Long ago, when the Christian Church was still new, it was extremely dangerous to be a Christian. The law stated that if you practiced Christianity, expect to be arrested and killed. As a deacon of the church, Lawrence daily risked his life helping the poor, hungry and helpless in Rome. He was also responsible for recording the history of the early church. Not a job for a lazy fellow, and Lawrence was far from lazy.
While taking care of the poor one day, Lawrence overheard a soldier speaking to the bishop.
“You are under arrest!” said the soldier.
Stopping his work, Lawrence yelled, “NO,You can’t leave us, bishop!”
“You will follow me in three days, and be martyred too,” replied the bishop.
As strange as it may seem to us, Lawrence celebrated this fact: “Soon I will be in heaven!”
Immediately, Lawrence sold everything he possessed and gave the money to the poor. Unknown to Lawrence, a greedy government man noticed him giving money to the poor.
“I bet these Christians have tons of treasure hidden away. I want it for Rome!” thought the greedy man. And so, when he saw Lawrence alone, he cornered him and said, “Bring me all of the treasures you Christians have hidden and a list of all the wealthy Christians here in Rome. Otherwise, we will arrest and kill you Three days. I want the money and the list in my hands in three days.”
Was Lawrence scared? Would you be scared? I would!
On the third day, Lawrence gathered all the diseased, orphaned and crippled Christians in the streets. He led them all to the greedy man. “Here are the treasures of the Church!” Lawrence said when he saw the greedy man.
“You are under arrest, Lawrence, for not bringing us the money or information we wanted. Your death will not be pleasant. We are going to roast you over a grill.”
The executioners believed that the pain of being roasted would make Lawrence tell where the money was hidden, give them a list of the wealthy Christians, and deny God. They were mistaken.
Lawrence’s love of God was so great that he was not even bothered by the flames. In fact, there is a story about his death stating that while being roasted he said, “Turn me over. I’m done on that side.” Then, just before his death, Lawrence commented, “It’s cooked enough now.” and then prayed for the conversion of Rome and the world.
Can you guess now why he is the patron saint of cooks?
Feast day: August 10
Saint Lawrence, pray for us!
Activity: Time to be funny!
Even though Saint Lawrence was being tortured, God gave him the strength to endure it. In fact, he gave him enough strength to even tell a few jokes. Sometimes when we are sad or worried, a joke can make us smile and remember that God will take care of us. Can you think of a few jokes to share? Below are three jokes. Share them with friends or family today to make them smile.
Knock, knock. Who’s there? Wooden shoe. Wooden shoe who? Wooden shoe like to hear another joke?
Knock, knock. Who’s there? I am. I am who? You don’t know who you are?
Knock, knock. Who’s there? A broken pencil. A broken pencil who. Oh never mind! It’s pointless.