The statue, skillfully carved and painted from Demi Art artists, represents Saint Lawrence of Rome (c. 225 - 258). He was one of the seven deacons of ancient Rome who were martyred during the persecution of Valerian in 258.
The information about the life of Lawrence are few and mysterious.
It is believed that Lawrence was born in Spain, in a town in Aragon: Osca, near the Pyrenees. He was sent to Saragoza when he was a young boy in order to complete his humanistic and theological studies.
At Saragoza, he met the future pope Sixtus II. He was his most famous and important teacher and they became friends.
A few years later, they both left Spain to move to Rome. In 257 Sixtus was elevated to patriarch and he ordained Lawrence archdeacon of Rome. The tasks of Lawrens included the administration of the treasury and riches of the church, and the distribution of alms among the poor. In August 258 the emperor Valerian issued an edict, commanding that all bishops, priests and deacons should immediately be put to death.
The edict was executed immediately in Rome. Pope Sixtus II was captured at the cemetery of St. Callixtus while celebrating the liturgy and instantly executed.
After the death of Sixtus, Lawrence distributed the Church property to the poor. A few days later, he decided to present himself and a small delegation of poor, crippled, blind and suffering to the prefect and said: "the Church is truly rich, far richer than your empire". This act of defiance led directly to his martyrdom.
On the 10th of August Lawrence was captured and also suffered a martyr's death. The prefect was so angry that he ordered to prepare a burning gridiron where Lawrence's body was placed on. He suffered from horrible pain for a long time, and according to the legend Lawrence made a humorous remark: "It is well done. Turn me over!".
For this reason, St. Lawrence is the patron of cooks and chefs. The gridiron of the martyrdom was placed in the church of San Lorenzo in Lucina by Pope Paschal II.
Since the 4th century, Lawrence was one of the most venerated martyrs in the Church of Rome. The church which was built over his tomb became one of the seven principal churches in Rome and a favorite place for Roman pilgrimages.
Since the Perseid Meteor Shower typically occurs every year in mid-August, on or near Saint Lawrence's feast day on the 10th of August, some refer to the shower as the "Tears of Saint Lawrence".
Saint Lawrence is one of the city's patrons of Rome and there are many churches dedicated to him, like San Lorenzo in Panisperna, the place of his execution. On his feast-day, the relics (the burnt head) are shown in the Vatican for veneration. To honor St. Lawrence, Philip II of Spain built an entire floor of his Escorial Palce in the form of a gridiron. Jacques Cartier, a French explorer, named the widest river estuary in the world (near Montreal, Canada) after St. Lawrence.
According to the legend, Lawrence was sentenced at San Lorenzo in Miranda, imprisoned in San Lorenzo in Fonte, and martyred at San Lorenzo in Panisperna. The Holy Grail is tied to the story of Lawrence. The Holy Grail, according to Catholic tradition, is a relict that was sent by St. Lawrence to his parents in Aragon. It is generally believed by Catholics that the Holy Chalice was sent by his family to the monastery of San Juan de la Peña. Today the Holy Grail is venerated in the Catholic Cathedral of Valencia in Spain.
The woodcarving of San Lorenzo of Rome is available in the following finishings: natural, stained, 3 color stained and coloured wood. In the bigger sizes Saint Lawrence is available even in rough (for painting) or in real gold leaf.
Saint Lawrence is also famous because is quoted in a nice movie: Under the Tuscan Sun, directed by Audrey Wells. This film is a romantic comedy based on Frances Mayes' memoir.
The protagonist is a writer who divorced from her husband and to change her life she decides to move to Tuscany, in a small town: Cortona.
After a series of events, the protagonist becomes the owner of a beautiful villa to be renovated: Villa Bramasole.
In the movie there's a cameo of Italian director Mario Monicelli, who plays the old man that every morning brings flowers to the Virgin Mary on the wall of Bramasole.
In this film we find beautiful images of the Tuscan countryside and even the churches, in particular the beautiful Medici chapel, that is located on the backside of the San Lorenzo church with Michelangelo's famous statues Dawn and Dusk/ Night and Day.