florian by Francesco del Cossa, 1473

As Flo­ri­ans our­selves, we want­ed to share some inter­est­ing his­to­ry about the patron saint Flo­ri­an who shares our last name. Although many peo­ple may have not heard of him, his lega­cy is still very vis­i­ble in cer­tain indus­tries today.

Saint Flo­ri­an was born in 250 A.D. to a Chris­t­ian fam­i­ly in Ancient Rome, present day Aus­tria. When he became of age he joined the Roman army, ris­ing through the ranks to com­man­der. He was in con­trol of the impe­r­i­al army in the province of Noricum, an Ancient Roman province that cov­ered parts of mod­ern-day Aus­tria and Slove­nia. Dur­ing his time as a solid­er he was tasked with cre­at­ing a fire­fight­ing brigade. He orga­nized some of the best sol­diers he had and trained them to cre­ate one of Rome’s first groups of firefighters.

The Roman emper­or at the time, Dio­clet­ian, was very strict in enforc­ing that all peo­ple liv­ing under Roman rule must prac­tice the Roman Reli­gion or face pun­ish­ment up to death. St. Flo­ri­an didn’t force the peo­ple of his province to fol­low this rule. He him­self was a Chris­t­ian along with many oth­ers under his rule. This dis­play of pub­lic dis­obe­di­ence upset Dio­clet­ian. When attempts made to change Florian’s ways were unsuc­cess­ful, Roman sol­diers were sent to dis­pose of him. Uniron­i­cal­ly, he was sup­posed to be burned at the stake. But as he stood on the pyre he taunt­ed the sol­diers to light the fire, say­ing that he would climb the flames to heav­en. This unnerved the sol­diers, who end­ed up using a dif­fer­ent method to bring Flo­ri­an to his ulti­mate demise.

From then on, St. Flo­ri­an earned his name­sake and was referred to as the patron saint of fire­fight­ers, chim­ney sweeps, brew­ers, and soap mak­ers. His cross is still a promi­nent image today. Many fire­fight­ers and res­cue teams use the sym­bol as their own and as homage to the patron saint. The day of his death, May 4th, has even become known as inter­na­tion­al firefighter’s day.

We can’t con­fi­dent­ly say we are descen­dants of St. Flo­ri­an, but we do stay true to his name­sake. We may not be going into burn­ing homes or build­ings to put out fires, but we are pre­vent­ing them. Uncleaned chim­neys are one of the lead­ing caus­es of home heat­ing fires and it’s our job to make sure that doesn’t hap­pen in your home. Call us today and we will pro­tect your fam­i­ly as we have for hun­dreds of oth­ers and as St. Flo­ri­an would have done many years ago.

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