Lawrence was an archdeacon of the pope Sixtus II. According to tradition, he died with four companions on August 10, 258, just four days after the pope during the persecution of the emperor Valerian. Arrested by the prefect, he was commanded to deliver up the valuable property of the Church. He pointed out to a crowd of poor people, saying: Here are the true treasures of the Church.
A legend attested as early as in the 4th century mentions that he was burned to death on a gridiron.
He had been invoked as a protector before the battle of Lechfeld (August 10, 955), where the German forces of King Otto I the Great annihilated a Hungarian army, stopping thus the advance of the Hungarians farther into the Western Europe. This event made Saint Lawrence into a favorite saint in Germany.