Today (August 10th) is the feast of Saint Lawrence, martyred for Christ in 258 AD during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Valerian. He’s one of the better known martyrs of the early Church.
After the death of the then Pope Sixtus II, Valerian ordered Lawrence to hand over the riches of the Church. (Then, as now, people believed falsely that the Catholic Church is wealthy.) Lawrence, knowing the Church had no monetary wealth, presented the Emperor with the Church’s poor, crippled and other suffering Christians, telling him that these were the Church’s treasures and they made the Church far richer than the Emperor.
For this, Valerian sentences Lawrence to death. The sentence was death by grilling. At one point during this agonizing torture, Lawrence urged his executioners to turn him over as he was already done cooking on that side. This is one of the best known, and most widely attested martyrdoms of the early Church.
May we all face our struggles and persecutions with the same love of God as Lawrence.