Saint Laurent Winery:
There are few martyrs in the Church whose names are so famous as that of St. Laurent, in whose praises the most illustrious of the Latin fathers have written and whose triumph, to use the words of St. Maxiumus, the whole Church joins in a body to honor with universal joy and devotion. He was one of the seven deacons who served the Roman church, responsible for care of the assets of the church, ... Read more
There are few martyrs in the Church whose names are so famous as that of St. Laurent, in whose praises the most illustrious of the Latin fathers have written and whose triumph, to use the words of St. Maxiumus, the whole Church joins in a body to honor with universal joy and devotion. He was one of the seven deacons who served the Roman church, responsible for care of the assets of the church, and the distribution of its alms to the poor. The Emperor Valerian, in 257 published his edicts against the Christians and Pope St. Sixtus. The governor of Rome, Cornelius Saecularis, believing that the church was wealthy, ordered that everything of value in the local church be turned over to the empire. In 258 Pope Sixtus was led to execution, following his mentor, Laurent wept and said to him, "Father, where are you going without your deacon?" The pope answered, "I do not leave you , my son. You shall follow me in three days." Cornelius quickly summoned Laurent, he commanded "I am informed that your priests offer mass in gold, that sacred blood is received in silver cups and that your fine wax tapers adorn golden candlesticks. Bring me these treasures, for the emperor has need of them for the maintenance of his forces. I am told that according to your doctrine you must render to Caesar all things that belong to him. I do not think that your God caused money to be coined, as he brought none into the world with him. Your lord only brought words, give us the money and be rich in words." Laurent replied, without showing any concern, "The Church is indeed rich; nor has the emperor any treasure to equal what it possesses. I will show you all of our valuables; but allow me a little time to set things in order and to make an inventory." The governor did not understand what treasures Laurent spoke of, but assumed great hidden wealth and granted him three days. Laurent was full of joy hearing that he should soon be called to God; he assembled the decrepit, the blind, the lame, lepers, the poor, widows, orphans and gave them the money which the church had entrusted to him, even selling the vessels to increase the amount of alms. Laurent invited Cornelius to see the treasures of the church. Astonished at the assembly of misery, Cornelius raged, " You mock me! I know you desire to die, that is your madness and vanity: but you shall not die immediately, you shall die by inches!" Then he had a great gridiron made, Laurent was stripped and bound upon his iron bed above the glowing coals. To the Christians his face beheld a beatific light and his burning skin, a sweet smell. St Augustine and St. Ambrose said that he did not feel his tormentors deeds, so possessed was he of Christ. Laurent said after a time of suffering, with a cheerful smile "Let my body be turned, one side is broiled enough." Laurent prayed for the conversion of Rome to Christianity. And so it was begun with this simple Prayer. Laurent is one of the most venerated martyrs of the Roman Church since the 4th century, and is named in the cannon of the Mass. Read less
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