Skip to content

How to see a Catholic meteor shower this week

Free World Class Education
FREE Catholic Classes

By Marshall Connolly (CALIFORNIA NETWORK)
8/9/2016 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (

The Tears of St. Lawrence will be visible this week.

Later this week, you will have the chance to view a Catholic meteor shower. The Perseids, also known as "the tears of St. Lawrence," peak this week.

The Perseids peak on Aug 11-12. Up to 200 per hour may be visible.

The Perseids peak on Aug 11-12. Up to 200 per hour may be visible.


LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) - The Perseids are a Catholic meteor shower. This means they are closely associated with the legend of a saint.

Saint Lawrence was a deacon of Rome under Pope Sixtus II. In 258 AD, Emperor Valerian ordered that all the clergy of the Church were to be put to death upon discovery. Their valuables were also to be confiscated and put into the Imperial treasury.

Pope Sixtus II was captured in Rome on August 6, 258, while celebrating Mass. Lawrence was captured with him. Pope Sixtus II was immediately executed. As a deacon, and the keeper of the Church's valuables, Lawrence was subject to Valerian's order. When he was asked to gather and deliver the valuables of the Church, Lawrence asked for three days. This was granted.

In the next three days, Lawrence managed to distribute all the valuables of the Church to the poor of Rome as alms. On the third day when the time came for him to present those riches to the Prefect of Rome, he offered the multitude of poor. This defiance resulted in his immediate execution, except by gruesome means.

St. Lawrence was grilled to death over a fire. The peak of the shower coincides with his feast day.

St. Lawrence was grilled to death over a fire. The peak of the shower coincides with his feast day.

Lawrence was tied to a grill and barbecued alive. However, the saint faced his martyrdom with courage. After a long period on one side, he calmly said to his executioners, "Turn me over, I am done on this side."

He died on August 10, which corresponds to the peak of the Perseids meteor shower. In the centuries that followed, Catholic observers referred to them as the "tears of St. Lawrence."

The tears are actually shooting stars, which come from the comet Swift-Tuttle. As the comet orbits the Sun, it spews a stream of dust behind it. This dust also orbits the Sun, following its parent comet. Every year, around August 10, the Earth passes through this stream of dust and the falling particles burn up in the atmosphere, creating shooting stars.

On any given night, a few shooting stars can be seen, but during meteor showers several per hour can be seen. This year, the Perseids are expected to put on a great show, with a maximum of 200 meteors potentially visible from any dark sky location.

Normally about 80 are visible per hour in an ordinary year.

In order to see the tears of St. Lawrence, you will need to go someplace dark, away from city lights. If you can see the Milky Way in the sky, you are probably in dark enough sky.

Meteor showers are best viewed with the naked eye, so no binoculars or telescope are required. In fact, binoculars and telescopes will severely limit your vision and you may not see anything.

The most comfortable way to view is to lay on your back and look up at the sky. The meteors can appear anywhere, and their tails will point back to the constellation Perseus. This is why they are also called the Perseids.

If you live in a climate where the nighttime weather is cool, a sleeping bag or hot chocolate can provide entertainment. Just remember that light is bad for viewing, so flashlights and campfires are discouraged.

The meteor shower is best viewed in the early morning, from midnight to before morning twilight. Some enthusiasts will sleep until midnight or so, then wake early to view the shower. It can be difficult to stay awake otherwise.

The meteor shower will peak on the night of Aug 11-12. Under most conditions, most viewers will see a dozen or so per hour, although it is possible to see many times that number.


'Help Give every Student and Teacher FREE resources for a world-class Moral Catholic Education'

Copyright 2019 - Distributed by THE CALIFORNIA NETWORK


More Green

Making a Difference: Lessons for Earth 50 years after first moon landing

Image of Space and space exploration is fascinating; especially since it easily helps one to see our awesome God reflected in his awesome creation!

If you were at least 10-years-old on July 20, 1969, you will surely remember that your eyes were glued to a black and white television set ... continue reading

Should Catholics support population control? Watch

Image of Should we support population control to save the planet?

As Earth approaches 8 billion living persons, questions over how to manage our resources become pressing. Every day, 7.54 billion people ... continue reading

California bishops call Catholics to 'ecological spirituality' Watch

Image of

On the fourth anniversary of Laudato Si', the bishops of California challenged the community to grow in an "ecological conversion" that ... continue reading

Calling out the environmentalists! Why illegal immigration is also a major environmental problem Watch

Image of Illegal immigrants are leaving trails of trash along their routes, which creates health and environmental hazards.

Great attention is paid to the fiscal and social impact of illegal immigration on the United States. However, little attention is paid to ... continue reading

Last days earthquake? Scientists predict California is overdue for a quake of Biblical porportions Watch

Image of California is dependent on its freeway system, critical parts of which will be destroyed in the event of a major quake.

California is a land of contradictions. It is home to 40 million souls, and enjoys a long Catholic heritage which can be seen in the very ... continue reading

Never Miss any Updates!

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers.

Deacon Keith Fournier Hi readers, it seems you use Catholic Online a lot; that's great! It's a little awkward to ask, but we need your help. If you have already donated, we sincerely thank you. We're not salespeople, but we depend on donations averaging $14.76 and fewer than 1% of readers give. If you donate just $5.00, the price of your coffee, Catholic Online School could keep thriving. Thank you. Help Now >

Learn about Catholic world

Catholic Online
Inform - Inspire - Ignite

Catholic Online Saints
Your saints explained

Catholic Online Prayers
Prayers for every need

Catholic Online Bible
Complete bible online

Catholic Online News
Your news Catholic eye

Daily Reading
Today's bible reading

Lent / Easter
Death & resurrection of Jesus

Advent / Christmas
Birth of Jesus

Rest of Catholic Online
All Catholic world we offer

Products and services we offer

Catholic Online Shopping
Catholic medals, gifts & books

Advertise on Catholic Online
Your ads on

Catholic Online Email
Email with Catholic feel

Learn the Catholic way

Catholic Online School
Free Catholic education for all

Student Classes
K-12 & Adult Education Classes

Support Free Education
Tax deductible support Free education

Connect with us online

Catholic Online on Facebook
Catholic social network

Catholic Online on Twitter
Catholic Tweets

Catholic Online on YouTube
Enjoy our videos

Catholic Online on Instagram
Shared Catholic moments

Catholic Online on Pinterest
Catholic ideas style inspiration

Catholic Online Logo

Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. All materials contained on this site, whether written, audible or visual are the exclusive property of Catholic Online and are protected under U.S. and International copyright laws, © Copyright 2019 Catholic Online. Any unauthorized use, without prior written consent of Catholic Online is strictly forbidden and prohibited.

Catholic Online is a Project of Your Catholic Voice Foundation, a Not-for-Profit Corporation. Your Catholic Voice Foundation has been granted a recognition of tax exemption under Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Federal Tax Identification Number: 81-0596847. Your gift is tax-deductible as allowed by law.