St Lawrence was martyred four days after Pope Sixtus II, during the Valerian persecution of the third century. He was arrested and ordered to produce the treasures of the church. Lawrence, however, pointed to the poor, saying, ‘These are the treasures of the Church’. He was martyred by being burned alive on a gridiron.

An ancient antiphon for the liturgy on this day reads, in English: ‘O my servant, be not dismayed, for I am with thee; if thou passest through the fire, the flame shall not injure thee’. May we, in whatever ‘fire’ threatens to overwhelm us, whether physical or spiritual, know the reassurance of the Lord, that His Presence is always with us. May God bless you this day.