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«« Suburban King, Saint Lawrence

st lawrence web

35 x 31, oil on canvas, 2009        $800.00

In the persecutions under Valerian in 258 A.D., numerous priests and deacons were put to death, while Christians belonging to the nobility or the Roman Senate were deprived of their goods and exiled.  Pope Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution, being beheaded on August 6th.  Lawrence, who served as one of the first archivists and treasurers of the Church, in legend met the Pope on his way to his execution and said, “Where are you going, my dear father, without your son?  Where are you hurrying off to, holy priest, without your deacon?  Before you never mounted the alter of sacrifice without your servant, and now you wish to do it without me?”

Lawrence’s desire to be martyred was fulfilled on the gridiron.  During his torture Lawrence cried out “This side’s done, turn me over and have a bite.”  (“Assum est, inquit, versa et manduca.”)