Thursday, August 10, 2017Laurence
Deacon and Martyr
d. August 10, 258
At a time when Christian worship was forbidden in the Roman Empire, Emperor Valerian issued an edict that all biships, priests and deacons immediately be put to death. According to Lesser Feasts and Fasts of the Episcopal Church (p. 322), "Though no authentic 'Acts' of Laurence’s ordeal have been preserved, the tradition is that the prefect demanded information from him about the Church’s treasures. Laurence, in reply, assembled the sick and poor to whom, as archdeacon, he had distributed the Church’s relief funds, and presented them to the prefect, saying, 'These are the treasures of the Church.' Laurence is believed to have been roasted alive on a gridiron."
Almighty God, who didst call thy deacon Laurence to serve thee with deeds of love, and didst give him the crown of martyrdom: Grant we beseech thee, that we, following his example, may fulfill thy commandments by defending and supporting the poor, and by loving thee with all our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.