Today marks the great saint’s feast, so once again (in what is becoming a Bench tradition) I’m pleased to post this icon of St. Lawrence, created by Deacon Lawrence Klimecki.
Prayer to St. Lawrence, Deacon and Martyr
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.
Deliver the Church from the greed and envy of the powerful and protect her rights and property so that she may serve the needy in freedom, giving them good things for soul and body.
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.
Deacon Keith Fournier at Catholic Online writes:
Deacons have a vital role to serve in the Church as an icon of Christ the Servant. They are called to give holy and heroic witness, in both word and deed. They live their lives in what is sometimes called the real world, but it is to be a life that is not of this world. (See, e.g. Romans 12:2, 1 John 2: 15 – 17)
Deacons go from the altar and the ambo into the world in order to bring the world into the Church.Deacons are to be witnesses of the new world – to use a term loved by the early fathers for the Church. The Church is a seed of the kingdom to come. They are to live as leaven in the loaf of human culture, elevating it from within by lives lived in the heart of the Church for the sake of the world.
As a result of their experiences, they are often good homilists. Church history recounts the great homilies of Deacons, such as St. Ephrem, the “harp of the Holy Spirit” and others. Then there are the deacon martyrs, including Stephen and Lawrence and so many others. Their lives of sacrificial love continue to inspire the whole church as a perpetual homily!
In 1996, on the Feast of the Body and Blood of Jesus Christ (Corpus Christi), I was ordained to the Order of Deacon in the Catholic Church. When I lay prostrate on the floor that day in preparation for the imposition of the hands of my Bishop and the reception of the Book of the Gospels, I knew my life would never be the same. My ordination did indeed create a mark on my soul as our theology teaches.
I love to tell the story of this Deacon/Martyr named Lawrence who helped to bring the entire pagan Roman Empire to Jesus Christ. It is particularly relevant because we are living in a modern Rome in the declining western culture.
Deacon Lawrences’ heroic life and death commend him to all who see the Third Christian Millennium as a new missionary age. We are called to sacrifice all for the love of Jesus Christ and His Church.However, the witness of Lawrence is of particular importance for contemporary deacons.
On this Feast of the Deacon Lawrence, I ask our readers to pray for all Deacons of the Church, that we all may cultivate, by cooperating with grace, the courage, character and holiness of Deacon Lawrence.