The Papal Artifacts’ Collection is primarily dedicated to artifacts connected to the papacy. Individual popes, their biographies and multiple items belonging to them, including first and second class relics, make up the majority of this Collection. But that isn’t all it is.
Father Kunst has a deep devotion to the saints as can be readily seen in viewing the Saints & Blesseds section of this site. We invite you to visit Papal History/Saints & Blesseds to view the many canonized and beatified men and women who make up this section of the Collection.
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi is one of them.
The artifact presented here is a document signed by St. Lawrence of Brindisi (Giulio Cesare Russo). It is undated.
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 Saint 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.
“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. So, Christ was intended before all other creatures and for his own sake. For him all things were created and to him all things must be subject, and God loves all creatures in and because of Christ. Christ is the first-born of every creature, and the whole of humanity as well as the created world finds its foundation and meaning in him. Moreover, this would have been the case even if Adam had not sinned” –Lawrence of Brindisi
Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold an unusually intense inner life. In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies. After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary’s name that he worked his miracles, and his favorite blessing was: “Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria.” Having withdrawn to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, Lorenzo was hoping to enjoy a few days of seclusion, when he was requested by the leading men of Naples to go to Spain and apprise Philip III of the conduct of Viceroy Ossuna. In spite of many obstacles raised by the latter, the saint sailed from Genoa and carried out his mission successfully. But the fatigues of the journey exhausted his feeble strength. He was unable to travel homeward, and after a few days of great suffering died at Lisbon in the native land of St. Anthony (22 July, 1619), as he had predicted when he set out on his journey. He was buried in the cemetery of the Poor Clares of Villafranca.
Much information is available on the internet about the life of this courageous and holy man.
Papal Artifacts honors his memory on this, his feast day.