St. Lawrence of Brindisi
Caesar Rossi was born in Brindisi, Italy, in 1559. Brindisi was part of the Kingdom of Naples, Italy. Caesar took the name Lawrence when he became a Capuchin Franciscan at the age of sixteen. He was sent to the University of Padua to study theology. Lawrence surprised everyone by learning six languages also. His first language was Italian. But he could also speak French, German, Greek, Spanish, Syriac and Hebrew. St. Lawrence had a wonderful knowledge of the Bible, too.
After he was ordained a priest, he became a popular preacher. Because he could speak Hebrew, he worked for the conversion of the Jews living in Rome. Later, St. Lawrence was sent to establish his order in Austria. The emperor, Rudolph II, did not want them to come. But Lawrence's tender care for victims of a plague won Emperor Rudolph to his cause.
Next, the emperor asked Lawrence to persuade the German princes to fight the Turks. The Turks were trying to wipe out Christendom. Lawrence did convince the princes. However, the leaders insisted that he go with the army into battle to make the victory certain. When the soldiers saw how large the Turkish army was, they wanted to quit. So St. Lawrence himself rode in the lead. He was armed only with the crucifix. The Christian soldiers took heart and fought bravely. The Turks were completely defeated. St. Lawrence received the praise. But he never prided himself for success. He put his trust in God and gave him the glory.
In 1602, St. Lawrence became the master general of his order. He worked, preached and wrote to spread the Good News. He went on important peace missions to Munich, Germany, and Madrid, Spain. The rulers of those places listened to him and the missions were successful. But St. Lawrence was very sick. He had been tired out by the hard traveling and the strain of his tasks. He died on his birthday, July 22, in 1619. He was proclaimed a saint by Pope Leo XIII in 1881. He was honored as "apostolic doctor" by Pope John XXIII in 1959.
To whom do I especially give credit and offer thanks for the success or achievement that comes my way?