Deacon & Martyr
Lawrence, a deacon who served the church in the third century, was the caretaker of funds and dispenser of alms to those early Christians in need. A faithful disciple of Pope St. Sixtus, martyrdom took place three days after that of the holy Pope.
That is all that is known for certain of the life and death of St. Lawrence. The writings of St. Ambrose, the poet Prudentius and others, with details about his life and death, have been adopted by Christian tradition.
This tradition holds that Lawrence anticipating the martyrdom predicted for him by Pope St. Sixtus, gave all the money in his care to the poor and the proceeds from the sale of the sacred vessels he distributed in like fashion.
The prefect of Rome believed that Lawrence had hidden still more of the church's treasures and he wanted to secure them for the emperor and himself. The prefect was angered when Lawrence showed him lepers, cripples, orphans, widows, the poor and the lame as the Church's true treasures. Lawrence was condemned to a slow, painful death by the irate prefect. A large gridiron was made ready and glowing coals were put under it that Lawrence might be slowly burnt. After suffering a long time, and praying for the conversion of Rome, he died.
It is slated that his death marked the death of idolatry in Rome. Christianity spread and many miracles were worked through the Intercession of St. Lawrence, who has been one of the most venerated martyrs of the Roman Church since the fourth century.
We honor St. Lawrence, who spent himself for the poor of the Church. Thus he merited to suffer martyrdom and to ascend in joy to Jesus Christ the Lord.
Father, you called St. Lawrence to serve you by love and crowned his life with glorious martyrdom. Help us to be like him in loving you and doing your work.
Grant this though our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
He who serves me, follows me, says the Lord; and where I am, my servant will also be. (Jn 12:26)