Tuesday, August 10, 2010
The Feast of St Lawrence, Martyr
Frescoe - Vatican Chapel
Today's feast is for one of the great martyrs of the Church. St Lawrence was a deacon to Pope Sixtus II in the 3rd century. During the Valerian persecution, Pope Sixtus II was arrested with several deacons (including St Lawrence) while saying Mass in a catacombs. The pope and the deacons were martyred that same day but St Lawrence was spared because the Emperor wanted him to collect all of the treasure of the Church and bring it to him. Tradition has it that St Lawrence collected all of the treasure and distributed it to the poor. Three days later, St Lawrence was arrested and executed by slowly burning him on a grill.
How many of us are ready to die for our faith? We do have modern examples of those who have attained sainthood like St Maximilian Kolbe; but we know that Christians are martyred every year, especially in countries where other faith traditions are not tolerated. As we speak, the Church in Iraq and Afghanistan are being targeted by people who want to clean the world of those who do not think like them.
For those of us who are considering ordination to the diaconate, we must be ready to give up our life for the defense of the Church. It is a question we must ask ourselves during the discernment process.
So lets pause a moment to remember those who have died for our faith and ask St Lawrence to pray for them as well as those who persecute them.