Starting the morning off with God
is the key to strength and success in your day!
St. Florian (C. 250-304 A.D.) was a commander in the Roman army in what is now Austria. He served during the reign of Emperor Diocletian, who violently persecuted Christians. Among Florian's military duties was the organization of firefighting brigades. St. Florian was secretly a Christian and was known for miraculously saving a town from being destroyed by fire; after praying to God for help, he extinguished a raging fire with a single bucket of water. Word reached the Emperor that Florian was not enforcing the ban against Christianity in his territory. He was put under investigation and was discovered to be a Christian. In one account, it was for refusing to offer sacrifice to the gods; in another, for refusing to execute a group of Christians. He was then condemned to be tortured and executed for his Christian faith. Refusing to recant, St. Florian was then flayed alive, scourged, and martyred by being dumped in the river with a millstone attached to his body. His body was later recovered, and today his relics are venerated at a church named for him in Kraków, Poland. St. Florian is the patron saint of firefighters, chimney-sweeps, brewers, drowning victims, Austria, Poland, and against floods, fires, and battles. St. Florian's feast day is May 4th.
In addition to the myriad feast days honoring Our Lady under her many titles and virtues, the entire month of May is especially given to her praise. In the words of Pope Paul VI, May is "a month which the piety of the faithful has long dedicated to Mary, the Mother of God ... For this is the month during which Christians, in their churches and their homes, offer the Virgin Mother more fervent and loving acts of homage and veneration; and it is the month in which a greater abundance of God's merciful gifts comes down to us from our Mother's throne."
O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and sufferings of this day for all the intentions of your Sacred Heart, in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world, for the salvation of souls, the reparation of sins, the reunion of all Christians, and in particular for the intentions of the Holy Father this month. Amen.
Almighty and everlasting God, have mercy upon Thy servant, Pope Francis, our Supreme Pontiff, and direct him, according to Thy loving kindness, in the way of eternal salvation; that, of Thy gift, he may ever desire that which is pleasing unto Thee and may accomplish it with all his might. Through Christ Our Lord. Amen.
Our Father. Hail Mary.