St. Lawrence was born in Spain sometime in the late second or early third century. Christianity was outlawed at the time, but St. Lawrence persevered in the faith. He served as an archdeacon of Rome. After St. Sixtus II (the pope) and deacons were captured and later martyred, St. Lawrence was the ranking church official of Rome. When St. Lawrence was told to appear for his execution with the church treasure the pope had entrusted to him, he appeared before the court with the crippled, blind and sick of Rome. He said they were the real treasures of the church. He died for his faith in August 258. St. Lawrence is patron saint of the poor because he went to great lengths to care for the poor during his life.