Tuesday, March 11, 2014


In the same way that sites of martyrdoms are not the same as places of burial (I think immediately of St Agnes, martyred in what is now Piazza Navona, but buried much farther out along the Via Nomentana, outside the old city walls), so this church commemorates the site of St Lawrence's martyrdom, though he is buried on the far side of Stazione Termini, on the edge of the modern-day cemetery of Campo Verano.  The latter I have been to; the former, sadly to say, I have not.  Nevertheless...

The narrative of St Lawrence (one of the most important and popular of all Roman martyrs--right up there with Peter, Paul & Agnes) is well-known, but in these days of Pope Francis it seems worthwhile to emphasize one of the details of his legenda:  when asked to surrender the treasure of the Roman church (of which he, as deacon, was the custodian), he brought poor beggars to the tribunal, insisting that these people were the true treasures of the Church. 

Our present Holy Father would surely agree, and he would surely resonate with this story!

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