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                                                 (St. Lawrence shrine in Attur, Karkala)

 

St. Lawrence

St Lawrence is thought to have been born in Spain, at Huesca, a town in the Aragon region. Here he encountered the future Pope Sixtus II, who was of Greek origin, one of the most famous and highly esteemed teachers in Zaragoza, which was one of the empire's most renowned centres of learning. Eventually, both left Spain for Rome. When Sixtus became the Pope in 257, he ordained St Lawrence as a deacon, and though still young appointed him first among the seven deacons who served in the patriarchal church. He is therefore called "archdeacon of Rome", a position of great trust that included the care of the treasury and riches of the church and the distribution of alms among the poor.

In the persecutions under Valerian in 258, numerous priests and bishops were put to death, while Christians belonging to the nobility or the Roman Senate were deprived of their goods and exiled.  Pope St. Sixtus II was one of the first victims of this persecution, being beheaded on August 6.  A legend cited by St. Ambrose of Milan says that Lawrence met the Pope on his way to his execution, where he is reported to have 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 altar of sacrifice without your servant, and now you wish to do it without me ?”.  The Pope is reported to have prophesied that “after three days you will follow me”

St. Lawrence is said to have been martyred on an iron outdoor stove.  During his torture Lawrence cried out “I am already roasted on one side and, if thou wouldst have me well-cooked, it is time to turn me on the other”.

His name is mentioned in the canon of the Mass & he is venerated all over the Catholic Church. His historical endurance is exemplified in the writings of St. Ambrose, Leo the Great, Augustine & the Spanish poet Prudentius.

Prudentius says that his death was the end of idolatory in Rome, which thenceforth declined. Lawrence was buried on the Via Tiburtina, at the Campur Veranus, where his basilica now stands.

(The ancient Basillica of St. Lawrence outside the walls, was built directly over the tomb of the people's favorite Roman Martyr.)

 
     
 
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Daily Readings
 February 17th, 2019
JER 17:5-8
Thought of the day
    February 17th, 2019 JER 17:5-8 Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time Lectionary: 78 Reading Thus says the LORD: Cursed is the one who trusts in human beings, who seeks his strength in flesh, whose heart turns away from the LORD. He is like a barren bush in the desert that enjoys no change of season, but stands in a lava waste, a salt and empty earth. Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose hope is the LORD. He is like a tree planted beside the waters that stretches out its roots to the stream: it fears not the heat when it comes; its leaves stay green; in the year of drought it shows no distress, but still bears fruit. Responsorial Psalm PS 1:1-2, 3, 4 AND 6 R. (40:5a) Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Blessed the man who follows not the counsel of the wicked, nor walks in the way of sinners, nor sits in the company of the insolent, but delights in the law of the LORD and meditates on his law day and night. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. He is like a tree planted near running water, that yields its fruit in due season, and whose leaves never fade. Whatever he does, prospers. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Not so the wicked, not so; they are like chaff which the wind drives away. For the LORD watches over the way of the just, but the way of the wicked vanishes. R. Blessed are they who hope in the Lord. Reading 2 1 COR 15:12, 16-20 Brothers and sisters: If Christ is preached as raised from the dead, how can some among you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If the dead are not raised, neither has Christ been raised, and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is vain; you are still in your sins. Then those who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are the most pitiable people of all. But now Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. Alleluia LK 6:23AB R. Alleluia, alleluia. Rejoice and be glad; your reward will be great in heaven. R. Alleluia, alleluia. Gospel LK 6:17, 20-26 Jesus came down with the twelve and stood on a stretch of level ground with a great crowd of his disciples and a large number of the people from all Judea and Jerusalem and the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon. And raising his eyes toward his disciples he said: “Blessed are you who are poor, for the kingdom of God is yours. Blessed are you who are now hungry, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who are now weeping, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when people hate you, and when they exclude and insult you, and denounce your name as evil on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice and leap for joy on that day! Behold, your reward will be great in heaven. For their ancestors treated the prophets in the same way. But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation. Woe to you who are filled now, for you will be hungry. Woe to you who laugh now, for you will grieve and weep. Woe to you when all speak well of you, for their ancestors treated the false prophets in this way.”
     
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