As a lesson from St. Lawrence, food needs to be embraced and shared with your neighborhood, even with people you may not know. Eating together and sharing meals shows hospitality and strengthens bonds among Filipinos.
As one of the seven deacons in Rome and patron saint of the poor and cooks, St. Lawrence was responsible for managing material goods of the Church and distributing alms to the poor. He brought forward the poor, called for universal holiness, and spread the Gospel message of Jesus Christ that left an important lesson to people. (Read: Why Do We Offer Bread to St. Anthony of Padua?)
Patron saint of the poor and cooks
The martyrdom and teachings of St. Lawrence inspired many churches, schools, parishes, towns, and geographic features throughout the world. According to Francesco Moraglia, an Italian prelate of the Catholic Church, he is destined both to the service of the poor, table (corporal works of mercy), and word (spiritual works of mercy).
Roman Emperor Valerian demanded St. Lawrence to bring the treasures of the Church to him immediately. With his great devotion to the Church, he refused, which displeased the prefect. Before his arrest, he gave the treasures of the Church to the poor, widows, orphans, and sick.
The prefect prepared a large gridiron with hot coals beneath it, where St. Lawrence was placed to be slowly cooked to death. After he suffered in pain, the legend concludes that he declared, “I’m well done on this side. Turn me over!” Aside from the poor and cooks, his martyrdom derived from his patronage of chefs and comedians.
Since the fourth century, St. Lawrence has been celebrated as one of the most venerated martyrs of the Church. His feast day is celebrated every 10th of August. (Read: Here’s How To Honor Saints And Devotions This August)
Commemorating his martyrdom
On St. Lawrence’s feast day, uphold his teachings and be reminded of his holiness. Remember the saint whom almost nothing is known, yet who has received an honor in the Church. Remember how he managed to distribute alms and food to the poor and everyone who is suffering.
To celebrate, you may prepare any dish at home and share it with your neighbors! It doesn’t matter what kind or how many you cook as long as you wholeheartedly share it with others, including those in need. (Read: The Favorite Dishes of Three Filipino Heroes)
Propagate and show the importance of sharing food or blessings with your fellow Filipinos the way St. Lawrence helped the people and Church. On this day, learn and emphasize the value of giving and receiving.
It may not be that easy in tough times like this, but if you have the privilege or chance to do so, share your blessings in any way you can or encourage others to share them!