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July 21

St Lawrence of Brindisi - July 21

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Priest, Doctor of the Church

(1559-1619)

“God is love, and all his operations proceed from love. Once he wills to manifest that goodness by sharing his love outside himself, then the Incarnation becomes the supreme manifestation of his goodness and love and glory.”

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

His Early Life and Education

Giulio Cesare Russo was born at Brindisi, in the kingdom of Naples, Italy, on July 22, 1559 to Guglielmo de Rossi and Elisabetta Masella. His father died when he was twelve. He was twelve when his father died and continued his education at Saint Mark’s College in Venice under the supervision of one of his uncles.

Brother Lawrence

At the age of 16, he became a Capuchin Franciscan Friar in Verona, taking the name Brother Lorenzo (Lawrence). At the University of Padua, Lawrence studied theology, the Bible, French, German, Greek, Spanish, Syriac, and Hebrew. An accomplished linguist, in addition to his native Italian, Lawrence could read and speak Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Bohemian, Spanish, and French fluently.  While still a deacon, Lawrence became known for his powerful preaching.

Ordained

At the age of 23, Lawrence was ordained a priest. After his ordination, Lawrence startled the whole of northern Italy with his amazing sermons. Because Lawrence could speak Hebrew, he worked for the conversion of the Jews living in Rome.

Elected Superior of the Capuchin Franciscans

At the age of 31, Lawrence was elected superior of the Capuchin Franciscan province of Tuscany. Beginning in 1599, Lawrence established Capuchin monasteries in modern Germany and Austria, furthering the Counter-Reformation and bringing many Protestants back to the Catholic faith. Five years later, he was sent to Germany with Blessed Benedict of Urbino. Together, they founded the friaries of Vienna and Graz in Austria, and in Prague, Czech Republic.

To War Armed with a Cross

In 1601, Lawrence was named chaplain of the army of the Holy Roman Empire. He rallied the German princes to fight a superior Turkish force. Lawrence was asked to lead the army into battle at Stuhlweissenburg (modern Székesfehérvár, Hungary). Carrying no weapon but a crucifix to protect himself, the Turks were completely defeated.

Elected Vicar General

In 1602, Lawrence was elected master general of the Capuchin friars, at that time the highest office in the Order. During his 3 years in office, Lawrence preached and wrote to spread the Good News. He went on important peace missions to Munich, Germany, and Madrid, Spain. The rulers of those places listened to him and the missions were successful.

In 1605, Lawrence was the choice for another term, but turned it down. Until his death, he was the adviser of his successors.

His Works

Lawrence, like his spiritual father Saint Francis of Assisi, had an ardent devotion to the Immaculate Mother of God. He was the first to write on all aspects of theology that concern the Blessed Virgin Mary. Lawrence explains that Mary is the Mother of God and the Mother of all Christians. He proves that as the Mother of God, she is immaculate, free from all sin, including original sin, and that she is full of grace. He also explains that Mary is a virgin and that she has been assumed into heaven, body and soul.

His written works include a commentary on Genesis, several treatises against Luther, and nine volumes of sermons. In 1956, the Capuchin Order compiled fifteen volumes of Lawrence’s sermons, letters and writings.

Papal Nuncio

Lawrence entered the service of the Pope, becoming a papal nuncio to Bavaria. In this position as an ecclesiastical diplomat, he was assigned to evangelize in Germany, where he had great success.  Lawrence also served as a nuncio to Spain where he convinced Philip III of Spain to join the German Catholic League.

Lawrence often fell into ecstasy when he celebrated Holy Mass. He had a great devotion to the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin.

His Death

In 1618, Lawrence retired to a monastery. He was recalled as a special envoy to the King of Spain regarding the actions of the Viceroy of Naples in 1619. After finishing his mission, Lawrence died on his 60th birthday on July 22, 1619 in Lisbon, Portugal of natural causes. Saint Lawrence is buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares on Villafranca, Spain. In 1959, Pope John XXIII declared Saint Lawrence a Doctor of the Church with the title “Apostolic Doctor”.

Born :                   July 22, 1559 in Brindisi, Naples, Italy

Died:                    July 22, 1619 age 60 in Lisbon, Portugal

Beatified:            June 1, 1783 by Pope Pius VI

Canonized:         December 8, 1881 by Pope Leo XIII

Feast Day:           July 21

Patron Saint:    Archdiocese of Brindisi-Ostuni, Italy; Brindisi, Italy

Source:

Reflection 

Despite his remarkable intellectual and oratory skills, Saint Lawrence of Brindisi maintained a spirit of humility and service. His life is a testament to the importance of using one’s talents for the benefit of others and the Church, rather than seeking personal glory.

How can you use your talents to inspire family, friends, coworkers and everyone that you encounter today to increase their faith?

Prayers

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi,
Scholar, preacher, and diplomat, you who dedicated your life to the service of God, we turn to you in prayer and supplication.

Pray for us, O holy servant of God, that we may be inspired by your example of scholarship and faith in action. Guide us in our intellectual pursuits, that we may use our talents to deepen our understanding of the Catholic faith and share it with others.

Help us to be effective evangelists, spreading the Gospel with zeal and compassion.

Intercede for us in our efforts to work for peace and unity among all people.
May we, like you, humbly serve the Church and our fellow human beings,
using our gifts not for personal glory, but for the greater glory of God.

Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, pray for us. Amen.

Saint Links 

Aleteia – Why is St. Lawrence of Brindisi a Doctor of the Church?

All Saints & Martyrs – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi – Priest and Doctor of the Church

AnaStpaul – Saint of the Day – 21 July – St Lawrence of Brindisi OFM Cap (1559-1619) Doctor of the Church – The “Franciscan Renaissance Man”

Catholic Exchange – St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Catholic Ireland – Jul 21 – St Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619)

Catholic News Agency – St. Lawrence of Brindisi Feast day: Jul 21

Franciscan Media – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Loyola Press – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi Feast day July 21

My Catholic Life – July 21: Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest and Doctor

New Advent –  Candide, H. (1910). St. Lorenzo da Brindisi. In The Catholic Encyclopedia

Newman Ministry – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Roman Catholic Saints – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

Saint Mary’s Press – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619)

Saints, Feast, Family – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi’s Story

uCatholic – Saint Lawrence of Brindisi

 

Video Link

Cradio Saint of the Day: Saint Lawrence of Brindisi – YouTube (CatholicSaints.Info)

Saint of the Week: St. Lawrence of Brindisi – YouTube (The True Enlightenment!)

The Feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi with Br. Mark Schenk – YouTube (Capuchin Franciscans)