St Lawrence the martyr and deacon of Rome (Feast day, August 10)

PictureofstLawrence

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lawrence was born in Osca (Huesca), a Spanish city, in the first half of the 3rd century. He came to Rome,  the centre of Christianity. He was noted for his piety, his charity in favour of the poor people and for his behaviour and integrity. 

On account of his endowments, Pope Sixtus II named him Deacon of the Church.  He had to superintend the administration of goods, accept donations, look after them and provide for the needy, orphans and widows. 

On account of these duties, Lawrence was one of the most well-known personages of the early Roman Christianity, and one of the most venerated martyrs, so much so, that his memory was preserved by many churches and chapels built in his honour. 

History tells us that Lawrence was captured by the soldiers of the Emperor Valerian, on the 6th of August, 258 in the catacombs of St. Callixtus together with Pope Sixtus II and other deacons.  While the Pontiff with the other deacons suffered martyrdom, Lawrence was set apart, so as to extort from him the treasures of the Church.  It is related that when the emperor Valerian commanded him to hand over the treasures of the Church, Lawrence  brought to him the poor and the sick people and said: “Here are the treasures of the Church”. 

Afterwards Lawrence was taken into custody by the Centurion Hippolytus who confined him in the dungeon of his palace located on Urbana Street where the Church of S. Lorenzo in Fonte is located. 

In this dark damp narrow place there was a prisoner named Lucillus who was blind.  Lawrence comforted his fellow prisoner, encouraged him, catechized him in the doctrine of Christ and used a spring of water gushing out from the ground to baptize him.  After the baptism Lucillus recovered his sight. The centurion Hippolytus often used to visit his prisoners; and having ascertained the prodigious event and more over struck by the serenity and the meekness of the prisoners illuminated by God’s grace he became a Christian, receiving baptism from Lawrence. 

Afterwards Hippolytus being recognized as a Christian was tied to the tails of horses and dragged along on stones and brambles until he died. Lawrence was burnt alive on a grill in a place not too far from the site of the prison and his ashes were placed in the Verano graveyard in the Saint Ciriaca catacomb.  St. Lawrence’s martyrdom is dated in the Roman martyrology, on the August 10, 258 A.D. 

As a reminder of these events three churches were built in Rome which are still in existence.  St. Lawrence in Fonte (site of the prison), St Lawrence in Panisperna (the place of the martyrdom) and St. Lawrence in Verano (site of the burial). 

Click here to read a poem on the life of St Lawrence

Click here to learn about the powerful intercession of the Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors and ways to help them.

Advertisements

Novena to St Philomena

(composed by St John Vianney) 

O great St Philomena, glorious virgin and martyr, Wonder-Worker of our age, I return most fervent thanks to God for the miraculous gifts bestowed on thee, and beseech thee to impart to me a share in the graces and blessings of which thou hast been the channel to so many souls.

Through the heroic fortitude with which thou didst confront the fury of tyrants and brave the frowns of the mighty rather than swerve from thy allegiance to the King of Heaven, obtain for me purity of body and soul, purity of thought and affection.

Through thy patience under multiplied sufferings, obtain for me a submissive acceptance of all the afflictions it may please God to send me, and as thou didst miraculously escape unhurt from the waters of the Tiber, into which thou wert cast by order of Thy persecutor, so may I  pass through the waters of tribulation without detriment to my soul.

In addition to these favours, obtain for me, O faithful spouse of Jesus, the particular intention I earnestly recommend to thee at this moment.

(state your petition)

O pure virgin and holy martyr, deign to cast a look of pity from Heaven on thy devoted servant, comfort me in affliction, assist me in danger, above all come to my aid in the hour of death.

Watch over the interests of the Church of God, pray for its exultation and prosperity, the extension of the Faith, for the clergy, for the perseverance of the just, the conversion of sinners, and the relief of souls in Purgatory, especially those dear to me.

O great Saint, whose triumph we celebrate on earth, intercede for me, that I may one day behold the crown of glory bestowed on thee in Heaven, and eternally bless Him Who so liberally rewards for all eternity the sufferings endured for His love during this short life. Amen.

Oh St Philomena, virgin and martyr, pray for us so that through your powerful intercession we may obtain that purity of spirit and heart that leads to the perfect love of God.  Amen.

Learn about the powerful intercession of The Holy Souls in Purgatory for their benefactors

Novena to St Philomena the Wonder Worker for the healing of autism:

http://missionbell.homestead.com/novenaforautisticchildren.html