St. Laurence Giustiniani
First Patriarch of Venice
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.