St. Lawrence Justinian
Feast Day: September 5
Born: 1381 :: Died: 1455
Lawrence was born in Venice, in Italy. His mother sometimes thought her son's dreams were too big. He always told her that he wanted to become a saint.
When he was nineteen years old, he wished to serve God in a special way and asked his uncle, a holy priest of the community of St. George for advice.
"Do you have the courage to turn down the joys of the world and to live a life of penance?" asked his uncle. Lawrence was quiet for a long time. Then he looked up at a crucifix and said, "You, O Lord, are my hope. In this cross there is comfort and strength."
His mother wanted him to marry, but Lawrence joined the community of St. George as a priest. His first job was to go out among the people of his city and ask for donations to support the St. George community.
Lawrence was not ashamed to beg. He realized that the offerings of money or goods would help God's work. He even went to his own home and asked for charity.
His mother would try to fill up his sack with food, so that he could return to the monastery early without having to go all over town. But Lawrence would only take two loaves of bread from his mother and then go off to the next house. In this way, he learned how to make little sacrifices and grew very dear to God.
One day a friend of his came to try and make Lawrence leave the monastery. Instead, the saint spoke of how short life is and how wise it is to live for heaven. His friend was very impressed and decided to become a religious himself.
Later, Lawrence was made a bishop, even though he was not happy about it. His people soon learned what a kind and holy man their bishop was and crowds came to him for help every day.
When he was dying, he refused to lie on a soft bed. "That shall not be!" he exclaimed humbly. "My Lord was stretched out on a hard and painful tree." St. Lawrence Justinian died in 1455.
E-mail this page to a friend