Saint Laurence or Lawrence of Rome (c. 225-258) is one of the most honored of the Christian martyrs. Not much is known of him. He may have been born in Huesca, Spain.
A deacon of the Roman Catholic Church during a time of Christian persecution, Lawrence was entrusted with safeguarding the Church’s holy relics, among them the Holy Chalice.
From 257-261 A.D., the Roman Emperor Valerian was aggressively persecuting Christians and stripping the Church of power and property. In 258 A.D., he ordered the beheading of Pope Sixtus II.
Then came the order from the Roman prefect (commander) for Lawrence to turn over all the treasures of the Church.
“Here,” Lawrence announced to the commander, gesturing at all the people assembled, “here is the Church’s treasure.”
The commander was incensed. He ordered that Lawrence be stripped of his clothing and bound with ropes. He had Lawrence laid on his back upon a gridiron and roasted over a slow fire.
After prolonged and indescribable suffering, Lawrence is said to have quipped to his torturers:
“One side is done; you can turn me over now.” (which they did, turning him face down above the flames)
After saying a prayer for the Christian conversion of Rome, he died.
St. Lawrence is the patron saint of cooks and comedians alike. In art, he is often portrayed carrying a long cross on his shoulder and a gospel book in his hand. His emblems are the gridiron and a bag of money for the poor.
One other thing, St. Lawrence is also the patron Saint of Librarians as he tried to save the early Church manuscripts. His mummified and rather crisp head is available for viewing in the Vatican archives and is displayed each year on his Saint's day, August 10th.
Saint Lawrence created by children from Harpley School.
| Printable Version|