Catholic Saints

Saint Lawrence

  • Short, concise biography of Saint Lawrence
  • History, Life, Biography, Facts and Information about Saint Lawrence
  • Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Lawrence
  • What is Saint Lawrence the patron of?
  • Date of Death
  • How Saint Lawrence is represented in Christian Art
  • Feast Day

The Patron Saint Lawrence

What is the definition and the meaning of the Patron Saints and why were these people chosen to become patrons of causes, professions and countries?

The term 'Patron' is used in Christian religions, including the Roman Catholic religion, to describe holy and virtuous men and women who are considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a country.

There is a patron for virtually every cause, country, profession or special interest.

There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors.

St. Lawrence (August 10th) was roasted alive on a gridiron; therefore his attribute in Christian Art is the instrument of his martyrdom.  St. Lawrence is commonly said to be the patron saint of lazy people, because he was too lazy to turn himself over on the gridiron. The Golden Legend, it should be added, is not responsible for this not very witty statement. In addition to the gridiron hanging from his girdle, or lying by his side, the saint is represented at times in a deacon's dress, with tongues of fire embroidered upon it, in allusion to his martyrdom. Where the gridiron is omitted he has a plate of gold or silver, or it may be a money-bag in his hand, because the treasures of the Church were in his keeping. (Martyred 258.)

Fast, concise facts and information about Saint Lawrence
The following provides fast and concise facts and information:

  • The patron of Fire and Bankers
  • Born: c225
  • Memorial Day / Feast Day: August 10th
  • Date of Death: Saint Lawrence died in A.D. 258
  • Cause of Death: Roasted alive on a gridiron

Who or what is Saint Lawrence the patron saint of?
Saint Lawrence is the patron of Fire and Bankers. Meanings, definition and origins - a patron is considered to be a defender of a specific group of people or of a nation. There is a patron for virtually every cause, profession or special interest. Prayers are considered more likely to be answered by asking a patron for intercession on their behalf.

The Story and History of Saint Lawrence
The story and history of Saint Lawrence. Little is known about the early life of Saint Lawrence. He was a Christian during a very dangerous era and became an was a Roman archdeacon under Pope St. Sixtus II. His position of arch deacon held the responsibility as the "keeper of the treasures of the church". He lived during the reign of the Roman Emperor Valerian (c.200 - 260) who reigned from 253 to 260.  Emperor Valerian mounted a persecution against the Christians and Pope Sixtus was arrested and beheaded. At this time the Christians who were arrested had no trial and were sentenced to death and then thrown into pits without proper burials. At the time of the arrest of Pope Sixtus Lawrence was questioned by the prefect of Rome. The prefect had learnt that Lawrence was the "keeper of the treasures of the church" and demanded that the riches of the church should be surrendered to Rome. Lawrence agreed to surrender the treasure and requested a short delay so that he could gather all the goods. During the delay Lawrence distributed the wealth of the church to the poor. The Prefect of Rome was furious and sentenced Lawrence to a slow and lingering death. Saint Lawrence who was imprisoned in 258 and placed under his jurisdiction of Hippolytus, the Roman gaoler. Whilst in prison Hippolytus witnessed Saint Lawrence healing the sick. Saint Lawrence was martyred by being roasted alive on a gridiron. After Saint Lawrence was martyred Hippolytus ensured that he was given a Christian burial.

Death of Saint Lawrence
There are two categories of saints: martyrs and confessors. A Christian martyr is regarded as one who is put to death for his Christian faith or convictions. Confessors are people who died natural deaths. Date of Death: Saint Lawrence died in A.D. 258. Cause of Death: Roasted alive on a gridiron. 

Why is Saint Lawrence the patron of Fire and Bankers?
Why is Saint Lawrence is the patron of Fire and Bankers? Because of his death by fire and his position as "keeper of the treasures of the church".

How Saint Lawrence is represented in Christian Art
It is helpful to be able to recognise Saint Lawrence in paintings, stained glass windows, illuminated manuscripts, architecture and other forms of Christian art. The artistic representations reflect the life or death of saints, or an aspect of life with which the person is most closely associated. Saint Lawrence is represented in Christian Art with a gridiron hanging from his girdle, or lying by his side, the saint is represented at times in a deacon's dress, with tongues of fire embroidered upon it, in allusion to his martyrdom. Where the gridiron is omitted he has a plate of gold or silver, or it may be a money-bag in his hand, because the treasures of the Church were in his keeping.

Feast Day of Saint Lawrence
The Feast Day of Saint Lawrence is August 10th. The origin of Feast Days: most saints have specially designated feast days and are associated with a specific day of the year and these are referred to as the saint's feast day. The feast days first arose from the very early Christian custom of the annual commemoration of martyrs on the dates of their deaths at the same time celebrating their birth into heaven.

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