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Saint Lawrence of Brindisi
Preaching is an Apostolic Duty
Sermon by Saint Lawrence of Brindisi
To carry properly a spiritual life, which is common to both us and the angels and the celestial and divine spirits - as they and us have been created in the image and likeness of God - the bread of grace of the Holy Spirit and the charity of God are both needed. Yet, grace and charity are impossible without faith, since without faith it is impossible to please God.

And this faith necessarily originates from the preaching of the word of God: faith is born from the message and the message consists in speaking of Christ. Therefore, the preaching of the word of God is necessary for the spiritual life, like the sowing is needed for the life of the body.

For this reason, Christ says: The sower went out to sow his seed. The sower went out to announce justice, and this herald, according to what we read, was sometimes God Himself, as when in the desert He gave to all the people, with a living voice coming down from Heaven, the law of justice.

At other times it was an angel of the Lord, as when in the so-called "place of those who weep", Bochim, He put before them their transgressions of the divine law, and all the children of Israel, upon hearing His words, repented and cried out in chorus; also when Moses predicated to all the people the law of the Lord, in the campaigns of Moad, as we know in Deuteronomy.

Finally, Christ, God and Man, came to preach the word of the Lord, and for this He also sent the apostles, just as He had sent the prophets before them.

Consequently, predication and preaching is an apostolic, angelic, Christian, divine function. This is how we comprehend the multiple riches that is enclosed within the word of God, since it is like the treasure within which all goods are found. From her proceeds faith, hope, charity, all the virtues, all the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all the evangelical blessings, all the good works, all meritorious acts and all the glory of paradise: accept meekly the word that has been planted and is capable of saving you.

The word of God is light for the understanding; fire for the will, so that man may know and love God; and for the inner man, the one who lives by the grace of the Holy Spirit, it is bread and water, but a bread sweeter than honey and the honeycomb; a water that is better than wine and milk.

The word of God, for the soul, is a spiritual treasure of merits, and for this reason it is compared to gold and precious metal; it is like a hammer that defeats the hardness of a heart obstinate in vice, and like a sword that renders death to all sin, in our fight against the flesh, the world and the devil.
Translated from the Spanish by Jan Paul von Wendt - corazones.org
The Battle of Stuhlweissemburg -
Outnumbered four to one - Prepared for
battle by trust in God and His holy Mother
This is what happened that October day in 1601 in Hungary, just twenty-three years after the Moslems were defeated in the Mediterranean Sea in the Battle of Lepanto. The saint rallied the troops and led the charge into the enemy lines. Bullets, arrows, and canon balls flew all around him as he held the crucifix on high. One of the bullets miraculously got lodged in his hair. Scimitars were being swung at him from every direction but never did a blade even graze his flesh. Five horses fell wounded beneath him as he galloped back and forth urging the brave warriors to fight on for the victory would be theirs. It was far from an easy victory, but at the end of the day the Turks were routed; they would be back again, and defeated again, eighty years later, at the gates of Vienna. Among those who fought for the empire and Christendom in this battle were bands of German Lutherans. Many of these converted after witnessing the heroism of Father Lawrence and the divine protection so visibly allotted to him.
Amid so many various undertakings Lorenzo found time for the practices of personal sanctification. And it is perhaps the greatest marvel of his life to have combined with duties so manifold an unusually intense inner life.

In the practice of the religious virtues St. Lorenzo equals the greatest saints. He had to a high degree the gift of contemplation, and very rarely celebrated Holy Mass without falling into ecstasies.

After the Holy Sacrifice, his great devotion was the Rosary and the Office of the Blessed Virgin. As in the case of St. Francis of Assisi, there was something poetical about his piety, which often burst forth into canticles to the Blessed Virgin. It was in Mary’s name that he worked his miracles, and his favorite blessing was:

"Nos cum prole pia benedicat Virgo Maria"
(We bless, with O Virgin Mary and her loving Child ...)
O God, who did give to Saint Lawrence, Thy confessor, the Spiritual Gift of Counsel and Fortitude to enable him to engage in the most difficult undertakings for the honor of Thy name and the salvation of souls, grant that by the same Gifts, we may perceive what we should do and through his intercession accomplish what we have perceieved through Our Lord Jesus Christ in unity the Holy Ghost. Amen
The Secret of Saint Lawrence’s Preaching
A priest asked: Friar Lawrence, to what is due your faculty of preaching? To your formidable memory? And he answered: "In good part it is due to my good memory. In another good part it is due to my dedicating many hours to preparing myself."

"But the principal cause is that I commend much to God in my preaching, and when I begin to preach I forget the entire plan I had and I begin to speak as if I was reading a mysterious book from heaven."
Saint Lawrence of Brindisi; (detail) engraving; 18th century; https://commons.wikimedia.org
Communion of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi by Raffaele da Roma, circa 1770; https://commons.wikimedia.org
July 21 - Saint Lawrence of Brindisi (1559-1619) - Confessor and Doctor of the Church - Active and Contemplative - Defending Religious Freedom
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