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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.

In his nineteenth year, she endeavored to divert him from this course by arranging a marriage for him. However, having consulted a reliable spiritual director, prayed earnestly and humbly for light and guidance, and tested his own resolve in the matter, Laurence fled secretly to the monastery of St. George in Alga, on an island situated a mile from Venice.

Here, even his superiors in this austere congregation judged it necessary to mitigate the rigor of his penances as Laurence at nineteen easily surpassed all his religious brethren in his fasts and prayerful vigils.

He was ordained to the priesthood in 1406, and much against his will, he was chosen general of the Order, which he governed with exemplary prudence and sanctity. The first thing in which he labored to ground his religious brothers was a profound and sincere humility by which the soul places entire confidence in God alone, the only source of the soul’s strength.

In the year 1433 Pope Eugenius IV obliged Laurence to quit his cloister by appointing him to the episcopal see of Venice. His wisdom, goodness and charity drew crowds of people to him and his humility dissolved all forms of contention and disagreement even among the most proud. The salutary affect of his discourses and example worked as effectively among his people as it had in the confines of his cloister with his brethren: he animated the tepid, filled the presumptuous with a holy fear, raised the fearful to confidence, and inflamed the fervor of all.

On one occasion, overcome by admiration for his sanctity, Pope Eugenius IV saluted Laurence as “the ornament of bishops.” His successor, Nicholas V, in consideration of his sanctity and virtue, transferred the patriarchal dignity from the see of Grado to that of Venice in 1451, making Laurence the first Patriarch of Venice.

Notwithstanding the dignity this would confer upon the commonwealth of Venice, the Venetian Senate contested it, only embracing it after the bishop personally pleaded with the senators to reject the honor, attesting his willingness to put aside the weight of the office he had carried unworthily for eighteen years rather than to feel his burden increased by the additional dignity.

His pure humility and charity so strongly affected the whole senate that the Doge himself was not able to refrain from tears, and he entreated Laurence to desist from raising any obstacle to the pope’s decree. The installation of the new patriarch was subsequently celebrated with great joy by the entire city.

Laurence died in 1455 at the age of seventy-four. Before his death, he personally gave blessings to all those who had come to visit him in his illness. Canonized in 1690, St. Laurence is also revered for his great works on mystical contemplation.

 


 

 

 

Quote of the day

DAILY QUOTE for June 16, 2021

We should blush with shame to show so much resentment at wha...

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June 16

 

We should blush with shame
to show so much resentment at what is done or said against us,
knowing that so many injuries and affronts
have been offered to our Redeemer and the saints.

St. Teresa of Avila


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Saint of the day

SAINT OF THE DAY

St. Lutgardis

Her forehead and hair were often made wet with drops of bloo...

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St. Lutgardis

Born in the Netherlands in 1182, Lutgardis was sent to a Benedictine convent at the age of twelve because her merchant father had lost the money meant for her dowry, and marriage without it seemed unlikely.

She was fond of worldly things, and had no inclination toward a religious life. However, one afternoon she had a vision of Our Lord, Who showed her His sacred wounds and asked her to love Him and Him alone.

Lutgardis immediately renounced all worldly pleasures and became a religious. She often saw Christ while engaged in prayer, and was allowed to share in His sufferings: her forehead and hair were often made wet with drops of blood when she meditated on The Passion.

Desiring to live under a stricter rule, Lutgardis later joined a Cistercian convent at Aywieres. There she spent the final thirty years of her life, becoming known as a mystic with the gifts of healing and prophecy. During the last eleven years prior to her death she was totally blind, an affliction which she treated as an extraordinary gift from God because it reduced the distractions of the outside world.

Before she died, Our Lord appeared to her to warn her of her approaching death, and asked her to prepare for this event in three ways. She was to give praise to God for what she had received, pray constantly for the conversion of sinners and rely in all things on God alone. She died soon after the vision on June 16, 1246.

Weekly Story

WEEKLY STORY

Fatima custodians often meet people who know little or nothi...

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Visiting a Muslim Family

Fatima custodians often meet people who know little or nothing about the Catholic faith.  A few years ago I had such an experience in Florida. 

Upon arrival at the home, an elderly grandmother with a group of young children and teens met me at the door. The group was sullen as I brought in the statue, set up the projector and began the introduction.  Unknown to me, I was speaking to a Muslim family.

At a certain point, one of the teens vehemently objected to the phrase “Mother of God” and accused me of blasphemy since Jesus was not God. Quickly the visit became an interesting defense of the Catholic faith. After answering several more objections to the best of my ability, my Islamic hosts allowed me to explain the Rosary, with an attentive audience, I proceeded to pray alone.

After reciting the Rosary, the attendants and I listened to the hostess, who explained why she had assembled the family for the visit.

Several weeks ago, she was hospitalized for a serious illness. She felt alone and abandoned until one day a stranger walked in with a bouquet of flowers, placed it by the bedside and stayed to listen to all of her concerns. The stranger returned repeatedly to renew her flowers, fix her pillows and talk to her. Then the Muslim mother questioned the stranger’s motives, explaining that her own family wasn’t visiting her. The stranger replied that she was a Catholic and Catholics are encouraged to visit the sick.

Requesting more information about the Catholic faith, the mother was told that it was against hospital policy to discuss religion and therefore she would have to search for information on her own.

Upon her release from the hospital, my hostess entered a nearby Catholic church and encountered an America Needs Fatima flier about Our Lady of Fatima. She called the number and set up a home visit to which she then invited her family.

I may never know what has happened to the family, but I regularly pray that their interest in Catholicism has brought them into the folds of the Catholic Church. Of one thing I am certain: Our Lady will never abandon those who invite her into their homes.

By Michael Chad Shibler

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Fatima custodians often meet people who know little or nothing about the Catholic faith.  A few years ago I had such an experience in Florida

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