ST. LAURENCE was the chief among the seven deacons of the Roman Church. In the year 258 Pope Sixtus was led out to die, and St. Laurence stood by, weeping that he could not share his fate. "I was your minister," he said, "when you consecrated the blood of Our Lord; why do you leave me behind now that you are about to shed your own?" The holy Pope comforted him with the words, "Do not weep, my son; in three days you will follow me." This prophecy came true. The prefect of the city knew the rich offerings which the Christians put into the hands of the clergy, and he demanded the treasures of the Roman Church from Laurence, their guardian. The Saint promised, at the end of three days, to show him riches exceeding all the wealth of the empire, and set about collecting the poor, the infirm, and the religious who lived by the alms of the faithful. He then bade the prefect "see the treasures of the Church" Christ, whom Laurence had served in his poor, gave him strength in the conflict which ensued. Roasted over a slow fire, he made sport of his pains. "I am done enough," he said, "eat, if you will." At length Christ, the Father of the poor, received him into eternal habitations. God showed by the glory which shone around St. Laurence the value He set upon his love for the poor. Prayers innumerable were granted at his tomb; and he continued from his throne in heaven his charity to those in need, granting them, as St. Augustine says, "the smaller graces which they sought, and leading them to the desire of better gifts"
Reflection. —Our Lord appears before us in the persons of the poor. Charity to them is a great sign of predestination. It is almost impossible, the holy Fathers assure us, for any one who is charitable to the poor for Christ's sake to perish.
Lives Of The Saints By Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. Edition www.globalgrey.co.uk
Prayers and Reading for Today’s MASS
Introit • Ps. 95, 6
Praise and beauty are before Him: holiness and majesty in His sanctuary. Ps. 95, 1. Sing ye to the Lord and new canticle; sing to the Lord all the earth. Glory be …
Grant us, we beseech Thee, O almighty God, to extinguish the flames of our evil depositions, as Thou didst grant blessed Lawrence to overcome the fires of his torments. Through our Lord.
Epistle • 2 Cor. 9, 6-10
Lesson from the Epistle of blessed Paul the Apostle to the Corinthians.
[A further exhortation to almsgiving. The fruits of it.]
BRETHREN, Now this I say: He who soweth sparingly, shall also reap sparingly: and he who soweth in blessings, shall also reap blessings. Every one as he hath determined in his heart, not with sadness, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound in you; that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work, As it is written: He hath dispersed abroad, he hath given to the poor: his justice remaineth for ever. And he that ministereth seed to the sower, will both give you bread to eat, and will multiply your seed, and increase the growth of the fruits of your justice.
Gradual • Ps. 18, 3
Thou hast proved my heart, O Lord, and visited it by night. Thou hast tried me by fire, and iniquity hath not been found in me.
Alleluia, alleluia. The Levite Lawrence wrought a good work, who by the sign of the cross gave sight to the blind. Alleluia.
Gospel • John 12, 24-26
Continuation of the Holy Gospel According to St. John.
[The anointing of Christ's feet. His riding into Jerusalem upon an ass. A voice from heaven.]
At that time, Jesus said to His disciples, Amen, amen I say to you, unless the grain of wheat falling into the ground die, Itself remaineth alone. But if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, keepeth it unto life eternal. If any man minister to me, let him follow me; and where I am, there also shall my minister be. If any man minister to me, him will my Father honor.
Offertory • Ps. 95, 6
Praise and beauty are before Him: holiness and majesty are in His sanctuary.
Accept, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gifts offered Thee, and, by the interceding merit of blessed Lawrence, grant that they may be to as a help unto our salvation. Through our Lord.
Communion • John 12, 26
If any man minister to Me, let him follow Me: and where I am, there also shall My minister be.
Filled with Thy sacred gift, we humbly beseech Thee, O Lord, that what we celebrate with our homage duly given by the intercession of Thy blessed martyr Lawrence, we may also know as an increase of Thy saving grace within us. Through our Lord.