When told by Roman officials to surrender the church’s valuables, St. Lawrence brought the city’s poor and sick. “Here is the church’s treasure,” he said. Rome didn’t find this amusing, and legend says he was put to death in A.D. 258 by being roasted on a grate, although some scholars say he was more likely beheaded. In either case, folks in southern Europe still mark this day.
- It is customary there to eat only cold meat in recognition of the reputed manner of his death.
- Fair weather on St. Lawrence’s Day presages a fair autumn.
In the book 365 Goddess, she has some different ideas about how to celebrate St Lawrence day. They are as follows:
May 30 is celebrated as the Feast of the Queen of Heaven. Queen of Heaven, lovely goddess of May, fully grown and gloriously enthroned in pagan and Christian times. May honors the Blessed Virgin Mary, who is the modern-day Queen of Heaven, though somewhat demoted in status from her original divinity.
Have you noticed that it was always Mary who caused the miracles, who appeared to children – as at Lourdes and Fatima? the Queen of Heaven is a hard-working woman, and we light white candles to her. Praise active womanhood wherever you are and all will be well.
Calling upon the Queen of Heaven for aid in times of need is such a universal practice, that I can’t help but think it must be powerful and effective. If you’d like to try it for yourself, here is a prayer to Our Mother of Perpetual Help:
O Mother of Perpetual Help, grant that I may ever invoke Thy most powerful name, which is the safeguard of the living and the salvation of the dying.
O Purest Mary, O Sweetest Mary, let Thy name henceforth be ever on my lips. Delay not, O Blessed Lady, to help me whenever I call on Thee, for, in all my needs:
(name your request for help)
In all my temptations I shall never cease to call on Thee, ever repeating Thy sacred name, Mary, Mary
(again make your request for help).
O what consolation, what sweetness, what confidence, what emotion fills my soul when I pronounce Thy sacred name, or even only think of Thee. I thank God for having given Thee, for my good, so sweet, so powerful, so lovely a name. But I will not be content with merely pronouncing Thy name: let my love for Thee prompt me ever to hail Thee, Mother of Perpetual Help. Amen.
(Now recite nine Hail Marys)
From: The Grandmother of Time and other sources.
December 12th is the feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, patroness of the Americas, unborn children, and the New Evangelization. The day is particularly special for Americans of Mexican heritage, as it honors the belief that Jesus’ mother Mary, who is Mexico’s patron saint, appeared to a man in Mexico City twice in 1531.
Our Lady of Guadalupe is unlike any other apparition of the Virgin Mary. First, it is the only apparition where Our Lady left a miraculous image of herself unmade by human hands. Second, it is the only universally venerated Madonna and Child image where Our Lady appears pregnant instead of holding the Infant Jesus.
Feast Day Celebration Ideas:
Many parishes with large Hispanic populations have a special celebration leading up to the December 12th feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe. Find one of these celebrations happening in your local community and join in the celebration. Some parishes will also host a reception or party in honor of the feast day.
If not, hold your own celebration of Our Lady by inviting friends and family to your home for a traditional Mexican meal. Decorate your table with colorful flowers in bright reds and pinks, blues and greens, and together recite the prayer (below) to Our Lady written by Pope St. John Paul II.
Prayer To Our Lady of Guadalupe:
“O Immaculate Virgin, Mother of the true God and Mother of the Church!, who from this place reveal your clemency and your pity to all those who ask for your protection, hear the prayer that we address to you with filial trust, and present it to your Son Jesus, our sole Redeemer.
Mother of Mercy, Teacher of hidden and silent sacrifice, to you, who come to meet us sinners, we dedicate on this day all our being and all our love. We also dedicate to you our life, our work, our joys, our infirmities and our sorrows. Grant peace, justice and prosperity to our peoples; for we entrust to your care all that we have and all that we are, our Lady and Mother. We wish to be entirely yours and to walk with you along the way of complete faithfulness to Jesus Christ in His Church; hold us always with your loving hand.
Virgin of Guadalupe, Mother of the Americas, we pray to you for all the Bishops, that they may lead the faithful along paths of intense Christian life, of love and humble service of God and souls. Contemplate this immense harvest, and intercede with the Lord that He may instill a hunger for holiness in the whole people of God, and grant abundant vocations of priests and religious, strong in the faith and zealous dispensers of God’s mysteries.
Grant to our homes the grace of loving and respecting life in its beginnings, with the same love with which you conceived in your womb the life of the Son of God. Blessed Virgin Mary, protect our families, so that they may always be united, and bless the upbringing of our children.
Our hope, look upon us with compassion, teach us to go continually to Jesus and, if we fall, help us to rise again, to return to Him, by means of the confession of our faults and sins in the Sacrament of Penance, which gives peace to the soul.
We beg you to grant us a great love for all the holy Sacraments, which are, as it were, the signs that your Son left us on earth.
Thus, Most Holy Mother, with the peace of God in our conscience, with our hearts free from evil and hatred, we will be able to bring to all true joy and true peace, which come to us from your son, our Lord Jesus Christ, who with God the Father and the Holy Spirit, lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.”
~Pope John Paul II’s Prayer to Our Lady of Guadalupe
~Mexico, January 1979