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St. Laurentius in Obermettingen

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St. Laurentius is the parish church of Obermettingen and belongs to the pastoral care unit of Upper Schlücht Valley.

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Laurentius was one of the seven deacons of Rome, responsible for the finances and the social work of the church in Rome.

When the Roman Bishop Sixtus II was arrested and decapitated under Valerian, a persecutor of Christians, tradition claims that his deacon, Laurentius, was distraught that he had not been deemed worthy to share his fate. Sixtus comforted him by promising he would follow him in three days’ time and then told him to distribute the treasures of the church amongst the sufferers and the poor. Emperor Valerian demanded the treasures and had Laurentius flogged multiple times in an attempt to obtain them from him. Laurentius asked for a three-day reflection period, during which he distributed all the goods and then presented the enriched, converted Christians to the emperor, calling them the “true treasures of the church”. The furious Valerian had Laurentius beaten with lead, had him placed between burning sheets of metal, and tried in vain to force him to make a heathen sacrifice. He then had the courageous martyr slowly burned to death on a spit over a continuously burning fire. Even in those moments of agony, he maintained his sense of humour, taunting his executioner, telling him to turn him over the fire to ensure the roast was cooked on both sides. He was buried by his gaoler, Hippolytus, who had himself converted in the face of Laurentius’ steadfastness.

St. Laurentius is often depicted on the grate, or with money / bread.

He is considered the patron saint of Spain, Rome, Nuermberg, Duderstadt, Merseburg, Havelberg, Wuppertal, and Kulm; of the poor, the librarians, archivists, students, cooks, confectioners, brewers, innkeepers, washerwomen, pressers, glass blowers, and glass makers; of the fire fighters and the vineyards; for the flourishing of grapes; for the poor souls; against conflagration, burns, eye complaints, lumbago, sciatica, skin disease, plague, fever, and the torment of the purgatory.

The feast day of St. Laurentius is on 10 August.

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