St. Florian, a Teuton by race, was a commander of the imperial army in the time of Diocletian and Maximian, who led the policy of severe persecution of Christians. They issued an edict to all the provinces and kingdoms, that Christians should be put to death. Many faithful to Christ people were arrested; even under tortures they refused to betray their faith. St. Florian put himself in the hands of the Roman persecutors in hope to share the fate of Christ and many of His followers. He smiled under tortures, saying that his tormentors have power only over his body and not over his soul. After many tortures he was thrown from a bridge with a heavy rock on his neck into a river and drowned. Although the martyr fell to the bottom, an amazing wave seized his venerable corpse as he fell, and raising itself up, it deposited him at the peak of a rock. Then a certain religious widow by the name of Valeria carried away his body and buried it secretly.
See: Albrecht Altdorfer The Departure of St. Florian, The Martyrdom of St. Florian.
Lives of the Saints: From Mary and Francis of Assisi to John XXIII and Mother Teresa by Richard McBrien (Author). Harper SanFrancisco, 2001.