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Meteors on the Feast of St. Lawrence
Fish Eaters: The Whys and Hows of Traditional Catholicism ^ | unknown | VoxClamantis

Posted on 08/09/2006 8:43:48 PM PDT by WillOTerry

In August of A.D. 258, the emperor Valerian ordered that all deacons, priests, and Bishops be put to death. Tradition via the Golden Legend tells us that Pope Sixtus II met with Lawrence, saying to him:

"I shall not leave thee, my son, but greater strifes and battles be due to thee for the faith of Jesu Christ. We, as old men, have taken more lighter battle, and to thee as to a young man shall remain a more glorious battle of which thou shalt triumph and have victory of the tyrant, and shalt follow me within three days...

(Excerpt) Read more at ...

TOPICS: Catholic; Current Events; General Discusssion; History; Orthodox Christian; Religion & Culture; Religion & Science; Worship
KEYWORDS: customs; deacon; feast; meteors; perseids; stlawrence; traditions
See page to read more and to see how the Perseid meteor showers play a role in St. Lawrence's feast day.
1 posted on 08/09/2006 8:43:50 PM PDT by WillOTerry
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To: WillOTerry
The Feast of St. Lawrence, deacon

The Feast
of St. Lawrence

Charity of St. Lawrence, by Bernardo Strozzi, 1615-20


In August of A.D. 258, the emperor Valerian ordered that all deacons, priests, and Bishops be put to death. Tradition via the Golden Legend tells us that Pope Sixtus II met with Lawrence, saying to him:
"I shall not leave thee, my son, but greater strifes and battles be due to thee for the faith of Jesu Christ. We, as old men, have taken more lighter battle, and to thee as to a young man shall remain a more glorious battle of which thou shalt triumph and have victory of the tyrant, and shalt follow me within three days."

Then he delivered to him all the treasures, commanding him that he should give them to churches and poor people. And the blessed man sought the poor people night and day, and gave to each of them that as was needful, and came to the house of an old woman, which had hid in her house many Christian men and women, and long she had had the headache, and St. Laurence laid his hand opon her head, and anon she was healed of the ache and pain.

And he washed the feet of the poor people and gave to each of them alms. The same night he went to the house of a Christian man and found therein a blind man, and gave to him his sight by the sign of the cross. And when the blessed Sixtus would not consent to Decius, ne offer to the idols, he commanded that he should be led forth and beheaded.

Pope Sixtus II's martyrdom was followed three days later by that of Lawrence, the last of the deacons of Rome to be executed. He was put to death by being roasted on a gridiron over a fire. The Golden Legend, written in A.D. 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, gives us this account:

The martyrdom of St. LawrenceAnd the ministers despoiled him, and laid him stretched out upon a gridiron of iron, and laid burning coals under, and held him with forks of iron. Then said Laurence to Valerianus: Learn, thou cursed wretch, that thy coals give to me refreshing of coldness, and make ready to thee torment perdurable, and our Lord knoweth that I, being accused, have not forsaken him, and when I was demanded I confessed him Christ, and I being roasted give thankings unto God.

And after this he said with a glad cheer unto Decius, Thou cursed wretch, thou hast roasted that one side, turn that other, and eat.

And then he, rendering thankings to our Lord, said: I thank thee, Lord Jesu Christ, for I have deserved to enter into thy gates.

St. Lawrence was buried in the Catacomb of Cyriaca, on the Via Tiburtina. Constantine the Great built a chapel there in his honor, and this chapel was built up over the years, becoming known as St. Lawrence-Outside-The-Walls (San Lorenzo fuori le Mura), one of the original seven patriarchal basilicas of Rome. Another church, San Lorenzo in Panisperna, was built at the place of his martyrdom. In this latter church, one can venerate the gridiron upon which St. Lawrence was put to death.

St. Lawrence is patron of librarians, archivists, cooks, and deacons. He is most often represented in art handing out the treasures of the Church (as above), roasting on a gridiron, or with a gridiron, the Gospels, or a bag of money for the poor.

Customs and Traditions

Tonight, or especially tomorrow night and up to the dawn of 12 August, 1 if you look up at a clear sky in the Northern hemisphere, you may be blessed to see the Perseid meteor shower, 2 debris of the comet Swift-Tuttle whose "radiant" (point of apparent origin) is in the constellation of Perseus. This meteor shower is known as "the tears of St. Lawrence" because it is most visible at this time of year, though these streaks of light can sometimes be seen as early as 17 July and as late as 24 August.


Waning Gibbous
99% of Full
Wed 9 Aug, 2006moon phase info

To see St. Lawrence's "fiery tears," go outside after midnight, to a place as far away as possible from city lights (leave the city, if possible, and drive toward the constellation so that the city lights' glow will be behind you). Lie down on the grass and look up and toward the North, about halfway between the constellation Perseus 3 -- which will be very, very low on the horizon to the northeast -- and the point directly overhead. Scan the sky elsewhere, too, but this area will be the most likely place to see the meteors. If the sky is too cloudy or the Moon is too full (see at right) for you to get a good view of the stars, you might not have any luck at all -- but there will always be next year to try again!

Psalm 8 ("Dómine, Dóminus noster") is a part of the Second Nocturne of today's Divine Office, and is an especially appropriate psalm to think of, along with its associated antiphon, while watching the tears of St. Lawrence.

O Lord our Governour, how excellent is thy Name in all the world; Thou hast set Thy glory above the heavens! Out of the mouth of very babes and sucklings hast Thou ordained strength, because of Thine enemies, that Thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger. For I will consider Thy heavens, even the works of Thy fingers; the moon and the stars which Thou hast ordained.

What is man, that Thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that Thou visitest him? Thou madest him lower than the Angels, to crown him with glory and worship. Thou makest him to have dominion of the works of Thy hands; and Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet : All sheep and oxen; yea, and the beasts of the field; The fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea; and whatsoever walketh through the paths of the seas.

O Lord our Governour, how excellent is Thy Name in all the world!

Blessed Lawrence said : The darkness is no darkness with me, but the night is as clear as the dawning, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

As to foods, there is nothing in particular associated with this day that I am aware of -- but, given St. Lawrence's mode of death, a barbecue seems a very natural choice. Grill some meats and vegetables, have a nice cooler of beer, and prepare for a late night of star-gazing and recalling the glory of St. Lawrence!

2 posted on 08/09/2006 8:53:43 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Saint Lawrence--Deacon And Martyr [Read Only]

St. Lawrence

Meteors on the Feast of St. Lawrence

3 posted on 08/09/2006 9:07:48 PM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: WillOTerry; Lady In Blue; All

BTTT on the Feast of St. Lawrence, August 10, 2006!

4 posted on 08/10/2006 8:20:28 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

August 10, 2007
St. Lawrence
(d. 258?)

The esteem in which the Church holds Lawrence is seen in the fact that today’s celebration ranks as a feast. We know very little about his life. He is one of those whose martyrdom made a deep and lasting impression on the early Church. Celebration of his feast day spread rapidly.

He was a Roman deacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. Four days after this pope was put to death, Lawrence and four clerics suffered martyrdom, probably during the persecution of the Emperor Valerian.

A well-known legend has persisted from earliest times. As deacon in Rome, Lawrence was charged with the responsibility for the material goods of the Church, and the distribution of alms to the poor. When Lawrence knew he would be arrested like the pope, he sought out the poor, widows and orphans of Rome and gave them all the money he had on hand, selling even the sacred vessels to increase the sum. When the prefect of Rome heard of this, he imagined that the Christians must have considerable treasure. He sent for Lawrence and said, “You Christians say we are cruel to you, but that is not what I have in mind. I am told that your priests offer in gold, that the sacred blood is received in silver cups, that you have golden candlesticks at your evening services. Now, your doctrine says you must render to Caesar what is his. Bring these treasures—the emperor needs them to maintain his forces. God does not cause money to be counted: He brought none of it into the world with him—only words. Give me the money, therefore, and be rich in words.”

Lawrence replied that the Church was indeed rich. “I will show you a valuable part. But give me time to set everything in order and make an inventory.” After three days he gathered a great number of blind, lame, maimed, leprous, orphaned and widowed persons and put them in rows. When the prefect arrived, Lawrence simply said, “These are the treasure of the Church.”

The prefect was so angry he told Lawrence that he would indeed have his wish to die—but it would be by inches. He had a great gridiron prepared, with coals beneath it, and had Lawrence’s body placed on it. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, the legend concludes, he made his famous cheerful remark, “It is well done. Turn it over and eat it!”

The church built over Lawrence’s tomb became one of the seven principal churches in Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.


Once again we have a saint about whom almost nothing is known, yet one who has received extraordinary honor in the Church since the fourth century. Almost nothing—yet the greatest fact of his life is certain: He died for Christ. We who are hungry for details about the lives of the saints are again reminded that their holiness was, after all, a total response to Christ, expressed perfectly by a death like this.

5 posted on 08/10/2007 8:04:00 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: WillOTerry
St. Lawrence
This young deacon and heroic martyr is numbered among those saints who were most highly venerated by the ancient Roman Church. Next to the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, that of St. Lawrence ranked highest in the Roman sanctoral cycle. "From the rising of the sun unto its setting," says St. Leo, "whenever the glory of Levites beams forth in splendor, Rome is deemed no less illustrious because of Lawrence than Jerusalem because of Stephen."

Even though we have no genuine account of St. Lawrence's martyrdom, we do possess considerable evidence from most ancient times regarding the particulars of his passion. Legendary Acts tell how Lawrence was a disciple of Pope Sixtus II (257-258), who dearly loved him because of his special talents, but principally because of his innocence; in spite of his youth, the Pope numbered him among the seven deacons of Rome and raised him to the position of archdeacon. As such, Lawrence had the immediate care of the altar and was at the side of the saintly Pope whenever he offered the holy Sacrifice; to him also was confided the administration of the goods of the Church and the responsibility of caring for the poor.

During the persecution of Emperor Valerian (253-260), Sixtus II and his four deacons were martyred. Very ardently Lawrence desired to die with his spiritual father and therefore said to him: "Father, where are you going without your son? Where are you hastening, O priest, without your deacon? Never before did you offer the holy Sacrifice without assistants. In what way have I displeased you? In what way have you found me unfaithful in my office? Oh, try me again and prove to yourself whether you have chosen an unworthy minister for the service of the Church. So far you have been trusting me with distributing the Blood of the Lord."

This loving complaint of joyous self-oblation Sixtus answered with words of prophecy: "I am not forsaking you, my son; a severer trial is awaiting you for your faith in Christ. The Lord is considerate toward me because I am a weak old man. But for you a most glorious triumph is in store. Cease to weep, for already after three days you will follow me". After these comforting words he admonished him to distribute all the remaining Church goods allocated to the poor. While Lawrence was dispersing these items in the house of a certain Narcissus, a blind man named Crescentius asked for healing help by the imposition of hands. The holy deacon made the Sign of the Cross over him and the man began to see.

From his relations with Pope Sixtus, it was known that he acted as the steward over the Church's property. He was arrested therefore and placed under the watch of a certain Hippolytus. There in prison Lawrence cured the blind Lucillus and several other blind persons; impressed thereby, Hippolytus embraced the faith and died a martyr. Ordered by the authorities to surrender the treasures of the Church, Lawrence asked for two days time during which to gather them. The request was granted and he brought together in the house of Hippolytus the poor and the sick whom he had supported. These he led to the judge. "Here are the treasures of the Church!"

Lawrence was tortured, scourged, and scorched with glowing plates. In the midst of excruciating pain he prayed: "Lord Jesus Christ, God from God, have mercy on Your servant!" And he besought the grace of faith for the bystanders. At a certain point the soldier Romanus exclaimed: "I see before you an incomparably beautiful youth. Hasten and baptize me." He had observed how an angel dried the wounds of Lawrence with a linen cloth during his passion.

Again during the night he was dragged before the judge and threatened with immediate death. But he replied: "My God I honor and Him alone I serve. Therefore I do not fear your torments; this night shall become as brightest day and as light without any darkness." When placed upon the glowing gridiron, he jested with his executioners and the cruel tyrant. "Now you may turn me over, my body is roasted enough on this side." Shortly after this had been done, he cried again: "At last I am finished; you may now take from me and eat." Then turning to God in prayer: "I thank You, O Lord, that I am permitted to enter Your portals." To comfort him during his torments God said to him: "My servant, do not be afraid. I am with you." He was put to death upon the Viminal Hill and buried on the Tiburtinian Way.

Such the passion and death of this Christian hero, a story that in the Roman Breviary is told by the antiphons and responsories. Already in Constantine's time there was erected over his grave a church that belonged to the seven major basilicas of Rome, St. Lawrence Outside the Walls.

Excerpted from The Church's Year of Grace, Pius Parsch.

6 posted on 08/10/2009 3:14:19 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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