Last words of real people

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Saint Lawrence is one of the most celebrated Roman martyrs. A church deacon during the time Emperor Valerian was vigorously persecuting Christians, Lawrence also served as the keeper of the church's treasures.

He was arrested and told that to save himself he must give the church treasures to the government. Lawrence readily agreed and told the official that it would take at least eight days to assemble them. On the eighth day, Lawrence returned to the prefect and presented him with hundreds of poor and disabled men, women and children.

"These," he said, "are the riches of the church." The enraged official then ordered Lawrence to be stripped, tied face down on a gridiron suspended over a bed of coals, and slowly burned to death. Lawrence maintained a cheerful appearance throughout the ordeal and when asked if he had any last request responded with his last words, "Turn me. I am roasted on one side".

His behavior was said to have been so impressive that several Roman senators converted to Christianity on the spot and hundreds of citizens did the same the following day.