Laurence was in charge of the finances of the church. He was also a deacon. There was a great revival taking place all around him. It was said that ‘All of Rome were becoming Christians.’
As a result, persecution broke out under Emperor Valerian in around the year AD 250. Christians who owned property distributed all the church’s money and treasures to the city’s poor.
Valerian ordered all bishops, priests, and deacons to be arrested and executed. He offered Laurence a way out if he would show where all the church’s treasures were located.
Laurence asked for three days to gather it into one central place. He brought together the blind, poor, disabled, sick, elderly, widows, and orphans. When Valerian arrived, Laurence flung open the doors and said, ‘These are the treasures of the church!’
Valerian was so angry that he decided beheading was not terrifying enough for Laurence. He ordered that this courageous man be roasted on a gridiron. That is how Laurence died on 10 August AD 258. Apparently, he even joked with his executioners, ‘You may turn me over. I’m done on this side.’ His courage made such an impression that the revival in Rome only increased, with many people becoming Christians including several senators who witnessed his execution.
St Laurence had a profound understanding of the message of Jesus. He understood that the poor are the true treasures of the church.
And that’s the memo.
*quoted from The Bible In One Year – YouVersion*