Saturday, August 10, 2013

Mosaic of St Lawrence from Ravenna

This Day, the Tenth Day of August: At Rome, on the Tiburtine road, the birthday of the blessed archdeacon Lawrence, a martyr during the persecution of Valerian. After much suffering from imprisonment, from scourging with whips set with iron or lead, from hot metal plates, he at last completed his martyrdom by being slowly consumed on an iron instrument made in the form of a gridiron. His body was buried by blessed Hippolytus and the priest Justin in the cemetery of Cyriaca, in the Veran field (from the Roman Martyrology).

St Lawrence in Ravenna

This mosaic depiction of a toga-clad St Lawrence standing next to the gridiron, holding the Gospel in one hand and the victorious Cross of Christ, king of martyrs, in the other dates to c.424. It is in the mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, Italy. Recent scholarship suggests this may in fact be a depiction of St Vincent of Saragossa but the attribution to St Lawrence is traditional.

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