“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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About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

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

  1. Ivan Tomas says:

    Ok I know,… St. Lawrence of Brindissi (Lorenzo Russo) was an Italian,… but how far from his land is France? And how far is it now? I know, a better comaration should be with st. Jean d’Arc, but this time article make me thinking firstly about “mohammedan issue”, or better to say “mohammedanian virus” which has spread himself deeply end widely into the heart of our (once) Christian Europe…
    https://plus.google.com/+DonQuijotNL/posts/5UFzFGQP8Ka

    God bless all who are fighting good fight for our one and only truly Catholic Church of our Lord Jesus Christ!

  2. Gregg the Obscure says:

    Ulyssipone! I’m so embarrassed that I didn’t know that derivation sooner.

  3. DetJohn says:

    Attended St. Lawrence of Brindisi Parish School, Watts Area of Los Angeles in the 1940s & 1950s… Staffed by he Capuchin Fathers. We were aware of his leading the charge against the Muslims…

    Sadly, today the Capuchins don’t stress the above……

  4. Adaquano says:

    We could use a few more bishops like him today.

  5. WmHesch says:

    My translation, respectfully submitted:

    “St. Lawrence of Brindisi, priest and Doctor of the Church, enrolled among the Friars Minor Cappuchin, who performed unwearied the charism of preaching in regions of Europe, first for the defense of the Church against infidels, then in reconciling Princes, then in the moderation of his Order, fulfilling all charisms with simplicity and humility. He died on the 22nd day of July at Lisbon in Portugal.”

  6. catholictrad says:

    Search for “St. Lawrence of Brindisi” on Google. Note almost all of the “Catholic” sites note his spiritual worthiness and excellent preaching. However very few recount his fight against the Muslim invasion of Europe.

    Are we afraid of offending the current-day invaders?

  7. mo7 says:

    What a marvelous painting!

  8. Ivan Tomas says:

    @catholictrad,
    No. We are not (all) afraid. See the link. Language is Croatian. Help yourself with a G-translate engine. God bless you.
    https://plus.google.com/+DonQuijotNL/posts/ZUR6Hc37Jrk

  9. Imrahil says:

    There may be fear around, but the problem in this case is not fear; it is, where present, a false sense of shame for things not to be ashamed of. (I’ve read in an article today that Joseph Ratzinger once spoke of a pathological contemporary Western self-hate.) It is this, not the fear of what Muslims might do to us (present or not), that makes us shy about our victories.

    For a cheer-up, most Westerners today say that we really should have lost the Crusades, but nearly all concur in asserting that we whether we should or not, in any case we did lose them. Whereas, Chesterton wrote:

    … the loss of Jerusalem. Let it be observed that I do not say the loss of the war, or even the Crusade. For the war against Islam was not lost. The Moslem was overthrown in the real battle-field, which was Spain; he was menaced in Africa; his imperial power was already stricken and beginning slowly to decline…

    We might add (not here in Chesterton’s view) the victories of Lepanto, Vienna, Belgrade (which inspired the song “Prince Eugene The Noble Knight”), and so on. In fact if it was not for World War II, maybe a future generation would learn get to know what we now know as “World War I” as the Last Turkish War (though we retreated at Lausanne, which maybe was unnecessary). The 1912 Balkan War certainly was a Turkish War in the classical sense.