Today is the feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi. When reference is made to a “St. Lawrence,” however, we are usually referring to the third-century deacon and martyr who is even mentioned in the Roman Canon (Eucharistic Prayer I). This latter St. Lawrence, given his special patronage of those who barbecue, is indeed a fine summertime saint in his own right, but his feast isn’t till next month.
Today’s St. Lawrence (1559-1619) was a Capuchin Franciscan priest who led, even by secular standards, a most remarkable life. One commentator has gone so far as to call him “the greatest man and the greatest saint yet produced by the Capuchin Franciscan Order.” Surely the excellence of his preaching was recognized by Blessed John XXIII, who named him a Doctor of the Church in 1959.
In 2002-03 we published in Lay Witness a series of 12 articles on the Marian teachings of St. Lawrence of Brindisi. Most if not all of these are currently available in our Lay Witness archives. These particular writings were translated into English for the first time by Joseph Almeida, professor of classics at Franciscan University of Steubenville. To view these articles, click here and browse our 2002 and 2003 issues.
I’d like to close with the Opening Prayer for today’s feast:
Lord, for the glory of Your name and the salvation of souls You gave Lawrence of Brindisi courage and right judgment. By his prayers, help us to know what we should do and give us the courage to do it.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.