Each August, the night sky is illuminated with a magnificent meteor shower. The fiery bits of debris create a striking image in the darkness of the night, yet despite their beauty, legend has long associated the meteors with the fiery coal used to martyr St. Lawrence.
St. Lawrence, a 3rd-century martyr, was persecuted under the Roman Emperor Valerian and suffered martyrdom in the most gruesome way. A great gridiron was prepared with fiery coals beneath it and St. Lawrence was made to lay upon the blaze. Catholic tradition has long held that St. Lawrence suffered this unimaginable pain joyfully, even comically crying out, “Turn me over, I am done on this side!” In a similar humorous manner, this tradition has led to St. Lawrence’s patronage over both cooks and comedians.
St. Lawrence’s feast day is celebrated on August 10th. Every year, this date closely coincides with the great meteor shower named the Perseids. Yet this meteor shower is often known by another name, the Tears of St. Lawrence, because the meteor shower often falls on or around the feast of St. Lawrence and Christians have long drawn a connection between the fiery meteor debris and the blazing coals used to martyr St. Lawrence.
This year, the Tears of St. Lawrence will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere on August 12th and 13th. If you are able to witness this amazing sight, remember to seek the intercession of its powerful namesake!
Like St. Lawrence, who was cheerful even unto death, we are all called to great joy! This beautiful tumbled stone featuring a fitting urge from St. Padre Pio to “serve the Lord with Laughter” is the perfect reminder to live joyfully! Get yours today at the Catholic Company!