St. Lawrence (d. 258)
A holy roast! Lawrence was a Spaniard called to serve as an Archdeacon of Rome under Pope Sixtus II. Emperor Valerian ordered the execution of all Catholic clergy. On August 6, 258, Pope Sixtus II and six of his seven deacons were martyred. Lawrence alone was left, for as treasurer, the Prefect of Rome had given Lawrence three days to gather and present the Church’s treasure. Lawrence spent these last three days of his life giving away as much as he could to the poor. Then on the fourth day, Lawrence presented to the Prefect the Church’s true treasure: the poor, the sick, the lame, the widows and orphans. In an utter rage, the Prefect ordered that Lawrence be executed by being slow roasted on a gridiron over a bed of hot coals. Having suffered this torment for some time, Lawrence, in good cheer, said “Let my body be turned; one side is broiled enough.” And having been turned and roasted on the other side of his body too, Lawrence’s humour continued: “It is cooked enough, you may eat.” After Sts. Peter and Paul, Lawrence is one of the most honoured Saints in Rome.
O God, giver of that ardor of love for you by which Saint Lawrence was outstandingly faithful in service and glorious in martyrdom, grant that we may love what he loved and put into practice what he taught.