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August 10

St Lawrence of Rome - August 10 from St._Stephen_the_Martyr_(Omaha)

Saint Lawrence of Rome

Deacon, Martyr

(Around 225 – 258)

“Do with me as you like. Sheltering myself beneath the name of Jesus, I do not fear pain. It does not last long.

Saint Lawrence of Rome

Saint’s Life Story

His Early Life 

Lawrence was thought to have been born on December 31, 225 in Huesca, Spain. Lawrence encountered the future Pope Sixtus II, who was one of the most famous and highly esteemed teachers, in Zaragoza, Spain. Eventually, both left Spain for Rome. When Sixtus became the Pope in 257, he ordained Lawrence as a deacon. While Lawrence was still young, Sixtus also appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the cathedral church. Lawrence is therefore called “archdeacon of Rome”. This is a position of great trust. This responsibilities of this position included the care of the treasury and riches of the Church as well as the distribution of alms to the poor.

Emperor Valerian’s Edict

In that same year, Emperor Valerian published an edict of persecution and commanded all Bishops, priests, and deacons to be put to death. Saint Ambrose wrote that Lawrence was overcome with grief when Saint Pope Sixtus II was put to death but rejoiced when told that the pope had said that Lawrence would follow him into martyrdom in three days. Overjoyed, Lawrence sold many of the Church’s possessions and donated the money to the poor.

When the prefect of Rome heard of Lawrence’s actions, he brought him in and demanded all the Church’s treasures for the Emperor. Lawrence said that he would need three days to collect them. Lawrence then presented the blind, crippled, the poor, the orphans, and the other unfortunate ones to the prefect and told him that they were the Church’s treasures.

A Joker Even During His Martyrdom

The prefect was furious and prepared a red-hot griddle. He bound Lawrence to it commanding that he should be slowly roasted. The prefect’s order was mercilessly executed. However, Lawrence was strengthened by Divine grace and supported his suffering with heroic fortitude. In the midst of Lawrence’s pain and suffering, he jested instructions to his execution to turn him over as he was roasted enough on the one side.

Prayerful to his Death

To his last breath on August 10, 258 in Rome, Lawrence prayed for the conversion of the city of Rome. He also prayed that the Faith of Christ might be spread throughout the world. His death and example lead to the conversion of the Rome . It  is said to have ended paganism in the city. Lawrence is buried at the Campus Veranus on the Via Tiburina, where a basilica was erected in his honor. 

Beatified:           Pre-Congregation

Canonized:        Pre-Congregation

Feast Day:         August 10

Patron Saint:    Chefs; Comedian; Cooks; Roasters

Source:

Reflection

Saint Lawrence shows us that saints can be serious, funny, tactful and compassionate. When Lawrence gathered the poor and presented them to the authorities, he was confronting their greed and teaching them about Christianity’s dedication to selflessly loving the poor. Saint Lawrence’s stunt was likely one of the causes of his eventual martyrdom. Even as he died, Saint Lawrence maintained his dedication to Jesus, his joy from his Christian faith, and his unparalleled sense of humor. Tradition holds that, as he was being burned to death, Saint Lawrence shouted to his executioners, “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.”

How can you reminds others through your actions and words that the the Christian life, no matter how hard and sad, is one filled with joy and humor?

Source: Adapted from Saint Lawrence Martyr (d.258) | Saint Mary’s Press (smp.org)

Prayers

Saint Lawrence, your example inspires us to provide faithful witness to the truths of our faith, which are worth living and dying for. Even in the face of tough times, you maintained a sense of humor. St. Lawrence of Rome, when you were commanded by the imperial authorities to bring to them the treasures of the Church, you gathered up the poor of the city and said, “Here they are, the treasures of the Church.”  You reminds us that the Christian life, no matter how hard and sad, is one filled with joy and humor. Saint Lawrence, intercede for us and help us to appreciate little joys even when life is hard.
 
Saint Lawrence of Rome, Pray for us.  Amen.

 

Saint Links 

Aleteia – How we can be humorous and holy at the same time

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 10 August – St Lawrence of Rome (Died 258) – Martyr

Bartleby.com – Rev. Alban Butler. Volume VIII: August. The Lives of the Saints. 1866. August 10 St. Laurence, Martyr

Catholic Culture – St. Lawrence: Proto-Deacon of the Roman Church

Catholic Exchange – St. Lawrence

Catholic Fire – St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr

Catholic Ireland – Aug 10 – St Lawrence (d. 258) deacon

Catholic News Agency – St. Lawrence Feast Day: Aug 10

CatholicSaints.Info – Saint Lawrence of Rome

Franciscan Media – Franciscan Media – Saint Lawrence

Loyola Press – Saint Lawrence Feast Day August 10

My Catholic Life – Saint Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr

New Advent – Kirsch, J.P. (1910). St. Lawrence. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Vincent de Paul’s Story

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Lawrence Martyr (d.258)

Saints Sources – Lawrence of Rome

uCatholic – Saint Lawrence

Wikipedia

Video Link

St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr – YouTube (Catholic Online)