Born: Dec. 31st, 225
Died: Aug. 10th, 258
FEast: Aug. 10th
Patron of: Comedians, Chefs, Miners, Canada, Firefighters, deacons, poverty
Lawrence was born in what is now Spain in the year 225 to what was likely an early Christian family. He was a deacon in Rome, and his main job was to look after the Church's physical possessions and to distribute the Church's money to the people in the community that needed it most. He was appointed by the Pope Sixtus II the himself, who was martyred under the reign of the Roman Emperor Valerian.
Under Valerian's rule, all people in religious life were to be put to death. Four days after Sixtus' murder, Lawrence and his fellow clergy members were rounded up to be executed. The Romans demanded of Lawrence, however, that he gather all the Church's riches and hand it over to the Emperor. The Romans were under the assumption that the Church had gold and many possessions, and they knew that Lawrence would know just where they were. They even offered to spare Lawrence's life if he were to bring it to them. He asked to have three days to gather it all.
When he returned, Lawrence had instead brought with him all of the community's sick, injured, widowed, and impoverished people, declaring that the Church was indeed rich, and that these were its' jewels.
The authorities were so angered by this that instead of being killed in any normal way, Lawrence was placed on top of a metal iron and slowly roasted. He declared halfway through, despite his immense pain and suffering, that he was finished on that side and that it was time to turn him over.
Today, there is a Church in Italy that houses a reliquary said to be full of Lawrence's blood. It is said that, by tradition, it liquifies on his feast day and at some other times, later re-coagulating on its own.
The Perseid Meteor Shower is also sometimes called the "Tears of St. Lawrence" due to its usually occurring around the time of his feast day.
As patron of chefs (for rather unfortunate reasons), help us in our relationship with food. Aid those of us who struggle with it, and bless and guide those of us who prepare it for ourselves and others. Bless the growers and all people involved with its distribution, and help us in our mission to never allow any human to go hungry.
Lawrence's color palette came from the spice rack in my kitchen. HIs fiery red hair is symbolic of the flames used to end his life, and he holds a spatula and wears an apron as if in the middle of grilling. His Apron bears a cross as a symbol of his place in religious life, and his expression is one that is unafraid, confident, and a little mischevious.