Monday, August 10, 2009

Feast of St. Lawrence

St. Lawrence was a deacon of the Roman Church, and was one of the victims of the persecution of Valerian in 258.

At the beginning of the month of August, 258, the emperor issued an edict, commanding that all bishops, priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death. This command was immediately carried out in Rome. On August sixth Pope Sixtus II was apprehended in one of the catacombs, and executed. Four days later, on the 10th of August, Lawrence, the last of the seven deacons in Rome, also suffered a martyr's death.

Lawrence is said to have been martyred on a gridiron. During his torture Lawrence cried out "Turn me over, this side's done!" ("Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca.") This is the legend often quoted explaining why Lawrence is the Patron Saint of Comedians.

St Lawrence is one of the most widely venerated saints of the Roman Catholic Church. Devotion to him was widespread by the 4th century.

St Lawrence is especially honored in the city of Rome, where he is one of the city's patrons. There are several churches in Rome dedicated to him, including San Lorenzo in Panisperna, traditionally identified as the place of his execution. The picture above is of the stone where St. Lawrence was laid after his death.

Here's the shrine in Rome containing the gridiron said to have been used to grill Saint Lawrence to death.

St. Lawrence, pray for us,

that the flames of Divine love may burn away all traces of vice within us,

and that we may be practical and zealous in the service of the poor.


(Info. to Catholic Encyclopedia)