Huesca temática

Number 115 - December of 2007Spanish language Principal menu

Saint Lawrence

Martyr and patron
of the city of Huesca

      San Lorenzo, is a son of Orencio and Paciencia, and he's assumeed born in the city of Huesca, although there is who locates his origins in Tiburtina (Rome), or in Tarragona, Cordova and until even in Valencia.
      In the middle of century III, Orencio and Paciencia emphasized in Huesca by their kindness. Orencio would marry with this accumulated lady, but resigning to all luxury and ostentation, occupying like house which is today the Hermitage of Loreto, in the environs of the city of Huesca. Of this marriage, there would be two children -Orencio and Lorenzo- that gained the respect of all by the great virtues of which they made display. When dying Patience, Orencio father is very downcast and one night, while he made oration, appears to him an angel who says him: “Take your son named Orencio and go to the place that I will show to you”. Orencio took his son and marched to Tarbes (France), where he found the place ideal to live dedicating himself to own works on the field.
      It is counted of this stage of the life of San Orencio, that having two rebellious white young bulls, and that already tired of its pranks, signaled on its the Cross and they was transformed into tamed animals. Another day, a wolf killed a young bull, but soon after appeared the wolf being united to yoke with the other young bull. This legend is reflected in the cathedral of Zaragoza and the one of Huesca.
      When San Orencio returned to Huesca, he had a great reception; and when he died, was buried in the chapel of Loreto, where Santa Paciencia was buried also.
      San Lorenzo was one of the seven deacons of Rome, position that arrived to him from the hand of Sixto II, when was named Pope in 257. Lorenzo was the responsible of the administration of the goods of the Church and the care of the poor men. By this work, he is considered one of the first treasurers of the Church, and is the Saint of the librarians.
     During the persecution of the Christians under the administration of Valeriano I Emperor in 258, many priests and bishops were condemned until death, whereas the Christians who belonged to the nobility or the Senate. their goods were confiscated to the time that sent to exile. Pope Sixto II was one of the first victims of this persecution, and was crucified the day 6 of August.
     A legend mentioned by San Ambrosio of Milan says that Lorenzo was with Sixto in his way to the crucifixion, and that asked to him “Where do you go, dear father, without your son? where do you hurry, saint father, without your deacon? Never before you mounted the altar of sacrifices without your crew member, and now you wish to do it without me? ”, to which the Pope responded: “In three days you will follow to me”.
      When was indicated to Lorenzo who would give to Valeriano emperor those goods that he had in safekeeping, another thing was not thought for him that to present to the emperor all orphans, widows and indigents that were to his care, because those other goods, had distributed them between the poor men. The legend says that when Valeriano I Emperor, demanded that Lorenzo would give the wealth of the Church, Lorenzo reunited to the blind, the cripples, the widowers, the orphans and the lepers and presented him, saying: “This is the treasure of the Church.”. For that reason, he was martyred, between the 253-258, undergoing terrible punishments of jail, hurt with iron and at the end being burned alive in a bonfire -concretely in a grill- near the field of Verano in Rome. His festivity is celebrated at 10 of August, day in which -according to the tradition- he received martyrdom.
     The legend counts that when he was already suffering the martyrdom, showed value and was able to joke: “Listen, please, by this part I am already cooked. You can already turn me”.

      Lorenzo was buried in the Via Tiburtina, in the catacombs of Ciriaca, by Hipólito and Justino, a priest. It's said that Constantino I el Grande commanded to construct a small oratoriy in honor of the martyr, that became a stop point in the itineraries of peregrination to the tombs of the Roman martyrs in century VII. Pope Dámaso I reconstructed the church, nowadays well-known as “Basilica di San Lorenzo fuori le Mura”, whereas the “Basílica di San Lorenzo in Panisperna” is raised on the place of his martyrdom. The grill used in this martyrdom was kept by Paschal II Pope in the church of San Lorenzo of Lucina.
     In the Passio Polychronü (the Facts of the martyrdom of San Lorenzo) it's read that the martyr, before being placed in the grill to be burned, wanted to pray by Rome. The city, in gratefulness signal, has dedicated 34 churches to him, first of which was erected, according to the custom, in the place of the martyrdom, “in agro Verano”, the present Roman cemetery. So much honor has even had not the main patrons of Rome, San Pedro and San Pablo.
      Lorenzo is one of the saints more widely venerated by the Roman Catholic Church. His martyrdom happened very early in the history of the Church, thus many other Christian traditions honor him also. He is the patron of the City of Huesca. also, specially is venerated in Rome, and he is one of the patrons of the city. It is also the patron of the librarians, cooks, tanners and miners. The 10 of August the reliquary that contains his burned head is exposed in the Vatican to be venerated. The typical symbology shows to San Lorenzo taking a grill and dressing a dalmática (robe, chasuble); sometimes is showed with the palm of the martyrdom and the book of Gospels also.
      In the Community of Madrid is the Monastery of San Lorenzo del Escorial, constructed by Felipe II to commemorate the victory of San Quintín the 10 of August of 1557, thanking the protection of the martyr San Lorenzo. For it, he made construct the monastery with grill form, for being the instrument of that martyrdom.

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      In Huesca, the Celebrations in honor of San Lorenzo, are from the 9 to the 15 of August (day 10, is San Lorenzo). In afternoon of the 9, are celebrated the named "Las Completas", that were sung formerly by the Orfeón and at this moment by the Great Choir of San Lorenzo and also the round to Santo, sounding the "jota". The morning of day 10 in the square of San Lorenzo, the Dancers execute the dances of Swords, Old and Modern Woods, Vals of Ribbons and the "Degollau" (beheaded), while between basil aromas the traditional special Altoaragón Newspaper is stared at. Soon the procession will leave, in which the Real Brotherhood of Horsemen of San Lorenzo accompanies the image of the San Lorenzo and the dancers interpreting the Dance of Swords, to the sound of the music of Valentin Gardeta. At the return, the dancers enter in the Basilica until presbytery, before being celebrated the Mass of Pontifical.


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