SAINT LAWRENCE OF BRINDISI
Priest and Doctor of the Church
Lawrence was born at Brindisi, in Apulia. As a young man he entered the Capuchin Order. He acquired a thorough knowledge of philosophy and theology and became proficient in several languages, ancient as well as modern.
When he became a priest, he undertook the task of preaching, in which he labored unflinchingly throughout almost all of Italy and other European countries. Possessed of unusual prudence and the gift of counsel as well, he was made Superior of his whole Order, and was often employed by the Popes on very important diplomatic missions. One of his greatest achievements was to persuade Christian leaders to unite their forces against the threatening onslaughts of the Turks. When the Christian army was assembled in Hungary, Lawrence rode at their head with the cross and, encouraging the soldiers and their officers, they gained a very celebrated victory.
In spite of the pressure of so many great activities he practiced to an heroic degree the virtues of a religious. Whatever spare time he had, he would devote to prayer, wonderfully combining the interior life with external enterprises.
Finally at Lisbon, to which he was sent by the people of Naples as their spokesman before the King of Spain, a strenuous defender of Christian liberty and justice, he succumbed as it were in battle, in the year 1619.
He left many writings defending the Catholic faith against heresies, and explaining Sacred Scripture.
Pope Leo XIII added him to the number of the saints, and pope John XXIII declared him a Doctor of the universal Church.
The Roman Breviary (1964)