This digital art print of Saint Lawrence is the perfect addition to your home decor or a great gift for birthdays, Confirmation, or your friend with a cold!
St. Lawrence’s early life is not known—but the deeds he accomplished later in his life set him apart as a saint. When we first hear about St. Lawrence, he was already a Christian deacon in a time when persecutions against Christians was common. The Romans would regularly charge Christians with “odium humani generis” which means “hatred of the human race.”
The emperor at the time, Valerian, issued an edict to the Roman Senate that all Christian clergy were to be gathered, arrested, and executed. At this time, Lawrence began giving the treasures and money of the church to the poor, knowing that Valerian especially despised Christians who owned property or wealth.
Valerian heard about Lawrence’s actions and, in his greed, wanted the treasure for himself. He told Lawrence he would spare his life if Lawrence would show him where the Church kept her silver and gold. Lawrence told him he would gather together all the silver and gold of the church in one place for Valerian.
Over the next three days, Lawrence—who understood the Jesus was found in the poorest individuals—gathered together all the poor, handicapped, and misfortunate Christians in one location and presented them to Valerian. Valerian decided beheading was too good for Lawrence. Instead, Lawrence was sentenced to be burned alive, in public, on a griddle.
Tradition says that Lawrence was so unafraid of his own death that he joked with his executioners while burning on the griddle, saying “I’m well done on this side—turn me over!” His martyrdom changed the lives of many after they converted to Christianity.
St. Lawrence is depicted with a giant griddle—which marks the way he died, as well as a palm branch to indicate his martyrdom, and a sack of silver and gold to show his belief that the riches of the church are found in her people rather than in material goods.
St. Lawrence is the patron saint of Rome, students, miners, tanners, chefs, the poor, and firefighters.
- Feast Day: August 10