St. Lawrence was one of the seven deacons of Rome. According to tradition, he was born at Huesca, Spain, and suffered martyrdom in Rome during Emperor Valerian's persecution of the Christians.
According to several early Christian writers, he was a deacon of Pope Sixtus ll, and was overwhelmed with grief when Sixtus was condemned to death in 258. However, when Sixtus predicted he would he would follow him in three days, he was overjoyed and sold many of the Church's possessions and donated the money to the poor.
When the Prefect of Rome heard of his action, he had Lawrence brought before him and demanded all the Church's treasures for the Emperor. Lawrence said he would need three days to collect them and then presented the blind, the crippled, the poor, the orphans and other unfortunates to the Prefect and told him they were the Church's treasures.
Furious, the Prefect prepared a red hot griddle and bound Lawrence to it. Lawrence bore the agony with unbelievable equanimity, and in the midst of his torment he made his famous cheerful remark, “It is well done. Turn me over!”
According to Prudential, his death and example led to the conversion of Rome and singled the end of paganism in the city. There is no doubt that his death inspired a great devotion in Rome, which quickly spread throughout the Church.