Jubilee Marks St. Lawrence’s Martyrdom

1,750th Anniversary Celebrated in Saint’s Birthplace

HUESCA, Spain, AUG. 25, 2008 (Zenit.org).- A jubilee year marking the 1,750th anniversary of the martyrdom of St. Lawrence was opened in the Spanish city where the martyr was born.

Benedict XVI granted the jubilee in an Aug. 2 decree. It opened in Huesca, Spain, on Aug. 10.

A procession led by Bishop Jesús Sanz Montes of Huesca arrived to St. Lawrence’s Basilica, where a ceremonial opening of the doors marked the beginning of the jubilee.

During the homily, Bishop Sanz Montes greeted retired Bishop Damián Iguacén Borau of Tenerife, other concelebrants and religious, and local authorities and visitors from Tarbes, the French town twinned with Huesca, which shares St. Lawrence as its patron.

The bishop noted that “St. Lawrence was that grain of wheat buried in the earth that in due course” bore “the fruit that God’s blessing gives to the poor of all sorts of poverties. We celebrate St. Lawrence this year, who died a martyr in the third century, on the 1750th anniversary of his martyrdom out of love.”

The prelate pointed out that this jubilee “will be a special year, during which, by coming to this basilica we will be able to benefit from the indulgent grace of the good God who will embrace us, duly prepared, to convert us ever more to himself, as is written in his heart. This will be a propitious year to go on pilgrimage as a diocese to Rome, to greet the Holy Father, and to visit the basilica where the remains of our martyred patron rest.”

“Huesca is adorned in its best regalia during these celebrations of Lawrence, fruit of the ingenuity and dedication of institutions that fill the city with magic,” he added. “Huesca, whose magic makes it wonderful to live here[ …] my gratitude to all those who from their political, economic and cultural responsibilities and good decisions have transformed St. Lawrence’s city into a place full of life and beauty.”