August 10, 2023
An event every year that begins at 12:00 am on day 10 of August, repeating indefinitely
St. Lawrence, Pope Sixtus II’s archdeacon was martyred on August 10, 258, a few days after the Pope himself and other members of the Roman clergy had suffered a similar fate, all of them victims of Valerian’s persecution. The prefect of Rome, imagining that the Christians had hid considerable treasures was extremely desirous to secure them. With this view he sent for St. Lawrence to whose care these treasures were committed. The prefect asked St. Lawrence to produce the sacred vessels of gold and silver. Lawrence went all over the city seeking out in every street the poor who were supported by the Church. He gathered together a great number of them before the church and placed them in rows, the decrepit, blind, lame, maimed, lepers, orphans, widows and virgins. The prefect, astonished to see such a number of poor wretches, turned to the holy deacon and asked what all this meant. St. Lawrence answered, “What are you displeased at? The gold which you so eagerly desire is a vile metal and serves to incite men to all manner of crimes. The light of heaven is the true gold, which these poor objects enjoy. Their bodily weakness and sufferings are the subject of their patience and the highest advantages.” Lawrence was buried on the Via Tiburtina at a place known as the Agro Verano. Half a century later the Emperor Constantine built over his tomb a basilica which has remained one of the five patriarchal churches of Rome.