My fascination with Catholic saints continues to this day. The greatest stories ever reported. Or concocted. In any event, the stories are wonderful.
My favorite was, of course, St. Lawrence.
Grilled, barbecued over a gridiron, Lawrence, the famous cut-up (or was that Tobia? Anyhoo.) was known to have responded, “Turn me over, I’m done on this side.” I swear.
Pope Sixtus II’s martyrdom was followed three days later by that of Lawrence, the last of the deacons of Rome to be executed. He was put to death by being roasted on a gridiron over a fire. The Golden Legend, written in A.D. 1275 by Jacobus de Voragine, Archbishop of Genoa, gives us this account:
And the ministers despoiled him, and laid him stretched out upon a gridiron of iron, and laid burning coals under, and held him with forks of iron. Then said Laurence to Valerianus: Learn, thou cursed wretch, that thy coals give to me refreshing of coldness, and make ready to thee torment perdurable, and our Lord knoweth that I, being accused, have not forsaken him, and when I was demanded I confessed him Christ, and I being roasted give thankings unto God. And after this he said with a glad cheer unto Decius, Thou cursed wretch, thou hast roasted that one side, turn that other, and eat.