Feast Day 13 August
Martyred 258 AD
Once the patron saint of Mallorcan millers.
In August 258, the emperor Valerian issued an edict that all Christian priests
should be put to death. Legend has it that St Lawrence chanced upon Pope
Sixtus II as the latter was on his way to his execution. On enquiring where
the Pope was going without his faithful deacon, the pope comforted him by
telling him he too would be making the same journey in three days time.
After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded all the treasures
of the church. St Lawrence worked feverishly to distribute them among the
poor and when called to account by the prefect, brought before him the poor,
the lame, the blind saying they were the true riches of the church. This led
to his martyrdom when he was roasted to death on a gridiron and is said to
have called out, “Turn me over, this side is already done.”
Prior to his death he is accredited with being entrusted with the Holy
Chalice used by Jesus and the Disciples at the Last Supper. He is said
to have arranged for it to be sent to Spain and it is housed in Valencia
Cathedral. Archaeologists, however, say it is a 1st century Middle Eastern
stone vessel, possibly from Antioch in Syria.