The last and most severe of the persecutions of Christians in the Roman Empire was that of the Roman Emperor Diocletian which began in 303AD and lasted until 313AD. From this time many stories of martyrs faithful to Jesus Christ have come down through the tradition of the Church. Among these stories are those of St. Florian, soldier, firefighter, and martyr
There are several reasons why it’s believed Saint Florian earned the title of patron saint of fire and firefighters: legend says that during his life, St. Florian put out a massive fire with only one bucket of water, saving a village from ruin. St. Florian is often depicted in artwork pouring water from a bucket or small vessel. Many years after St. Florian’s death, a man said he was saved from a deadly fire when he called on St. Florian, begging for his intercession.
Because he was killed by drowning, Saint Florian is also often sought out as protector against the dangers of water including drowning and flooding.
St Florian’s feast day is the 4th May and has become International Firefighters Day.