Today's Saint (August 10 ): Lawrence, Deacon & Martyr (d. 258)

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Saint Lawrence was a deacon of the Church at Rome in the 3rd century. As such, he assisted Pope Sixtus II by distributing the Eucharist and by providing relief to the poor.

Along with the Pope, he was martyred during the persecutions instigated by the Roman Emperor Valerian, and is one of the Roman Church's most famous post-apostolic martyrs.

When asked to deliver up the treasures of the Church to the civil authorities, Lawrence gathered the poor of the city and said to his accusers, "These are the treasures of the Church."

Pious tradition has it that he was subsequently roasted on a gridiron: however, this account is quite unhistorical. It seems much more likely that he, like other martyrs of his day, was rather beheaded.

In any event, may we meditate on his life and martyrdom, and on the words of our Lord Jesus, “He that loveth his life shall lose it; but he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.” (John 12:25) (The day's Gospel, page E 101, The People's Anglican Missal)

Catholic Encyclopedia article
Propers for the vigil
The day's propers

Books Worth Considering
Fox's Book of Martyrs
Reason Is Beguiled: On the Mystery of Martyrdom & of Total Self Gift
By Their Blood: Christian Martyrs of the Twentieth Century
Seasons in Spirituality: Reflections on Vincentian Spirituality in Today's World
Vincent De Paul & Louise De Marillac: Rules, Conferences, & Writings
The Treasury of Saints and Martyrs
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
The Oxford Dictionary of Saints (Oxford Paperback Reference)amazon
The Penguin Dictionary of Saints: Third Edition (Dictionary, Penguin)amazon