“Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” – St. Lawrence of Brindisi

Today on both sides of the Roman Rite we celebrate a Bishop and Doctor of the Church, St. Lawrence of Brindisi.

Know much about him?

I like this story about him from the Catholic Encyclopedia:

It was on the occasion of the foundation of the convent of Prague (1601) that St. Lorenzo was named chaplain of the Imperial army, then about to march against the Turks. The victory of Lepanto (1571) had only temporarily checked the Moslem invasion, and several battles were still necessary to secure the final triumph of the Christian armies. Mohammed III had, since his accession (1595), conquered a large part of Hungary. The emperor, determined to prevent a further advance, sent Lorenzo of Brindisi as deputy to the German princes to obtain their cooperation. They responded to his appeal, and moreover the Duke of Mercœur, Governor of Brittany, joined the imperial army, of which he received the effective command. The attack on Albe-Royal (now Stulweissenburg) was then contemplated. To pit 18,000 men against 80,000 Turks was a daring undertaking and the generals, hesitating to attempt it, appealed to Lorenzo for advice. Holding himself responsible for victory, he communicated to the entire army in a glowing speech the ardour and confidence with which he was himself animated. As his feebleness prevented him from marching, he mounted on horseback and, crucifix in hand, took the lead of the army, which he drew irresistibly after him. Three other Capuchins were also in the ranks of the army. Although the most exposed to danger, Lorenzo was not wounded, which was universally regarded as due to a miraculous protection. The city was finally taken, and the Turks lost 30,000 men. As however they still exceeded in numbers the Christian army, they formed their lines anew, and a few days later another battle was fought. It always the chaplain who was at the head of the army. “Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” The Turks were again defeated, and the honour of this double victory was attributed by the general and the entire army to Lorenzo.

Let Pope Benedict tell you something more

Here is what the Martyrologium Romanum has:

Sancti Laurentii de Brundusio, presbyteri et Ecclesiae doctoris, inter Fratres Minores Capuccinos adscriptus, praedicandi munere in Europae regionibus indefesse functus est, tum pro Ecclesia defensione adversus infideles, tum in reconciliandis principibus, tum in Ordinis sui moderatione, omnia munera explens simplicitate et humilitate.  Die vero vigesimo secundo iulii Ulyssipone in Lusitania obiit.

How about your own, smooth but accurate rendering into English (or Klingon… whatever)?

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6 Responses to “Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.” – St. Lawrence of Brindisi

  1. Jerome Vincent says:

    … of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and Doctor of the Church; enrolled among the Capuchin Friars Minor, he untiringly discharged the duty of preaching within the regions of Europe, for the defense of the Church against the infidels, and in reconciling leaders, and in the administration of his Order, fulfilling all duties with simplicity and humility. He died on July 22 at Lisbon in Lusitania.

  2. Gus Barbarigo says:

    I’m thrillied that this Doctor of the Church is being remmebered here today. If it’s true that saints have particularly powerful influence on their feast days, then this feast could not have come at a better time: anti-Christian genocide (fidecide?) in Iraq and Syria, theological upheaval among the Western faithful, and apostacy and atheism among Western civil leaders. Please take a moment to venerate St. Lawrence, and beg for his intercession for the Church, especially for those suffering at the hands of the Mohammedans.

  3. iPadre says:

    And it will be again! But until then, we have much to suffer.

  4. DetJohn says:

    I grew up in St. Lawrence of Brindisi Parish in the Watts Section of Los Angeles, Ca. It is A Capuchin parish. The Capuchins of the 1940’s & 1950″s would speak out against the enemies of the Church. Today the Capuchins don’t mention much about the battles with Mohammedans.
    In my opinion the Capuchins have wimped out.

    If prayer were the only answer, there would be no crazed Islamic Militants. The Christians of the Middle East should all go Lebanon, arm themselves and be ready to fight back. If you do not stand up to the likes of ISIS you will die.

    ISIS has boasted that they will rid the Bakka Valley and all of Lebanon of Christians. Christians have to fight for themselves if they to survive in the East. There are no Crusaders coming to your aid.

    ISIS has stated that they will take over the Vatican and destroy it.

    It is said the God helps those who help themselves.

  5. jcr says:

    The miraculous protection mentioned in the article took the form of musket balls and even cannon balls falling out of the air as if they’d hit an invisible wall. His horses were not so well protected. On the last day of battle, he had to replace his horse 5 times, either because it was exhausted from St. Lawrence’s racing back and forth between the lines to encourage the troops, or because it had been shot out from under him.

    At one point he took a bullet from his tonsured hair, where it had come to rest, and, patting it, said, “Semplicità! So you meant to kill me.” Br. Michael, another of the Capuchin chaplains, picked up the bullet and kept it as a souvenir.

  6. KM Edwards says:

    But hold on there … St Francis was a peacenik anti-war guy, wasn’t he? Leading an army against our Muslim brothers contravened the Spirit of Assisi, didn’t it?