Monday, August 10, 2009

St. Lawrence- deacon and martyr

Today is the feast the deacon St. Lawrence of Rome. As a brother deacon wrote this morning: "A Happy Feast day to a great patron and exemplar for deacons, holy Martyr Lawrence. Through his intercession and example, may we be strengthened in our Christian diaconate."

Lawrence died during a persecution that took place in AD 258 under the emperor Valerian. When Pope Sixtus was on trial Lawrence went to him and said: "Father, I have already fulfilled your command, and distributed by hand your treasury; forsake me not!" Upon hearing that he had charge of treasures, Lawrence was placed under arrest and taken to jail. According to the ancient story, the deacon Lawrence was placed under the watch of the head jailer, Hyppolitus. While he was in prison, Lawrence prayed always. He also healed the sick. He baptized many who were in prison with him, including Hyppolitus and his whole family.

Lawrence was brought before the emperor and asked to reveal where the treasure was. Lawrence asked for three days to produce the treasure, a request that was granted. He used the time to gather a large group of the poor and sick, who depended solely on the church. He took the Roman soldiers to where this group was gathered and said: "Here are the vessels in which is contained the treasure. And everyone, who puts their treasure in these vessels, will receive them in abundance in the Heavenly Kingdom."

As a result, Lawrence was brutally tortured and killed, thus sealing his witness, his servitude to Christ, his diaconate, with his blood.

O God, the blessed Lawrence burned with love of you:
he is renowned for his faithful service and his glorious martyrdom.
Grant that we may love what he loved, and act as he taught.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

St. Lawrence- pray for us.


  1. Thank you Deacon Scott -

    This prayer is beautiful. St. Lawrence is special to all of us - Deacons, and all those who are in diaconate formation.

    This past Saturday, my wife and I brought our godson back to college, St. Vincent's in Latrobe, Pa. To get an early start back to NJ, we attended 7AM Holy Mass at Blessed Sacrament Cathedral in Greensburg, Pa. It just so happens that today, August 10th, the Bishop of the Greensburg Diocese will be ordaining two men for the permanent diaconate. These two men will be the first P. deacons of their diocese. Please keep these good men in your prayers.

    God bless!

  2. Brian:

    What a great experience and what good news. I will pray for these men and ask St. Lawrence to do the same.