Did you know that Catholic firefighters often pray with a Saint Florian rosary with a centerpiece in the shape of a Saint Florian cross? This cross shape is used as the modern-day firefighter's shield. Other rosaries feature an oval centerpiece of Florian - as a firefighter pray for his intercession and protection. Saint Florian was promoted quickly through the ranks of the Roman army for his stellar abilities as a soldier and leader. Part of his responsibilities included training a special force of soldiers whose sole purpose was to put out fires. Florian was a secret Christian, but when he refused a pagan ritual his secret was revealed. Emperor Diocletian being displeased by Florian's new faith demanded Florian is killed. Florian's strong reputation made the emperor's men nervous when told to execute him, so instead of the preferred burning at the stake, they instead chose to drown Florian at sea. His feast day is May 4th. He is the patron saint of firefighters and chimney sweepers.