Wednesday, April 12, 2023

Was Saint Lawrence a Librarian?


There is a legend that Saint Lawrence was a librarian, but no historical evidence supports this claim. Saint Lawrence, also known as Laurence of Rome, was a Christian martyr who lived in the 3rd century AD. He was one of the seven deacons of the Church of Rome, known for his charity and compassion toward the poor.

The legend that Saint Lawrence was a librarian is based on a story that he was responsible for preserving the manuscripts and books of the Church during a period of persecution. According to the legend, when the Roman Emperor Valerian ordered that all Christian clergy be put to death, Saint Lawrence hid the Church's treasures securely to protect them from destruction. However, when he was captured and tortured by the Roman authorities, he refused to reveal the location of the prizes, and he was ultimately martyred for his faith.

While the story of Saint Lawrence's role as a librarian is famous, it needs to be supported by historical evidence. However, Saint Lawrence is still celebrated by many librarians and archivists today as the patron saint of libraries, archivists, and librarians.

The Catholic Encyclopedia has an entry on Saint Lawrence that includes information about his life and legend:

The Atlas Obscura website has an article about the legend of Saint Lawrence as a librarian:

The American Library Association (ALA) website has a page about Saint Lawrence as the patron saint of libraries:

The National Library of Spain has a page about Saint Lawrence and his connection to libraries:

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