Saturday, August 10, 2013

St. Lawrence - Deacon and Martyr



Today is the feast day of St. Lawrence the Martyr.  He was a deacon who helped the poor in his day.  When Christians were persecuted by the Romans, he along with Pope Sixtus II who is a saint as well, were martyred.

A Roman official who was fond of money believed that the Catholic Church had treasure and had St. Lawrence hand it over. St. Lawrence complied and gathered the "treasure."  The Official believed he would get gold and monies, but instead Lawrence had gathered the city's poor and sick that the Church took care of.  Naturally, the Roman official was furious and ordered that Lawrence be killed a slow and torturous death.

He was sentenced to be killed by being tied over a grill made of iron with a large fire below him slowly burning him to death.  Lawrence did not feel pain while being roasted alive and even joked with his torturers by mocking them, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side!"

St. Lawrence is a saint and martyr who obviously had a sense of humor.  He was so full of the joy of Christ that not even the threats or persecution nor the torture took it away.  It is awesome how he introduced the poor and sick of Rome as the Church's treasure - they are indeed.  Pope Francis is reminding us of this today.  The Church is not about rich vestments and altar items, but about the poor.  May St. Lawrence the Martyr pray for all of us, especially Christians in persecuted areas and deacons.    



Prayer to St. Lawrence,  Deacon and Martyr

O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and  Holy Spirit that all the poor of the Church in need in every corner of the world may feel the effect of the love of their brothers and sisters who seek to help them.

Deliver the Church from the greed and envy of the powerful and protect her rights and property so that she may serve the needy in freedom, giving them good things for soul and body.

May we come some day with all those whom we helped on earth to the bright mansions of heaven where we will enjoy the riches of God’s house and the company of the Savior who lives and reigns forever and ever.

Amen

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