The Deacon's Bench

The Deacon's Bench

The Chile miners’ deacon saint

Pictured above is a statue of St. Lawrence, patron of miners (and chefs). The statue — complete with dalmatic, miner’s helmet, and lamp — was carried to the site of the Chile mine accident in August, shortly after the 33 men became trapped. The rescue operation was subsequently dubbed “Operation San Lorenzo.”

Comments read comments(10)
post a comment

posted October 13, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Patron saint of chefs?!
Well this Roman saint was martyred by being grilled alive or “cooked”.
Supposedly when he was tied to a big grill and placed over the fire he said “this side is cooked, turn me over”!
So is he the patron saint of chefs because he himself was cooked?!!
Just wondering!

report abuse

Deacon Tom

posted October 13, 2010 at 12:35 pm

Goodguyex – And who says the Catholic Church doesn’t have a sense of humor?!!!
No doubt that St. Lawrence is also the patron saint of miners because they were the ones who mined the coal that was likely used to heat up the big grill over which he was martyred for the faith.
Along with St. Stephen, he is also the patron saint of Deacons!

report abuse


posted October 13, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Well, perhaps what should really be explained here is why San Lorenzo is the patron saint of miners. Yes he was martyred on a gridiron leading to his being the patron saint of cooks. (He’s also the patron saint of comedians because he was reputed to have said words to the effect of “Turn me over, I’m done on this side”.)
The association for miners is that when the underground church was being persecuted by the Roman emperor Valerian, Lawrence is reputed to have asked for 3 days to gather the wealth of the church to present them to the emperor. He then hid the church vessels made of precious metals and stones. He subsequently gathered up the poor, the old and the desperate and presented them to the emperor as the jewels of the church…
The association for miners is the example of bravery in the underground and that the true jewels are the vessels which are the workers who suffer but persevere…

report abuse


posted October 13, 2010 at 12:56 pm

How could a simple deacon defy the authority of a “Divine Emperor” like Valerian? Courage in the underground in behalf of the people of God… despite the fire which awaits!

report abuse

Judith Tosado

posted October 13, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Listening to the news, this morning, about the rescue in Chile it amazes me how no one in the mainstream news can pinpoint the Truth of how those 33 men survived 69 days at more than 2000 feet below ground. All the analysts and pundants go on and on about their daily routine to stay mentally and physically fit. They focus on details like, “they knew what time it was because they had cell phones” and they ignore the one item they barely mention at all, the time they took to pray. One of the miners, the 9th one rescued, became their spiritual leader. they sent for a crucifix, rosaries and statues Mary and saints. When he came out he kneeled down in prayers to thank God. His wife of more than 20 years is planning a church wedding because their first one was a civil ceremony, to thank God. In a Spanish country where most are catholic, the prayers of the miners, their families, their countrymen and all of us watching 24 hour covereage on cable news, how can anyone ignore the fact that prayer is the answer. Honest to goodness faith, love and prayer saved these people. The “experts” watch the the men smiling and celebrating and still predict an awful outcome in the future where they will “undoubtedly” have nightmares and severe depression or debilitating desease. Some of the men are sick and very weak. Some will suffer, some may never go back to the mines but love and faith will not abandon them, now. Psychologists will study them for the next 10 or 20 years. I hope their is a seminary student out there somewhere that will follow them also and study the amazing grace that is the faith that illuminated 69 days of the darkest hours of those miners lives.
I am not sure how it happens when I think I cannot believe more than I already do… the wonder and awe I find in Jesus, still grows exponentially.

report abuse


posted October 13, 2010 at 3:32 pm

Speaking of deacons… The mining company is named San Esteban (Saint Steven)

report abuse

The Reverend Doctor Victoria A. Howard, Anchoress

posted October 13, 2010 at 5:18 pm

I prayed very hard for the miners, suspending all belief, hoping but not expecting, and now my dream of their rescue are coming true. I can only thank Lord Jesus and all the saints, because among other prayers, I prayed the Litany of the Saints. I won’t be satisfied, though, until all are safe and sound. What suffering they endured! My heart went out to them from the beginning. I am grateful that even one of them has been rescued, not to mention all.
I am hoping to hear that they are all safe soon.

report abuse


posted October 14, 2010 at 12:10 am

Thanks be to God for all the work that people from all over Chile and the world came together to save the 33 miners and bring them all out of the mine safely. Many Blessings upon all 33 miners and their families and on all the rescuers, including the 6 who went down into the mine to evaluate the health of the miners. All are safely out of the mine, all 33 and the 6 who went down into the mine. The prayers of all who prayed were answered. We continue to pray for them as they recover from this entire event. May they be an example of the importance of safety for workers all over the world, and an example of world unity working together to rescue those in need.
Quirkiestroh from Texas, USA

report abuse

Maureen S.

posted October 14, 2010 at 4:39 pm

Absolutely, it was the Lord God at work! Someone just said it was “75% (human inventions) and 25% miracle,” and I laughed because it was 100% miracles, at how much they elevate the “human spirit” as the highest thing in the universe. The news sure neglected to address the issues of faith in the Copiapo mine events, but one of the miners spoke to the news media and said that while they were down there, religion kept them going. I even see a sort of visual analogy to the Gospel, when the 1st rescuer risked his own life and came down into their cave-world in the capsule, how Jesus left heaven and came down into our dark world, and how there was only “one way” out and a sort of “ascension.” I hope each life was deepened in their faith in God and in my beautiful Jesus!

report abuse

fred schwab

posted November 18, 2010 at 5:18 pm

13 Oct is the anniversary of the appeartion and sun miracle of Our Lady at Fatima, Portugal. The rescue was mostly conducted and completed on this date. The rescue capsule was 13 feet long. The Cathedral of San Lorenzo, Perugia, Italy is where the wedding ring of the Blessed Virgin was kept. The mine was named after St. Joseph (patron of families and fathers). Masses were said every Sunday on the site. Some miners wore religious medals and rosaries. Some miners were wearing a tan vest with JESUS inscribed on the left sleeve. And of course 33 miners and 33 days to complete the rescue shaft to JESUS our savior.Ever heard of non-verbal communication?

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

This blog is no longer active
This blog is no longer being actively updated. Please feel free to browse the archives or: Read our most popular inspiration blog See our most popular inspirational video Take our most popular quiz ...

posted 10:42:40pm Dec. 12, 2010 | read full post »

One day more
A reminder: "The Deacon's Bench" is closed! Please enjoy the archives! ...

posted 11:26:20pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Meet Montana's married priest
Earlier this week, I posted an item about Montana getting its first married priest. Now a local TV station has hopped on the bandwagon. Take a look, below. ...

posted 10:29:55pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Big day in the Big Easy: 10 new deacons
Deacon Mike Talbot has the scoop: 10 men today were ordained as Permanent Deacons for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. This group of men was formally selected on the day the evacuation of New Orleans began as Hurricane Katrina approached. The ...

posted 6:55:42pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »

Gaudete! And let's break out a carol or two...
"Gesu Bambino," anyone? This is one of my favorites, and nobody does it better than these gals: Kathleen Battle and Frederica von Staade. Enjoy. ...

posted 1:04:10pm Dec. 11, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.