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St. Lawrence of Rome is the most famous bearer of the name Laurentius. He was born in Spain and died a martyr's death in 258. He was one of the seven deacons in the city of Rome, responsible for the finances and social work of the Church of Rome. When the Roman bishop Sixtus II was arrested and beheaded under the persecutor of Christians Emperor Valerian (200-260), his deacon Laurentius was, according to tradition, desperate that he was not considered worthy to share this death. Sixtus comforted him with the promise that he would follow him in three days and gave him the order to distribute the church treasure to the suffering and poor. Emperor Valerian laid claim to these treasures. He asked for three days to think it over and distributed the goods during this period. The enraged Valerian had Laurentius tortured and finally ordered him to be slowly tortured to death over fire on a grate. Even in this terrible torment he kept his sense of humour and teased the executioner to turn him on the fire, for the roast was already cooked on one side.

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