“I’m well done. Turn me over!”

I came across an amusing Christian tradition while researching material for my post on Luther's 95 Theses.

In his 95 Theses, Luther mentions one St. Lawrence, a 3rd century believer who was responsible for using church funds to feed and clothe the poor.Related image

The hostile Roman government under Emperor Valerian heard about these "treasures of the church", and a local Roman Prefect summoned St. Lawrence to demand tribute.

St. Lawrence appears before the Roman Prefect and promises to return tomorrow to lay before him all the treasures of the church. The Prefect gleefully accepts.

The next day, St. Lawrence returned with the all the Church’s wealth and treasure: He brought out the poor!

He tells the Roman Prefect,

"Behold! In these poor persons the treasures which I promised to show you; to which I will add pearls and precious stones, those widows and consecrated virgins, which are the Church's crown."

The Roman Prefect, angered he won't be confiscating any riches, decrees St. Lawrence be put to death.

The Roman Prefect has a gridiron prepared, placed over hot coals, and ties St. Lawrence to it for a slow, torturous death.

According to tradition, this is the gridiron used to roast St. Lawrence, on display at the Church of St. Lorenzo (Lawrence) in Rome.

Now here's where the story gets...strange.

After St. Lawrence had suffered for many hours over the hot coals, he cheerfully declares,

"I'm well done. Turn me over!"

...and because of this, St. Lawrence is known to this day as the patron saint of cooks, chefs…and comedians. ಠ_ಠ


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