(or Lawrence), Saint (d. Aug. 10, 258). Deacon and martyr. Laurence was ordained a deacon by Pope Sixtus II. He was made chief of the seven deacons in Rome. When asked by the Roman governor during the persecution under emperor Valerian to surrender the church's riches, Laurence gathered together a large number of the blind, the lame, the maimed, lepers, orphans, and widows. Laurence said, "Here is the treasure of the Church." According to tradition, he was roasted alive on an iron grill, and is reported to have said to his executioners, "I am done on this side. Turn me over." More probably he was beheaded on Aug. 10, 258. In Rome the basilica of St. Laurence-Outside-the-Walls (San Lorenzo fuori de Mura) is dedicated to him. His martyrdom was one of the first to be commemorated by the church. Laurence's witness is commemorated in the Episcopal calendar of the church year on Aug. 10.
Glossary definitions provided courtesy of Church Publishing Incorporated, New York, NY,(All Rights reserved) from "An Episcopal Dictionary of the Church, A User Friendly Reference for Episcopalians," Don S. Armentrout and Robert Boak Slocum, editors.