St. Lawrence of Rome Martyr Saint of the day August 10
St Lawrence is one of those saints whose martyrdom made a deep impression on the early Church. As related by St Ambrose, oral tradition has it that his martyrdom consisted in being roasted alive to death! ' In keeping with the edict of Emperor Valerian in 258, sentencing all Christians to death and confiscating their property, Pope Sixtus H, along with four of his seven deacons was being led to die. Lawrence grieved that he was not being taken too. “Do not cry, my son,” said the Pope comfortingly, “in three days you will follow me!” And so it happened, that Lawrence, who was in charge of all Church property matters and ﬁnances, was called before the Prefect of Rome who imagined that the Christians possessed considerable treasure and demanded that it all be turned in for the emperor’s use. _ Having readily agreed, Lawrence managed to obtain a three days reprieve and went about disposing off all the money he had in hand to the dregs of society, even selling the sacred vessels to increase the sum. Three days later, he gathered a huge number of the blind, lame, maimed, lepers, widows, orphaned and numerous other poor and brought them before the Prefect, declaring unabashedly: “These are the treasures of the Church!” Furious at having been so tricked, he was ordered to be roasted to death over a slow ﬁre. Lying naked on the gridiron over burning coals, his sense of humour instantly came to his rescue and he said to the judge and the executioners: Assum est; versa, et rnanduca!-i.e., “it is well done; turn it over and eat it!” Lawrence died praying for the city of Rome, winning, in keeping with his name, great “laurels” for the Church.