Today is the feast of St. Lawrence, deacon and martyr.
Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome, who along with Pope Sixtus II and other deacons, was executed in 258.
The Prefect of Rome, a greedy pagan, thought the Church had a great fortune hidden away. So he ordered Lawrence to bring the Church's treasure to him. The Saint said he would, in three days. Then he went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people supported by the Church. When he showed them to the Prefect, he said: "This is the Church's treasure!"
In great anger, the Prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. Lawrence was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little, but Lawrence was burning with so much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, God gave him so much strength and joy that he even joked. "Turn me over. "I'm done on this side!" And just prior to his death, he said, "It's cooked enough now." Then he prayed that the city of Rome might be converted to Jesus and that the Catholic Faith might spread all over the world. With that, he went to His heavenly reward.
Patronage: Archives; archivists; armories; armorers; brewers; butchers; Ceylon; comedians; comediennes; comics; confectioners; cooks; cutlers; deacons; fire; glaziers; laundry workers; librarians; libraries; lumbago; paupers; poor people; restaurateurs; Rome; schoolchildren; seminarians; Sri Lanka; stained glass workers; students; tanners; vine growers; vintners; wine makers.
Almighty God, who called your deacon Lawrence to serve you with deeds of love, and gave him the crown of martyrdom: Grant that we, following his example, may fulfil your commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving you with all our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.