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Laurence was born of noble parentage in Venice in 1381. His father having died when Laurence was still very young, his mother was left a widow at a very young age indeed.

Rejecting any thoughts of remarrying, she resolutely turned her attention to her own sanctification and her young children’s early training in the practice of virtue.

In this she was aided by Laurence’s innate attraction to all that pertained to God, an inclination of soul he demonstrated from his most tender years. Devoting herself to her children and to works of charity, fasting, assiduous prayer and her own mortification, the young widow was nevertheless perturbed by the extreme severity with which her son treated his body and the continual application of his mind to the exercises of religion.

In his nineteenth year, she endeavored to divert him from this course by arranging a marriage for him. However, having consulted a reliable spiritual director, prayed earnestly and humbly for light and guidance, and tested his own resolve in the matter, Laurence fled secretly to the monastery of St. George in Alga, on an island situated a mile from Venice.

Here, even his superiors in this austere congregation judged it necessary to mitigate the rigor of his penances as Laurence at nineteen easily surpassed all his religious brethren in his fasts and prayerful vigils.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1406, and much against his will, he was chosen general of the Order, which he governed with exemplary prudence and sanctity. The first thing in which he labored to ground his religious brothers was a profound and sincere humility by which the soul places entire confidence in God alone, the only source of the soul’s strength.

In the year 1433 Pope Eugenius IV obliged Laurence to quit his cloister by appointing him to the episcopal see of Venice. His wisdom, goodness and charity drew crowds of people to him and his humility dissolved all forms of contention and disagreement even among the most proud. The salutary affect of his discourses and example worked as effectively among his people as it had in the confines of his cloister with his brethren: he animated the tepid, filled the presumptuous with a holy fear, raised the fearful to confidence, and inflamed the fervor of all.

On one occasion, overcome by admiration for his sanctity, Pope Eugenius IV saluted Laurence as “the ornament of bishops.” His successor, Nicholas V, in consideration of his sanctity and virtue, transferred the patriarchal dignity from the see of Grado to that of Venice in 1451, making Laurence the first Patriarch of Venice.

Notwithstanding the dignity this would confer upon the commonwealth of Venice, the Venetian Senate contested it, only embracing it after the bishop personally pleaded with the senators to reject the honor, attesting his willingness to put aside the weight of the office he had carried unworthily for eighteen years rather than to feel his burden increased by the additional dignity.

His pure humility and charity so strongly affected the whole senate that the Doge himself was not able to refrain from tears, and he entreated Laurence to desist from raising any obstacle to the pope’s decree. The installation of the new patriarch was subsequently celebrated with great joy by the entire city.

Laurence died in 1455 at the age of seventy-four. Before his death, he personally gave blessings to all those who had come to visit him in his illness. Canonized in 1690, St. Laurence is also revered for his great works on mystical contemplation.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for May 29, 2020

Those who open their mouth to confess their faith breathe th...

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May 29

 

Those who open their mouth
to confess their faith
breathe the spirit of divine grace,
which is the life of the soul.

St. Anthony of Padua


My Mother, I will stand with you on OCTOBER 10, 2020

Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. William of Toulouse and Companions

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in...

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St. William of Toulouse and Companions

William Arnaud, a Dominican, and companions were sent to Toulouse in the South of France by Pope Gregory IX to combat the Albigensian heresy then entrenched throughout the region.

The Albigensian heresy preached a dualism where the body was considered evil. As a consequence, they denied that Christ could have been human, rejected the Sacraments and adopted, in their stead, pagan rituals of “purification”.

The priests, meeting with much hostility in town, set up in a house in the surrounding country, and were making many converts, which upset the local government under Count Raymond III of Toulouse.

They and others, a total of eleven, including some Franciscans, Benedictines, and a layman, were deceived into accepting an invitation to the local castle where seven of them were set upon and slaughtered in a most barbarous manner.

The other four, William Arnaud among them, escaped to a local church where they were found singing religious hymns. Violating the medieval “sanctuary” – an unforgivable act at that time – and angered by the singing, the soldiers first cut off William’s tongue, then killed all four. Their bodies were thrown in a ravine, but that night, light streamed from them leading the faithful to their relics. They were interred in the Church of San Romano at the monastery in Toulouse.

The church in Avignonet where the martyrs had been murdered, was placed under interdict and for years the doors remained locked because of the sacrilege.

Many cures were reported at their graves.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion t...

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Mary and the Simple Country Wife

There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier. Little did she know that her soldier-husband had made a deal with the devil, that he would sell his wife for a certain sum of money.

One crisp, autumn morning the couple went out for their customary walk. Oddly, this time the young man insisted on heading towards the forest. It was at the forest where he intended to deliver his young bride over to the devil.

On their way to the forest, the couple passed in front of a Church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. The wife, overtaken with a desire to enter the church begged her husband to allow her to pray a Hail Mary in that church.

As the young lady entered the church, Holy Mary came forth from it, taking the form of the wife and accompanied the man into the forest.

When they at last approached the devil at the forest, he said to the man, “Traitor! Why have you brought me instead of your wife, my enemy, the mother of God?”

“And you,” said Mary, addressing the devil, “how have you dared to think of injuring my servant? Go, flee to hell.”

And then, turning to the man, Mary said to him, “Amend your life, and I will aid you.”

She then disappeared and that wretched man repented, amended his life and became a husband worthy of his simple country wife.

From the Glories of Mary, by St. Alphonsus Maria de Liguori.

 

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There was once a young country wife who practiced devotion to Holy Mary, just as her mother had taught her to do. This simple young lady considered herself fortunate to have married a handsome soldier.

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