the Deacon, continued
After the martyrdoms the church in Rome and elsewhere experienced a flood of new converts, strengthening its position in the empire. The church gained respect, not only for the bravery of its martyrs, but also for its social outreach, inspired by concern for the rights of the poor.
In 330, as a testament to Lawrence's importance in the Roman church, the Emperor Constantine built a splendid basilica over his burial place, in the Christian cemetery of St. Cyriaca, along the ancient Via Tiburtina. (above: drawing from map of Giovanni Maggi, c. 1625) The basilica stands today at the entrance to Rome's Campo Verano cemetery. The cult of the saint spread rapidly throughout the Christian church.