|'St. Lawrence helping the poor' by Fra Angelico at the Vatican Museums.|
In great anger, the Prefect condemned Lawrence to a slow, cruel death. The Saint was tied on top of an iron grill over a slow fire that roasted his flesh little by little, but Lawrence was burning with so much love of God that he almost did not feel the flames. In fact, he even joked, "Turn me over," he said to the judge. "I'm done on this side!" And just before he died, he said, "It's cooked enough now." Then he prayed that the city of Rome might be converted to Jesus and that the Catholic faith might spread all over the world. After that, he went to receive the martyr's reward.
St Lawrence is one of the thousands of martyrs who were mercilessly killed by the ruthless Emperors in the first 300 years of Christianity. Others were crucified, sent to the lions, beheaded, burned, tied to a tree and arrows shot at them, others were skinned or had parts of their body taken out or cut off. With St Stephen, he is the patron saint of deacons.