“So death will come to fetch you?” asks St. Therese of Lisieux, whose own was a model of holy submission. “No, not death, but God himself. Death is not the horrible specter we see represented in pictures. The catechism teaches that death is the separation of the soul from the body; that is all. I am not afraid of a separation which will unite me forever with God.”
"The Pope and the faithful had gathered in the catacombs in the evening of August 6, 258. Being Christians in a cemetery, theirs was an illegal assembly punishable by death. There is every reason to believe that the catacomb Mass that evening was to be offered specifically to strengthen the faithful to endure the new persecution... Pope Sixtus was preaching... soldiers burst into the crypt. The congregation drew together before them, baring their breasts and extending their necks to signify that they were ready to die to protect the Pope. But Sixtus would have none of that. He came forward and they took him, along with four of his deacons.
Another deacon, Lawrence, cried out: "Father, where are you going without your deacon?" Sixtus replied: "I do not leave you, my son. You shall follow me in three days."
The Vicar of Christ was taken up the nearby stairs and beheaded on the spot, along with the four deacons. For some 1,500 years his name was mentioned in the Canon said by every Catholic priest of the Latin rite, anywhere in the world.
Deacon Lawrence was temporarily spared in order to give the persecution officials access to the treasure supposedly accumulated by the Roman church. What he actually brought forth before the prefect of
was not gold and silver, but a representative group of the poor and needy. ...The angry prefect commanded that Lawrence be roasted to death on a gridiron. He joked with his executioners about turning his body over because 'one side is broiled enough'." Rome
Deacon, Martyr - d. 258
FEAST DAY - August 10
Martyrdom of St Lawrence ~ Pellegrino Tibaldi (1592)
Basilica, El Escorial
St Lawrence, pray for us!