An Excerpt From a Sermon of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest
For the word of God is a light to the mind and a fire to the will. It enables man to know God and to love him. And for the interior man who lives by the Spirit of God through grace, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb, a water better than wine and milk. For the soul it is a spiritual treasure of merits yielding an abundance of gold and precious stones. Against the hardness of a heart that persists in wrongdoing, it acts as a hammer. Against the world, the flesh and the devil it serves as a sword that destroys all sin. (From the Office of Readings for St. Lawrence’s feast day)
July 21st is the feast of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a priest and doctor of the Church. Born July 22, 1559 in Brindisi, a port on the Adriatic Sea, in the Kingdom of Naples, Giulio Cesare Russo was educated at St. Mark’s College in Venice and joined the Capuchins in Verona as Brother Lorenzo. An accomplished linguist, he spoke European and Semitic languages fluently.
Known also as a great orator, he became the head of the Capuchins in 1596. By 1599, he had established monasteries in Germany and Austria and furthered the cause of the Counter-Reformation by bringing many souls back to the Catholic faith. Most notably, St. Lawrence influenced people more by example than by his words.
Pope Pius VI beatified him in 1783. Pope Leo XIII canonized him in 1881, and Blessed John XXIII declared him a Doctor of the Church in 1959. St. Lawrence died on his birthday, July 22nd, 1619, in Lisbon, Portugal. He was sixty years old.
Much information is available on the internet about the life of this courageous and holy man.