St Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome who were martyred together with Pope Sixtus II in 258 AD during the Christian persecution by the Roman Emperor Valerian II.
He was born on December 31 225 AD in Spain.
He died on August 10 258 AD at the age of 32 years in Rome, Italy.
His feast day is celebrated on August 10 every year in the Catholic Church.
|Saint Lawrence of Rome, Deacon and Martyr Biography
|Date of Birth
|December 31 225 AD
|Place of Birth
|Place of Work
|Date of Death
|August 10 258 AD
|Place of Death
Saint Lawrence of Rome, Deacon and Martyr Life History
Saint Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome who were martyred together with Pope Sixtus II in 258 AD during the Christian persecution by the Roman Emperor Valerian II.
He was born on December 31 225 AD in Spain and died on August 10 258 AD at the age of 32 years in Rome, Italy. His feast day is celebrated on August 10 every year in the Catholic Church.
As Saint Lawrence was growing up, he met with the future Pope Sixtus II in Zaragoza, Spain. After some time, they moved to Rome, and in 257 AD, Sixtus II became the Pope and ordained St Lawrence as a deacon.
His knowledge of Lawrence made the pope give him a rank higher than the other deacons to become the Archdeacon of Rome.
He became in charge of distributing food and provisions to the poor and needy and taking care of the Church property.
In August 258, the Roman Emperor, Valerian II, started persecuting Christians, especially the Church leaders, that is, Bishops, priests, and deacons who were killed without a trial. The Roman authorities also demanded that the Church hand over its wealth and property.
On the night of August 6 258, Pope Sixtus II was celebrating mass in an underground chapel near the cemeteries.
The Roman soldiers patrolling nearby found the pope with his flock. They killed Pope Sixtus II together with six deacons namely; Januarius, Vincentius, Magnus, Stephanus, Felicissimus, and Agapitus.
When the Roman authorities spared St Lawrence so that he could hand over the riches of the Church to them, he said to Pope Sixtus II;
“My Pope, why do you leave me behind now, was I not your minister when you consecrated the blood of Our Lord? Why would you leave me now that you are about to shed your own blood?”Saint Lawrence
Pope Sixtus II replied,
“My son, do not weep, you will follow me in three days.”Pope Sixtus II
After killing Pope Sixtus II and the other deacons, the Roman authorities demanded that Saint Lawrence hand over to them all the wealth and riches of the Church.
He was granted three days to finish that task. Instead of handing over the wealth to the Roman authorities, Lawrence distributed it to the poor, needy, crippled, the suffering, and the blind.
On the fourth day, on August 10 258, once he had exhausted the treasury, he brought the poor, needy, crippled, the suffering and the blind to the Roman authorities and declared them as the wealth and treasure of the Church.
Saint Lawrence said, “Behold in these poor persons lies the true treasures of the Church which you ordered. I will even add the widows and consecrated virgins as pearls and precious stones of the Church.”
This angered the authorities very much and St Lawrence was sentenced and briefly held at a prison where the Church of St Lawrence in Fonte is currently located. He baptized his fellow prisoners there before execution.
The Roman authorities prepared a big gridiron with hot coals under it and placed St Lawrence on it. After painfully burning on one side, he comically teased his persecutors, “I’m cooked on this side.
Turn me over! and eat, if you will. ” This made him become the patron saint of comedians, Chefs, and cooks.
St Lawrence Death
St Lawrence was martyred at San Lorenzo in Panisperna and buried by Hippolytus and Justin the Confessor at the Catacombs of Cyriaca in San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura on the Via Tiburtina.
The San Lorenzo Minor Basilica in Panisperna was erected over his martyrdom place and the gridiron that burned St Lawrence is preserved here.
The Basilica di San Lorenzo Fuori le Mura, where the remains are preserved, was rebuilt by Pope Damasus I after initially being built by Roman Emperor Constantine I. Emperor Constantine I was the first Roman emperor to profess Christianity.
St Lawrence Feast Day
His feast day is celebrated on August 10 every year in the Catholic Church and in the Anglican Communion
St Lawrence Legacy
Churches, Monasteries, and Basilicas
- San Lorenzo del Escorial Monastery in Spain
- Papal Minor Basilica of St Lawrence outside the Walls (Basilica Minore Papale di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura – This is where St Lawrence was buried.
- Minor Basilica of St Mary in Domnica alla Navicella – This is where St Lawrence mainly distributed alms to the poor
- Minor Basilica of St Lawrence in Lucina – This is where the chains which bound St Lawrence on the gridiron are kept.
- Minor Basilica of St Lawrence in Damaso – This is where St Lawrence worked as deacon of Rome
- Church of St Lawrence in Piscibus near the Basilica of St Peter
- Church of St Lawrence in Panisperna – This is where St Lawrence was martyred by roasting and where the gridiron is preserved.
- Church of Saint Lawrence in Palatio near the Archbasilica of St John in Lateran
- Annexed Church of St Lawrence in Miranda – This is where St Lawrence was sentenced to death by the Roma Authorities
- Annexed Church of Sant Lawrence in Fonte – This is where Saint Lawrence was imprisoned before execution. It is also where he baptized his fellow prisoners.
- Saint Lawrence University in Kampala, Uganda.
- Saint Lawrence University in Canton, St Lawrence County, New York, United States
Features and places
- The Laurentian Mountains north of the city of Montreal, Canada
- The Gulf of St Lawrence
- Saint Lawrence River
- Saint Lawrence County, New York, United States
- Saint-Laurent borough in Montreal, Canada
- Saint Lawrence is represented on the coat of arms of the city of Bülach, Switzerland
- Saint Lawrence Boulevard in Montreal, Quebec, Canada
St Lawrence is the Patron Saint of
- Armories and Armourers
- Archives and Archivists
- Low back pain or lumbago
- Against Fire
- Viticulturists, winemakers and wine sellers
- Paupers and poor people
- Libraries and librarians
- Laundry workers
- Glaziers and stained glass workers
- Cooks, chefs and restaurant owners
- Zagarolo, Italy
- Tivoli, Italy
- Seravezza, Italy
- Scala, Italy
- Santena, Italy
- Pontinvrea, Italy
- Mortara, Italy
- Montevarchi, Italy
- Gamalero, Italy
- Folgaria, Italy
- Denice, Italy
- Chambave, Italy
- Cavatore, Italy
- Camino, Italy
- Cabella Ligure, Italy
- Brissogne, Italy
- Berzo Inferiore, Italy
- Berzo Demo, Italy
- Angrogna, Italy
- Alba, Italy
- Abano Terme, Italy
- Sri Lanka
- San Lawrenz, Malta
- Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany
- Naurod, Germany
- Lund, Sweden
- Limbazi, Latvia
- Il-Birgu, Malta
- Huesca, Spain
- Győrszemere, Hungary
- Gross Gartach, Germany
- Esbonderup, Denmark
- Bernalillo, New Mexico, USA
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