Lawrence of Brindisi loved Sacred Scriptur
August 31, 2023
By Father Anthony Ho
St. Lawrence of Brindisi was born on July 22, 1559, and made his religious profession as a Capuchin Franciscan in 1575. He was ordained a priest in 1582.
During his studies for the priesthood Lawrence already showed remarkable ability for languages. In addition to Italian and Latin, Lawrence learned with ease both ancient languages (such as Greek, Hebrew and Syriac) and modern languages (such as French and German). Due to his ability for languages, Lawrence was able to preach to different categories of people. He carried out apostolate in northern Italy, beyond the Alps, Bohemia, Germany, Austria, and Hungary.
Pope Benedict XVI said, “As a theologian steeped in Sacred Scripture and in the Fathers of the Church, he was also able to illustrate Catholic doctrine in an exemplary manner to Christians who, especially in Germany, had adhered to the Reformation. With his calm, clear exposition he demonstrated the biblical and patristic foundation of all the articles of faith disputed by Martin Luther. These included the primacy of St. Peter and of his Successors, the divine origin of the Episcopate, justification as an inner transformation of man, and the need to do good works for salvation.”
Within the Capuchin Order, Lawrence served as professor of theology, novice master, minister provincial and definitor general. From 1602 to 1605 he served as minister general of the Order. Lawrence also carried out important diplomatic missions for Popes and Catholic Princes.
In the midst of his many responsibilities, Lawrence developed a deep interior life and devoted much time to prayer. In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI addressed the priests and seminarians in Brindisi saying that “the time he spends in prayer is the most important time in a priest’s life, in which divine grace acts with greater effectiveness, making his ministry fruitful. The first service to render to the community is prayer. And, therefore, time for prayer must be given true priority in our life … if we are not interiorly in communion with God we cannot even give anything to others. Therefore, God is the first priority. We must always reserve the time necessary to be in communion of prayer with Our Lord.”
In 2011 the Holy Father said that the whole of St. Lawrence’s activity “was inspired by great love for Sacred Scripture, which he knew thoroughly and by heart, and by the conviction that listening to and the reception of the word of God produces an inner transformation that leads us to holiness.”
Lawrence wrote many volumes of biblical exegesis, theology, and sermons. He died on July 22, 1619, and was canonized in 1881. In 1959, Pope St. John XIII gave him the title of Apostolic Doctor.
On 13 April 2011, Pope Benedict XVI concluded his two years of catechesis on the saints with a talk on holiness. The Holy Father said, “What is the essential? The essential means never leaving a Sunday without an encounter with the Risen Christ in the Eucharist; this is not an additional burden but is light for the whole week. It means never beginning and never ending a day without at least a brief contact with God. And, on the path of our life it means following the ‘signposts’ that God has communicated to us in the Ten Commandments, interpreted with Christ, which are merely the explanation of what love is in specific situations. It seems to me that this is the true simplicity and greatness of a life of holiness: the encounter with the Risen One on Sunday; contact with God at the beginning and at the end of the day; following, in decisions, the ‘signposts’ that God has communicated to us, which are but forms of charity.”
布林迪西的聖老楞佐出生於 1559 年 7 月 22 日，並於 1575 年發愿成為嘉布遣會方濟各會士。他於1582年晉鐸為司祭。
老楞佐於 1619 年 7 月 22 日去世。他於1881年被封為聖人。1959年，教宗聖約望十三世授予他『使徒聖師』的名銜。老楞佐寫了許多捲聖經註釋、神學和講道。