Saint Lawrence was a deacon and one of the early martyrs of the Church who were killed during the Roman persecutions. The emperor ordered that all priests, bishops, and deacons be arrested and put to death. Many members of the Church, including Pope Sixtus II, were arrested immediately. Lawrence was in charge of distributing money to the poor, and the Roman official in charge of the city, wanted the Church’s money. He told Lawrence to bring the Church’s treasure to him. Three days later, Lawrence came to the official with a great crowd of poor and sick people who had been helped by the Church. He told the official, “This is the Church’s treasure!” Because of this, Lawrence was condemned to die a slow death by being roasted on a grill over a fire. Lawrence was so happy to give his life for the Church that he was even joking while he was being killed. After a while over the fire, he said, “Turn me over; I’m done on this side.”
After the persecutions were over, a large basilica was built over the place where Lawrence had been buried. That church – called the Basilica of San Lorenzo fuori le Mura (Saint Lawrence outside the Walls) – is still one of the major churches in Rome today.
Is there a deacon in your church? This would be a great day to send him a thank you note for his service to your parish.
Saint Lawrence is also a patron of comedians. Host an amateur comedy night in his honor and takes turns sharing your best jokes. Here’s one to get you started:
A kindergarten teacher was observing her Family Formation class while they drew pictures. As she got to one little girl who was working very hard on her artwork, she asked what the drawing was.
The girl replied, “I’m drawing God.”
The teacher paused and said, “But no one knows what God looks like.”
Without missing a beat, the little girl replied, “They will in a minute!”