Sister M. Florian, C.S.C., former principal and religious superior at St. Patrick's Academy in Washington, died Saturday at St. Joseph's Hospital in South Bend, Ind., of complications from an embolism. She was 85.

Almost half of her apostolate of 66 years was served at St. patrick's, a high school noted for turning out business students with a sound academic background.

Last year, the Academy's Alumnae Association honored her as its Diamond Jubilee Woman of the year and establisehed a scholarship fund in her name. She was presented the award at the Mother house of St. mary's Convent, Notre Dame, Ind., where she had been in retirement since 1969.

Born Helen Daniels in Quincy, Ill., Sister Florian entered the Congregation of the Sisters of the Holy Cross at St. Mary's Convent at the age of 19.

She was assigned to St. Catherine's Normal School in Baltimore before taking her final vows in 1916, when she began her long tenure at St. patrick's as a teacher, later becoming principal and superior.

Sister Florian left in 1941 to serve as a teacher, principal and superior at St. Mary's Academy in Austin, Tex. She returned to St. Patrick's for a year in 1953.

She then was assigned to the Sacred Heart Academy in Lancaster, Pa., the Provincial House in Rockville, St. Cecilia's Academy and macking High School in Washington and Holy Cross School in Riverside, N.J.

Her final assignment before retirement was at St. Patrick's from 1966 to 1969.

Sister Florian was a graduate of St. Mary's College, Notre Dame, Ind. She held a master's degree in English and education from Notre Dame University and also studied in the school of drama at Catholic University.

A woman of great energy and industry, she had worked in the St. Mary's Convent office after her retirement until suffering paralysis of her left arm and hand last year.

She is survived by a sister, mae Gerweler, of Quincy.