From Weedy@21:1/5 to All on Mon May 3 23:41:52 2021
"Insatiably thou wilt be satiated with truth."
Truly, the depth of our will is such that only God, seen face to face,
can fill that depth and draw the soul irresistibly. The depth which
the soul has by its very nature is augmented by infused hope and
charity, which widen, as it were, our heart, increase its capacity to
love, and arouse in us aspirations higher than all natural
aspirations, even the most intimate and elevated. St. Augustine speaks
thus: "God is the goal of our desires, He is the one whom we shall see
without end, whom we shall love without weariness, whom we shall
glorify forever without fatigue." [De civ. --St. Augustine--Dei, Bk.
II, chap. 30, no. 1 553]
553. This is one of the most beautiful definitions of heaven and
beatitude that was ever pronounced. We know none that is more perfect.
Cf. Sermo 362, 29: "Insatiably thou wilt be satiated with truth."
May 4th - St. Florian of Austria, Martyr
The several persecutions undertaken by Roman emperors from the first
to the early 4th century varied in duration and intensity. Indeed, for
long periods in the first 3 centuries, the Church was able to grow
without molestation. However, under Emperor Diocletian and his
associated rulers, the Roman Empire undertook a vast, organized
assault against Christianity that could best be described as an
all-out war (302-312).
Diocletian was an able administrator and basically a kindly man. But
in the earliest years of the fourth century his huge empire was
becoming unmanageable due to constant inroads of barbarian armies
against its northern borders. Therefore he appointed as co-emperors
Maximinus and Constantius Chlorus in the West; and chose to assist him
in the East, Co-emperor Galerius. Galerius, under constant pressure
from his fanatical pagan mother, considered Christians as the real
enemies of the Roman Empire. Consequently he sought to entrap
Diocletian into proceeding against them initially by urging that all
soldiers guarding the borders, especially in the Danube provinces, be
forced to offer sacrifices to the Roman gods, on the pretext of
strengthening military discipline. Once he had won over the old
emperor, that ruler, who had a totalitarian mentality, authorized a
persecution in which every Christian in the Empire was at risk, and
literally thousands actually suffered.
Diocletian issued his initial decree of discrimination in the year
302. The Christians in the armed forces were the first to feel the
turn of the screw.
One such Christian soldier was an officer named Florian. Whatever his
ethnic origin, he occupied a high administrative post in the province
of Noricum, which is now a part of Austria. When news of the decree
commanding such military men to offer sacrifice reached him, Florian
saw at once that he could not accept such an order. Therefore he went
to Lorch (now St. Lorenz) in the province of Noricum and turned
himself in to the Roman military authorities serving there under
Turned himself in: that is, he confessed his Christianity and refused
point blank to offer the required sacrifice, come what might. The
record of the trial of this soldierly man is not detailed, but the way
he was treated indicates the price he had to pay for his staunch
faith. He was scourged twice, and much of his skin was torn off,
evidently in a futile effort to make him change his mind. Since his
faith was firm, he was finally thrown into the River Enns with a
millstone tied about his neck and drowned in this tributary of the
Fortunately, a pious woman recovered the martyr’s body and gave it
proper burial. In due time Florian’s remains were disinterred and
enshrined near Linz, Austria, in what became the famous Augustinian
monastery of St. Florian.
At least part of his relics were sent to Rome in the 12th century, for
in 1138 Pope Lucius III is reported to have given a portion of them to
King Casimir of Poland and to the Polish bishop of Cracow.
Even if the information about St. Florian’s origins, martyrdom and
early veneration are skimpy, his basic story is confirmed by the
devotion that sprang up around his relics. He is invoked as heavenly
patron not only of Linz but of all Upper Austria. And after the
translation of a part of his relics to Poland, the Roman soldier
became the welcome object of devotion in that country as well.
Early in the history of Christian devotion, the custom arose of
identifying saints in their pictures or statues by some easily
recognizable symbol. Sometimes the symbol was chosen from the
legendary rather than the historical lore of the individual. Images of
St. Florian of Lorch usually represent the soldier clothed in Roman
military armor. Sometimes he is further identified by a millstone like
the one hung about his neck. More often, however, he is shown putting
out a fire by pouring water on it. It seems that among the miracles
attributed to him was that of extinguishing the flames of a burning
city with a single bucket of water. Whatever the circumstances of the
miracle were, it made a firefighter out of him.
Florian is one of the 8 patron saints of Austria and the patron of
Upper Austria and of Linz. He also holds patronage of Poland, brewers,
coopers, chimney-sweeps, and soap-boilers (Roeder, Tabor). He is
invoked against bad harvests, battles, fire, flood, and storm
(Roeder). He is also the patron of those in danger from water and
flood, and of drowning (White).
The Word who became all things for us is close to us, our Lord Jesus
Christ who promises to remain with us always. He cries out, saying:
See, I am with you all the days of this age. He is himself the
shepherd, the high priest, the way and the door, and has become all
things at once for us.
-- Saint Athanasius the Great
"So by our baptism into his death we were buried with him, so that as
Christ was raised from the dead by the Father's glorious power, we too
should begin living a new life." [Romans 6:4]
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6
By St Louis Marie Grignion de Montfort (1673-1716)
just as I wish to love
nothing more than You,
so I wish to live,
only for You.
I offer You
all my thoughts,
all my words,
all my actions
and all my sufferings of this day;
Your holy blessing,
upon them all.