Thursday of Week I of Lent
The Church of St. Lawrence in Panisperna was built over the site of the martyrdom of St. Lawrence. During the reign of the Roman Emperor Valerius (253-260), many Christians perished because of their faith. Knowing that the Church would be persecuted, Pope Sixtus II ordered St. Lawrence to distribute all the gifts to the poor. This angered the Roman prefect, who ordered to have them killed.
When asked where the treasures were, St. Lawrence answered that the poor were the treasures of the Church. He was sent to die by being burned alive on an iron grill. (Next time you see a statue of a saint holding an iron grill, you should know who that is.) St. Lawrence, the most famous deacon after St. Stephen, died 3 days after the death of the pope.
Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu, Archbishop emeritus of Bangkok, the first and only Thai cardinal, is the 37th Cardinal-Priest of the Titular Church.