On August 23rd (the 10th by the old calendar) the Church commemorates the holy martyr archdeacon Lawrence.
The holy martyr Lawrence came from Spain and was brought up in the Christian faith from childhood. He grew up in Rome, where he entered into God’s service, becoming an arch-deacon under Pope Sextus. When Emperor Decius (reigned in A.D. 249-251) triumphantly returned to Rome after a victory over the Persians, the Roman ruler Valerian imprisoned Pope Sextus and a group of clergymen and lay Christians. St. Lawrence also wished to join his hierarch and embrace martyrdom for Christ, but St. Sextus ordered him to first distribute the church property among the poor and the needy, and then forecast an even more glorious martyrdom for him. St. Lawrence took all the church treasures and gave them to needy Christians. At the same time he healed many of them of various illnesses, especially blindness. He was then seized and thrown into prison, where he likewise healed a number of blind prisoners and converted the prison warden Hippolyte and his family to Christ. Soon the saint was brought before the persecutors Decius and Valerian, who gave him over to many harsh tortures. St. Lawrence fearlessly confessed Christ, and by his courage he put the tormentors to shame, receiving a crown of glory from the Lord for his martyric feat.