Saint Lawrence Biography
Birthday: December 31, 225 (Capricorn)
Born In: Hispania
Saint Lawrence or Laurence was a Christian religious figure from the 3rd century. He served as one of the seven deacons of the city of Rome during the tenure of Pope Sixtus II. All of the deacons, along with Sixtus II, were martyred during the persecution of the Christians that took place under the order of the Roman Emperor Valerian in 258. Originally from the region that the Romans called Hispania, Lawrence met Sixtus II for the first time in Caesaraugusta, and the two subsequently relocated to Rome. According to Saint Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage, the Roman authorities had introduced a norm that allowed them to seize the property of all convicted Christians and execute them. In August 258, Valerian ordered the execution of all bishops, priests, and deacons. Being a deacon of Rome, Lawrence’s duties included looking after the material goods of the church and giving away alms to the poor. Ambrose of Milan states that when Lawrence was asked to surrender the treasures of the church, he showed the poor to whom he had given alms. Lawrence was executed at what later would be known as San Lorenzo in Panisperna. Throughout the ensuing centuries, multiple churches have sprung up in Rome and elsewhere that are dedicated to Saint Lawrence.