St. Lawrence is thought to have been born around 225. He became a deacon when Pope Sixtus II was made pope in 257, and was appointed the “archdeacon of Rome,” the first of seven deacons who served the Church. 

In August 258, Emperor Valerian decreed that all religious clergy members should be put to death immediately. Pope Sixtus was killed on August 6, and Lawrence, who had been the Church’s treasurer, was made the principal authority of the Roman Church. When he was called before Valerian’s executioners, he was ordered to present the Church’s wealth. Lawrence brought the sick, poor and crippled of Rome, calling them the “true wealth” of the Church. 

Lawrence was martyred on August 10, 258, cooked alive on a gridiron. He was the last of the seven deacons to be killed. 

St. Lawrence, along with Sts. Peter and Paul, is a patron of Rome.