St Lawrence, deacon and martyr
The Church sings,
Inflaming your heart with heavenly fire, you turned the fires of passion into cold ashes. O God-bearing martyr Lawrence, strength of martyrs, amid all your sufferings you cried out: Nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ. (Kontakion, Tone 2)
The Holy Martyr Lawrence was a deacon in the Church of Rome in the third century. As a deacon, he had the office of care for the poor. When the pagan emperor ordered him to hand over the Church’s treasures to the state, Lawrence brought the poor, the sick, the blind and the lame and said, “Here are the eternal treasures of the Church, which will never diminish but will always multiply, treasures present in each and found in all.”
A challenging message to the “gospel of prosperity” so often proclaimed by ignorant preachers. He was condemned to die by fire, and while being tortured, uttered the famous (and maybe legendary) quip, “Now I am cooked on one side; turn me therefore to the other side.”
There are few martyrs so relevant to us today, and St. Lawrence is considered one of the heroes of the faith and patron saints of deacons.
Meditation by Archpriest David Petras
Today’s feast raises the matter that St Ann’s doesn’t currently have a deacon or sub-deacon, and we ought to. The ministry of deacon (and sub-deacon) is ac dynamic and vital ministry to parish life and that of the Eparchy of Newton. Let’s pray for the grace of having of a deacon through the intercession of St Lawrence.