St. Laurence O'Toole (Feast: November 14)
Born in 1128 in County Kildare, Ireland, Laurence was the son of Murtagh, chieftain of the Murrays.
When he was ten years old, Laurence was taken hostage by King Dermot McMurrogh of Leinster in a raid and, after two years of mistreatment by his captor, was sent to live with the Bishop of Glendalough.
Guided by the bishop, Laurence became a monk, and in 1161, was consecrated as the Archbishop of Dublin.
His first act as archbishop was to begin the reform of the clergy under his charge and require the canons of his church to receive the rule of the regular canons of Arrouaise, a rule reputed for its sanctity and austerity.
Laurence himself followed this rule, and as an act of charity, had over thirty poor people dine with him every night.
He became beloved for his charity, and was much sought after for his fatherly wisdom and advice.
In 1175, Laurence traveled to England to negotiated a treaty between King Henry II and Rory O’Conor, the new monarch of Ireland who succeeded to the throne after the death of Dermot McMurrogh.
Henry was impressed by the holy man’s piety, and Laurence successfully negotiated peace.
Laurence died on November 4, 1180, and was canonized in 1225.
Photo by: Andreas F. Borchert
DAILY QUOTE for January 21, 2020
SAINT OF THE DAY
One night, the Blessed Virgin appeared to him and told him he must become a Christian.