PRAYER TO ST. LAURENCE, MARTYR


Thrice blessed are the Roman people, for they honour thee on the very spot where thy sacred bones repose! They prostrate in thy sanctuary, and watering the ground with their tears they pour out their vows. We who are distant from Rome, separated by Alps and Pyrenees, how can we even imagine what treasures she possesses, or how rich is her earth in sacred tombs? We have not her privileges, we cannot trace the martyrs' bloody footsteps; but from afar we gaze on the heavens. O holy Laurence! it is there we seek the memorial of thy passion; for thou hast two dwelling-places, that of thy body on earth and that of thy soul in heaven. In the ineffable heavenly city thou hast been received to citizenship, and the civic crown adorns thy brow in its eternal Senate. So brightly shine thy jewels that it seemeth the heavenly Rome hath chosen thee perpetual Consul. The joy of the Quirites proves how great is thine office, thine influence, and thy power, for thou grantest their requests. Thou hearest all who pray to thee, they ask what they will and none ever goes away sad. 

Ever assist thy children of the queen city; give them the strong support of thy fatherly love, and a mother's tender, fostering care. Together with them, O thou honour of Christ, listen to thy humble client confessing his misery and sins. I acknowledge that I am not worthy that Christ should hear me; but through the patronage of the holy Martyrs, my evils can be remedied. Hearken to thy suppliant; in thy goodness free me from the fetters of the flesh and of the world. Amen.

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