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Saint Lawrence
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Posted on 08/10/2002 6:35:46 PM PDT by Lady In Blue


index

Saint Lawrence

or San Lorenzo

A patron saint of libraries and librarians is Saint Lawrence the Librarian. He is a third century saint and martyr (died 258 AD) who had responsibility for the written archives and records of the early church.

St Lawrence was one of seven famous deacons of the early church. The other six deacons along with Pope St. Sixtus II (Xystus II) were captured by the Emperor Valerian on August 6, 258, and martyred. They were buried together in the cemetery of Callistus. The oppression of the Christian church was very severe, and many Christians fled Rome or died.

As librarian and archivist, Lawrence was thought to have a list of all the members of the early church, and the locations of all the mythical hidden hoards of gold belonging to the Vatican. Captured by the soldiers of the Emperor Valerian a few days later, on August 8, 258 AD, he was told to produce all the wealth of the church. He was given only two days to bring all the treasures to the imperial palace. Particularly desired were the names of all the Christians who were also Roman nobles, since they could be ransomed for gold by the emperor, or executed and their wealth confiscated by the emperor for the state.

Lawrence gathered up the all the diseased, orphaned or crippled Christians on the appointed day, brought them to the palace, and told the startled emperor that "These are the treasures of the church!"

According to tradition, for his presumed impudence, Lawrence was then slowly roasted on a grill on the site of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Rome, in the hope that he would publicly renounce his religion and reveal the names of the wealthy Christians. He is often represented holding a gridiron to memorialize this grisly manner of martyrdom. Although St. Lawrence was most certainly beheaded and not roasted, the traditions of his being cooked are somewhat stronger than actual fact. As a result, St Lawrence is also considered a patron saint for cooks. There is also the popular story that he was so willing to embrace Christ in heaven, that he did not mind the pain from the fire of his martyrdom, and indeed, he found the strength to tell his executioners "Turn me over. I am done on this side."

The courage and dignity of St Lawrence and many of these other early Christians in facing their death did much to gain respect for their religion in Rome, and after the death of St Lawrence, there was widespread conversion to Christianity.

His feast day is August 10th, and is usually celebrated by librarians and archivists (in honor of his traditional method of death) with cold cuts.

The annual Perseid meteor shower, one of the best known of the annually occuring meteor showers, and which occurs near his feast day in August, is sometimes called "The Tears of St. Lawrence" in Italy.

A reliquary with the head of Saint Lawrence is held in the Vatican Library.

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TOPICS: General Discusssion
KEYWORDS: catholiclist; roastedongrill


From a sermon by Saint Augustine, bishop

He ministered the sacred blood of Christ

The Roman Church commends to us today the anniversary of the triumph of Saint Lawrence. For on this day he trod the furious pagan world underfoot and flung aside its allurements, and so gained victory over Satan's attack on his faith.

As you have often heard, Larence was a deacon of the Church at Rome. THere he ministered the sacred blookd of Christ; there for the sake of Christ's name he poured out his own blood. Saint John the apostle was evidently teaching us about the mystery of the Lord's supper when he wrote:Just as Christ laid down his life for us, so we ought to lay down our lives for the brethen.My brethen, Lawrence understood this and, understanding, he acted on it. Just as he had partaken of a gift of self at the table of the Lord, so he prepared to offer such a gift. In his life he loved Christ;in his death he followed in his footsteps.

Brethren, we too must imitate Christ if we truly love him. We shall not be able render better return on that love than by modeling our lives on his. Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps.In saying this, the apostle Peter seems to have understood that Christ suffered only for those who follow in his steps, in the sense that Christ's passion is of no avail to those who do not. The holy martyrs followed Christ even to shedding their life's blood,even to reproducing the very likeness of his passion. They followed him, but not they alone. It is not true that the bridge was broken after the martyrs crossed; nor is it true that after they had drunk from it, the fountain of eternal life dried up.

I tell you again and again, my brethren, that in the Lord's garden are to be found not only the roses of his martyrs.In it there are also the lilies of the virgins, the ivy of wedded couples, and the violets of widows.On no account may any class of people despair, thinking that God has not called them. Christ suffered for all. What the Scriptures say of him is true:He desires all men to be saved and to come to knowledge of the truth.

Let us understand, then, how a Christian must follow Christ even though he does not shed his blood for him,and his faith is not called upon to undergo the great test of the martyr's suffereings.The apostle Paul says of Christ our Lord:Though he was in the form of God he did not consider equality with God a prize to be clung to.How unrivaled his majesty!But he emptied himself, taking on the form of a slave, made in the likeness of men, and presenting himself in human form.How deep his humility!

Christ humbled himself. Christian, that is what you must make your own. Christ became obedient.How is it that you are proud?When this humbling experience was completed and death itself lay conquered,Christ ascended into heaven.Let us follow him there, for we hear Paul saying: If you have been raised with Christ, you must lift your thoughts on high, where Christ now sits at the right hand of God.

1 posted on 08/10/2002 6:35:46 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: *Catholic_list; father_elijah; Salvation; nickcarraway; NYer; Siobhan; JMJ333
From St Ephraim's "A Spiritual Psalter"

(53)Lament Over The Scarcity of Saints

My heart is pained, my soul agonizes and my inner parts are torn! Where am I to find the tears, where am I to find the contrition and the sighs to rightly mourn our orphaned state and the paucity of sanctity among us?

I see, O Master, that Thou takest Thy saints, like choice gold, from the vain world tot he resting place of life.

Like a farmer who sees his fruits well ripened and prudently hastens to gather them that they might not be the least bit spoiled, so dost Thou also, O Savior, gather Thy chosen ones who have labored righteously.

Yet, we, who are slothful and weak-willed, remain hardened, and our fruits never ripen;for we have not the resolve to labor without sparing ourselves, in order to ripen in good works and rightly be gathered into the storehouse of life.

Say:Woe is me, alas, O soul, and weep;for thou hast been left an orphan so young by the blameless fathers and righteous ascetics.Where are our fathers?Where are the saints? Where are the vigilant?Where are the sober? Where are the humble? Where are the meek? Where are those who vow silence? Where are the abstinent? Where are those who with a contrite heart stood before the Lord in perfect prayer, like angels of God? They have left here to join our holy God with their lamps brightly burning.

Woe is us! What times are these in which we live? Into what sea of evil have we sailed? Our fathers have entered the harbor of life, that they might not see sorrows and seductions that overcome us because of our sins. They are crowned, yet we clumber; we sleep and indulge in selfish pleasures.

O Lord, have pity on us! Make sober our thoughts which whirl about in vain. Grant us contrition and tears, that they might shed some light on the blindness of our hearts, and we might see that way in which our fathers walked when they followed Thee.Grant us the desire and the strength to follow in this same way, so that we too with them might receive the lot of those who are saved, to the glory of Thy name.

2 posted on 08/10/2002 6:55:57 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
Excellent work, LIB. Absolutely stunning graphics. What a hero he was to suffer so much for the love of Christ. So many couldn't take that kind of slow torture--roasted alive on a gridiron. Can you imagine the black soul that would do that to another? The rage and hate against such a gentle soul is sickening, but San Lorenzo didn't back away. He embraced it to unite himself more closely with Christ. He followed the example of Christ with everything he had.
3 posted on 08/10/2002 7:07:06 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Lady In Blue
Lawrence gathered up the all the diseased, orphaned or crippled Christians on the appointed day, brought them to the palace, and told the startled emperor that "These are the treasures of the church!"

In your face, Valerian!

4 posted on 08/10/2002 7:10:14 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: JMJ333
Thank you,JMJ333. Whenever I read about the martyrs,and especially St Lawrence, I think I could NEVERdo something like that! It has to be a very great grace from the Lord. Can you imagine the pain and suffering and then,apparently,they beheaded him! I can't imagine people being that cruel to anothe human being!
5 posted on 08/10/2002 7:12:06 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue
It is the same spirit of Satan that was present during the passion and crucifixion. Its like all the fury of hell is unleashed upon these souls. St. Lawrence didn't care. He knew his crown awaited him. May God grant me the grace of such determination in the face of evil.
6 posted on 08/10/2002 7:23:43 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Lady In Blue
There is also the popular story that he was so willing to embrace Christ in heaven, that he did not mind the pain from the fire of his martyrdom, and indeed, he found the strength to tell his executioners "Turn me over. I am done on this side."

I am willing to believe that he was roasted and beheaded because I wouldn't have put anything past the pagan Romans. They were brutal beyond imagination.

7 posted on 08/10/2002 7:26:11 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: Lady In Blue
Saint Lawrence, patron of librarians, I beg you to intercede on behalf of those lost librarians who think its okay to let children look at porn at their librarys and not inform the parents. I ask for their conversion! Amen!
8 posted on 08/10/2002 7:28:45 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: JMJ333
May God grant me the grace of such determination in the face of evil.

That's my prayer as well!The only way I could even approach enduring any of St.Lawrence's suffering is for the Lord to grant me a lot of graces and rememberances of all my past sins!

9 posted on 08/10/2002 10:02:39 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: JMJ333
I am willing to believe that he was roasted and beheaded because I wouldn't have put anything past the pagan Romans. They were brutal beyond imagination.

I also,can well believe that St Lawrence was beheaded after his cruel torturers were unable to get him to recant! And you're right about the Romans! I once read a book in which the author said that the Jews only allowed 39 lashes whereas the Romans would beat a person 100 lashes and with those whips that had some kind of instrument at the end of it!

10 posted on 08/10/2002 10:06:53 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: JMJ333
Saint Lawrence, patron of librarians, I beg you to intercede on behalf of those lost librarians who think its okay to let children look at porn at their librarys and not inform the parents. I ask for their conversion! Amen!

Amen!

11 posted on 08/10/2002 10:08:47 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: BlackElk; IGNATIUS
ping
12 posted on 08/11/2002 3:56:02 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: JMJ333
"was roasted and beheaded because I wouldn't have put anything past the pagan Romans" Sad to say, the penalty of burning alive persisted many centuries after his death, and was understood to be Christian. Disembowelling and burning was another refinement.
13 posted on 08/11/2002 5:29:23 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: Lady In Blue
The story is great and the graphics stunning (as JM has already said). Thanks for a great post.
14 posted on 08/11/2002 5:30:46 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: BlackVeil
Life was brutal back then!

I made the comment because the article says that his famous marytrdom by being roasted on a gridiron was more myth than truth. Just saying that I wouldn't doubt that something like that could have happened. =)

15 posted on 08/11/2002 5:33:19 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: JMJ333
Life was very brutal, and people had different values. The most gruesome executions were always public events. Mind you, in our own time, we have a filmic spectacle of a man eating another man's brains - served up as entertainment.
16 posted on 08/11/2002 7:01:16 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: BlackVeil
eeeeew! How disgusting! I've never heard of such a thing. Perhaps we are evolving backwards!
17 posted on 08/11/2002 7:05:53 PM PDT by JMJ333
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To: BlackVeil
You're welcome. BTW,the Romans had refined methods of torture before and just as the infant Church was starting.I believe that burning is not Christian at all but in fact started as a pagan practice.IMHO.
18 posted on 08/11/2002 8:33:29 PM PDT by Lady In Blue
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on 08-10-04


19 posted on 08/10/2004 8:14:00 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue; father_elijah; nickcarraway; SMEDLEYBUTLER; Siobhan; attagirl; goldenstategirl; ...
Saint of the Day Ping!

Please notify me via FReepmail if you would like to be added to or taken off the Saint of the Day Ping List.

20 posted on 08/10/2004 9:00:30 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Salvation
I once heard a homily on the Feast of St. Lawrence from an Irish priest. He told of how as a boy in Ireland, his Uncle would always be in charge of starting up the charcoal fire at family picnics. Always before doing so, the Uncle would issue an open prayer (in a lovely Irish brogue) "Holy St. Lawrence pray for us!" and then light up the fire.

Never quite understanding the significance of this prayer, the Irish priest thought it odd, until later as a seminarian he studied the life of St. Lawrence.

21 posted on 08/10/2004 9:32:58 AM PDT by COBOL2Java (Kerry Lied. Soldiers Died.)
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To: Lady In Blue

BUMP


22 posted on 08/10/2004 10:02:17 AM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: Lady In Blue

BUMP


23 posted on 08/10/2004 7:21:41 PM PDT by nickcarraway
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To: COBOL2Java; Lady In Blue

**According to tradition, for his presumed impudence, Lawrence was then slowly roasted on a grill on the site of the Basilica di San Lorenzo in Rome, in the hope that he would publicly renounce his religion and reveal the names of the wealthy Christians. He is often represented holding a gridiron to memorialize this grisly manner of martyrdom.**

This is difficult, no more than difficult, to imagine.


24 posted on 08/10/2005 8:34:34 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on the Feast of St. Lawrence, August 10, 2005!


25 posted on 08/10/2005 8:35:23 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: All
Prayer to St. Laurence, Deacon and Martyr

Feast: August 10. Also spelled Lawrence.

St. Laurence, pray for us, that the flames of divine love may burn away all traces of vice within us, and that we may be practical and zealous in the service of the poor. Amen.


26 posted on 08/10/2005 9:30:42 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue; All
American Catholic’s Saint of the Day

August 10, 2005
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.

Comment:

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.



27 posted on 08/10/2005 9:36:56 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

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


28 posted on 08/10/2006 8:18:09 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue

BTTT on the Feast of St. Lawrence, August 10, 2007!


29 posted on 08/10/2007 8:02:39 AM PDT by Salvation (†With God all things are possible.†)
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To: Lady In Blue
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.


30 posted on 08/10/2009 3:13:29 PM PDT by Salvation (With God all things are possible.)
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