Lawrence was one of the first appointed among the seven deacons who served in the cathedral 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 to the indigent. Emperor Valerian issued an edict that all bishops, priests, and deacons should immediately be put to death. Pope Sixtus II was captured on 6 August 258, at the cemetery of St Callixtus while celebrating the liturgy and executed forthwith. After the death of Sixtus, the prefect of Rome demanded that Lawrence turnover the riches of the Church. Lawrence asked for three days to gather the wealth. Lawrence worked to distribute as much Church property to the poor as possible, to prevent it being seized by the prefect. On the third day, at the head of a small delegation, he presented himself to the prefect, and when ordered to deliver the treasures of the Church he presented the poor, the crippled, the blind, and the suffering, and declared that these were the true treasures of the Church. The prefect was so angry that he had a great gridiron prepared with hot coals beneath it, and had Lawrence placed on it. After the martyr had suffered pain for a long time he cheerfully declared: "I'm well done on this side. Turn me over!". He was buried under the Basilica of Saint Lawrence 'Fuori le Mura' Rome, Italy. Saint Lawrence is the patron saint of school children, poor people, cooks, comedians, Rome, miners, tanners, chefs, and firefighters.
O Generous patron of the Church’s poor, St. Lawrence, pray to the One God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit that all the poor of the Church in need in every corner of the world may feel the effect of the love of their brothers and sisters who seek to help them. May we come some day with all those whom we helped on earth to the bright mansions of heaven where we will enjoy the riches of God’s house and the company of the Savior who lives and reigns forever and ever. Amen