Saint Lawrence

St Lawrence was a Spaniard who came to Rome to serve Pope Sixtus ll. Lawrence was a deacon; his duty was to assist the Pope when celebrating Holy Mass and to give Holy Communion to the people. He was also in charge of the church’s property, distributing among the poor, the offerings given by Christians.

The Pope was put to death during the persecution of Emperor Valerian. Lawrence was heart-broken when his Pope was taken and he followed the captors to the place of execution. Lawrence asked the Pope if he could be martyred along with him, but the Pope refused, saying, “Do not cry my son, in three days you will follow me.” Lawrence overjoyed at this went off to prepare himself by giving away all of his possessions to the poor.

The prefect of Rome summoned Lawrence and asked him to turn over to the authorities all the church’s wealth. Lawrence agreed, but said he would need three days to gather it together. In three days he brought together thousands of lepers, blind and sick persons, the poor, widows and orphans. He brought them all before the prefect saying, “These are the treasures of the church!”

In his rage the prefect ordered Lawrence to be killed slowly, he was placed on a gridiron and roasted over a slow fire. Later Lawrence said, “You may turn my body over, it is roasted enough on this side!” Lawrence died praying for the conversion of Rome, the year was 258, he had followed his Pope, just as it was predicted.

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