“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)?

Speaking of St. Lawrence of Brindisi, a priest friend texted this to me today:

Let’s picture a Latin Mass crusade to the Vatican. If we have enough priests and faithful, we could storm St. Peter’s without the aid of violence. Is the Swiss Guard going to oppose a full number of the faithful United in this way. Let every priest come vested with his servers through the main door with everything needed for mass. Then, each priest goes to an altar predetermined by one master plan. When he finishes mass the next priest up for that altar says mass. We keep the crusade going round the clock until all the priests participating have celebrated at least once. Then we leave peacefully.

Is it feasible? What canonical penalties might result for individual priests invading St. Peter’s in this way?

I believe St. Lawrence of Brindisi would support a tactical crusade to the Vatican at this juncture in church history.

¡Hagan lío!

“Forward!” he cried, showing them the crucifix, “Victory is ours.”

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Chuck4247 says:

    That sounds like a story worthy of a Sabaton song…

  2. UncleBlobb says:

    Thank you, Father! I’m in with this operation, as long as I get to be your server. [|:)

  3. TheCavalierHatherly says:

    The encyclopedia entry fails to mention that he had actual bullet holes (it may have been one or multiple, my memory is fuzzy) in his habit after the battle, despite being without wounds.

    Many of the Turks, rather amusingly were terrified of him and thought he was some manner of sorcerer.

  4. EC says:

    I just remember that the Saint had apparently memorized all of Sacred Scripture, in the original languages…

  5. jameeka says:

    “I believe St. Lawrence of Brindisi would support a tactical crusade to the Vatican at this juncture in church history.”

    Yes, he would.

  6. Fr. Reader says:

    All this is not politically correct.

  7. carndt says:

    I must have missed the date set for this spiritual adventure. I do want to set it in my calendar so as not to miss the Revolution of FAITH.
    Ready, Set, GO!!

  8. JonPatrick says:

    I think we may be at the point where nonviolent resistance/action (such as invading the Vatican as above) is appropriate. Fr. Z often uses the analogy of Plessy vs Ferguson “separate but (un)equal”. Historically this persisted in the US South until some brave souls (many of them religious such as Dr. King) refused to go along with segregation. In the end they were able to defeat it.

  9. TonyO says:

    I heartily support taking on St. Peter’s and using all those altars for the purposes they were intended – in the Rite they were designed for. Go for it. I’ll help. Let’s get a thousand priests and 20,000 lay people to help.

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