St.Laurence, the patron saint of this chaplaincy, was one of the first Christian martyrs.
He was born in Spain in 225 and spent his early life in Valencia. He was one of seven deacons of ancient Rome and was one of the first archivists and treasurers of the Church and is the patron of many causes and activities most famously, probably, librarians the world over.
When Pope Sixtus II was martyred during the persecution of the Roman Emperor Valerian on August 6th 258 Laurence was given three days by the prefect of Rome to gather up the riches of the church.
During this time he gave away as much as he could to the poor and when he returned to the prefect and was asked to turn over the riches he presented the poor, crippled, blind and other sufferers stating they were the true treasures of the church.
He declared that the church is truly rich, far richer than your emperor. This act of defiance led to his martyrdom the next day August 10th on a gridiron.
Laurence is worshipped in many places but none more so than in the Catholic Cathedral of Valencia in Spain where in a special chapel the Holy Chalice believed to have been used at the Last Supper is venerated. It is believed that Laurence sent this Holy Grail back with a friend to his family before his martyrdom.
He is honoured in Rome and is one of the city’s patrons and is also patron saint of the monks at Ampleforth College in Yorkshire – one of the best known of Britain’s catholic public schools.
Father, you called Saint Laurence
to serve you by love and crowned
his life with glorious martyrdom.
Help us to be like him in loving
you and doing your work.
Grant this through our Lord
Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives
and reigns with you and the
Holy Spirit, one God,
for ever and ever. Amen.