DAILY CATHOLIC    MONDAY     July 20, 1998     vol. 9, no. 140


To print out entire text of Today's issue, go to SECTION ONE and SECTION TWO

Monday, July 20, 1998

      First Reading: Micah 6: 1-4, 6-8
      Psalms: Psalm 50: 5-6, 8-9, 16-17, 21, 23
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 38-42

Tuesday, July 21, 1998

    Tuesday July 21:
    Sixteenth Tuesday in Ordinary Time and
    Feast of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Priest, Religious and Docstor of the Church

    Green or White vestments

      First Reading: Micah 7: 14-15, 18-20
      Psalms: Psalm 85: 2-8
      Gospel Reading: Matthew 12: 46-50


          Born in Brindisi in the Kingdom of Naples shortly after the Protestant Reformation in 1559, Saint Lawrence of Brindisi was born as Caesare de Rossi. He is one of the few saints who was born and died on the same day - July 22nd. He was educated by the Conventual Franciscans in Naples and also sent for further studies under his uncle at St. Mark's in Venice. At 16 he joined the Capuchin order in Verona and was given the name Lawrence. His keen mind and tremendous zeal earned him the honor of studying at the University of Padua where he mastered several languages from Latin and Greek to Hebrew and Aramaic, not to mention French and German. After his ordination as a Capuchin priest, he became known far and wide as an astute preacher. However his administrative prowess led to his election as Provincial for the Order in Genoa, Tuscany and Venice, in addition to Switzerland where the Reformation had dug in deeply. At the turn of the seventeenth century Lawrence was sent to the Holy Roman Emperor Rudolph II to seek his military support for Naples and join the Catholic League against the Turks. He was successful and joined the troops on the front line as head chaplain with only the Crucifix as his weapon. It was enough as he led the men valiantly into battle at Szekesfehervar where they were victorious for the cause of Christ. A year later he returned to Naples where he was unanimously elected Superior General of the Capuchins. While holding this position of Vicar General he not only established the Order in Austria, Moravia and Tyrol but traveled into the heart of Germany to counter the fall-out effects of Luther's campaign. Rudolph was so impressed with Lawrence that he solicited the saint to recruit the various German rulers to join the Catholic League in their on-going battles with the Turks. In 1605 the Capuchins overwhelmingly chose Lawrence to serve another term but he gratefully declined, to concentrate more on evangelization to other countries. One of these countries included Spain where he convinced the Spanish King Philip III to join the Catholic League and received imperial permission to found a Capuchin house in Madrid. His success prompted the Holy Father Pope Paul V to appoint Lawrence Papal Nuncio. In 1618 he resigned his position and retreated to his beloved homeland of Brindisi in Naples to live out the rest of his life, but God had other plans. At the persistence of the Neapolitan rulers, he was sent to Spain to seek military support against the duke of Osuna, a Spanish subject. Again his mission was successful and the duke was recalled to Spain for a harsh chastising by the king. However, the trip took its toll on Lawrence who had struggled with the sweltering summer heat and became seriously dehydrated. Shortly after his mission had been accomplished he fell into a coma and died in Lisbon on his sixtieth birthday - July 22, 1619. Two hundred and sixty two years later Pope Leo XIII canonized Lawrence and that was topped by Pope John XXIII on July 21, 1959 when he proclaimed Lawrence of Brindisi the distinguished title of Doctor of the Church.

July 20, 1998       volume 9, no. 140


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