Holy Martyr Deacon Lawrence of Rome: 225-258 A.D.
St. Lawrence Orthodox Church is named for Archdeacon Lawrence of Rome, a third-century martyr. We chose him for our patron because he is the patron of the San Lorenzo Valley, where our church is located, and also because he embodies the ideals of care for the poor and of cheerful faith in the face of suffering.
Archdeacon Lawrence had the duty of using church funds to care for the poor and needy. He was commanded by the Roman Emperor Valerian to turn over the treasures of the church in which he served. At the appointed time, Lawrence appeared in court along with a crowd of the poor, diseased, and unwanted of Rome. The furious emperor demanded, "I told you to bring me your treasures! What is this rabble doing here?"
Lawrence coolly replied, "Your honor, these are the treasures of the Christian Church."
For his audacity, Archdeacon Lawrence was sentenced to a particularly cruel death. He was trussed up like a chicken and roasted on a gridiron over a slow fire. But even in his torment he gave thanks to God, and mocked the emperor for his paganism and unbelief. After he had roasted for some time he remarked to his torturers, "Better turn him over now; he's done on this side."
St. Lawrence is commemorated in the Orthodox Church on August 10 (August 23 according to the Old Calendar).