Saint Days: Laurence, Deacon and Martyr
Laurence (225-258) was a deacon serving in the city of Rome under Bishop Sixtus II. They lived during the reign of Emperor Valerian who ushered in a period of persecution of Christianity. He ordered all bishops, presbyters, and deacons to be put to death. Bishop Sextus II was executed in 258.
The emperor then demanded Laurence hand over all the wealth of the Church. Laurence asked for three days to gather up their assets but really spent the time distributing the wealth to the poor and sick in the city. After the three days, he showed up to meet with the prefect, presenting the poor and sick as the Church's true treasures.
The prefect was enraged by Laurence's actions. He had a gridiron heated and had Laurence placed on it until he died.
Let us remember the example of St. Laurence in our prayers today:
Almighty God, who gave to your servant St. Laurence boldness to confess the Name of our Savior Jesus Christ before the rulers of this world, and courage to die for this faith: Grant that we may always be ready to give a reason for the hope that is in us, and to suffer gladly for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.