Lawrence, born in the year of our Lord 225, was a deacon of the church.

At the start of August 258, the roman emperor Valerian persecuted Christians and issued an edict to put to death all ranking people of the Church, such as bishops & priests. The current pope and other deacons of the time were put to death, leaving Lawrence as the ranking Church official in Rome. The prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turn over the riches of the Church. Lawrence said he would, in three days time. During these three days, he distributed as much Church property as possible to the poor in order to prevent its being seized by the prefect. He also went through the city and gathered together all the poor and sick people supported by the Church. On the third day, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to give up the treasures of the Church he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the suffering, and said, "This is the Church's true treasure!"

In great anger, the prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. He had a great gridiron prepared, with hot coals beneath it, and had Lawrence's body placed on it so that his flesh roasted little by little. However Lawrence was burning with so much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. After the martyr had suffered the pain for a long time, he shouted out, "Turn me over, I'm done on this side!" and just before he died he said, "It's cooked enough now."

St Lawrence is the patron saint of many things.
He is the patron saint of the poor, the ill, and the neglected, because he looked after them.
He is the patron saint of libraries, because he saved many documents when distributing the wealth of the Church.
He is the patron saint of cooks and kitchens, because of his strength and courage when being cooked himself.
He is the patron saint of comedians, because he joked while being martyred.

Celebrate Saint Lawrence's feast day on the day of his death, 10th August 258. I recommend cooking a steak, so you too can yell out, "Turn it over, it's done on this side!"

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