Franciscan saints & blesseds: July 2009 Archives

St Lawrence of Brindisi.jpg
Lord, for the glory of your name and the salvation of souls you gave Lawrence of Brindisi courage and right judgment. By prayers help us to know what we should do and give us the courage to do it.

Friar Lawrence was a brilliant man when it came to language study, knowledge of the Bible, the ability to preach in several languages, keeping balance in the Capuchin order and skillful in exercising leadership diplomacy. Spiritually he had the gift of tears, tongues and ecstacy. His work for God's Kingdom was preaching so that Jews and Protestants would be Catholic.

Saint Lawrence had a supreme belief in the Sacrifice of the Mass (taking up to 16 hours to celebrate the Mass on Christmas day in 1610), he advocated the efficacy of Mary's place in the economy of salvation as a font of mercy, and was a model of Christian virtue. One last interesting, but trivial note for those interested in the Franciscan way, Friar Lawrence was educated by the Conventuals but joined the Capuchins. There's got to be a story there. 

In 1961, Saint Lawrence joined three other Franciscans friars as a Doctor of the Church (Saints Anthony & Bonaventure and Blessed John Duns Scotus) though he is the only Capuchin to have this distinction. He is known as the Doctor Apostolicus (the Apostolic Doctor).

Saint Lawrence's brief biography is found here.

New to me is this Litany of Saint Lawrence of Brindisi.

Saint Bonaventure

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St Bonaventure enters OFM FHerrera the elder.jpgO God, Who did give Thy people blessed Bonaventure as a minister of eternal salvation, we beseech Thee; grant that we may deserve to have him as an intercessor in heaven, whom we had as a teacher of life on earth.

Today, the Church celebrates the feast day of Saint Bonaventure. Born and baptized in 1221 as John in Bagnoregio, Tuscany, he had an encounter with Saint Francis of Assisi. John was a very sick child is said to have been brought to Saint Francis who prayed over him and brought him back to health. The pious legend has it that Saint Francis exclaimed "O buona ventura."

The healing wasn't enough for John to enter the Franciscan order. A man of considerable talent and brilliance, the desire to study led him to the University of Paris where as a layman he completed his Master of Arts by the age of 22. He was regarded as an expert and a popular lecturer in logic and rhetoric. The Franciscans indicate that he enter the fraternity in either 1238 or 1243.

By 1256 Bonaventure's university life was anxiety provoking when lay professors started violently opposing their religious counterparts. In 1257 and not yet 36 years old, Bonaventure was elected minister general of the Franciscans. He was known to keep the unity and direction for the friars at a time that the order was experiencing unrest. Both Saints Bonaventure and Thomas Aquinas were given their doctoral degrees from the University of Paris on 23 October 1257.

The saint served the Church as bishop of Albano and as a cardinal.

Bonaventure died in 1274 while participating in the Council of Lyon; he was invited to the council by Pope Gregory X.

As a scholar and thinker with a sterling character, Saint Bonaventure was known to intercede for others before God and richly blessed by God leading others to say that he had escaped original sin. He left the Church a rich written legacy intellectual works and an incredible constellation of high profile students. His The Life of Saint Francis, Commentary on the Sentences of Lombard, Commentary on the Gospel of Saint Luke, and Itinerarium Mentis ad Deum, Breviloquium are his significant works.

Bonaventure was canonized by Pope Sixtus IV and named a Doctor of the Church by Pope Sixtus V.

Saint Thomas Aquinas asked Saint Bonaventure about the source of his teaching; Bonaventure responded, "I study only the crucified on, Jesus Christ." And so should we.

In your spare time why not read Joseph Ratzinger's book, Theology of History in St. Bonaventure?

Blessed Junipero Serra

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Bl Junipero Serra.jpgMy words that I have put in your mouth, says the Lord, will never be absent from your lips, and your gifts will be accepted on my altar.

God most high, Your servant Junipero Serra brought the gospel of Christ to the peoples of Mexico and California and firmly established the Church among them. By his intercession, and through the example of his apostolic zeal, inspire us to be faithful witnesses of Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

An interesting itinerary of Blessed Junipero

About the author

Paul A. Zalonski is from New Haven, CT. He is a member of the Fraternity of Communion and Liberation, a Catholic ecclesial movement and an Oblate of Saint Benedict. Contact Paul at paulzalonski[at]



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About this Archive

This page is a archive of entries in the Franciscan saints & blesseds category from July 2009.

Franciscan saints & blesseds: May 2009 is the previous archive.

Franciscan saints & blesseds: August 2009 is the next archive.

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