Saint Lawrence was born in Brindisi in 1559. God was doubtless chuckling when at the baptismal font he was given the name Julius Caesar by his parents. In 1575 he joined the Capuchins. Due to his sharp mind and wonderful memory he excelled in his philosophical studies. It was said of him that he knew not only all the languages of Europe but most of those of the Near East. He could quote from the entire Bible purely by memory. He became a celebrated preacher, noted for making converts of non-Christians and the most obdurate of sinners. He opened houses of his Order in France and Germany. In 1602 he was made Vicar General of the Capuchins. Made chaplain of the Imperial armies in 1601, in the attacks on Albe-Royal in Hungary where 18,000 Christians confronted 80,000 Turks, he placed himself ever in the forefront of the army in the midst of the fighting, armed only with a crucifix: “Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” The army and its general ascribed the victory to God and to Father Lawrence. Sent to evangelize Germany he converted many Protestants with his great learning, kindliness and the miracles that ever attended him throughout his life. He was beatified in 1783, coincidentally the year of victory for the Americans in their Revolution. In 1959 Pope John proclaimed him the thirtieth Doctor of the Church.
Here is a litany for Saint Lawrence written in 1919. It speaks strongly to our time. Continue Reading