Saint Lawrence of Brindisi, Doctor
Arbogast of Strasbourg B (RM)
Born in Aquitaine, France; died c. 678. Although the Irish and Scottish both claim Arbogast as their own, the 13th-century Chronicle of Sens by Richer and the Life of Saint Florentius, his successor, strongly support the claim of Scotland. His acta, however, tell us that Arbogast was born of a noble family in Aquitaine, France.
His vita, attributed to Bishop Utone of Strasbourg (died 965), tells us that Arbogast was living as a recluse in the Sacred Forest (Heiligesforst or Haguenau) of Alsace when King Dagobert took an interest in him. The holy hermit was often called to court to share his wisdom with the king, who, about 630, forced on Arbogast the see of Strasbourg. Shortly after his consecration, Arbogast raised Dagobert's son Sigebert to life when he had been killed by a fall from his horse. Although many other miracles are ascribed to the saint, he was famed for humility and wisdom.
Because of the king's affection for the bishop, the see was endowed with several large estates, including Rufach and the old royal palace of Isenburg. Arbogast founded or endowed several monasteries, including Surbourg, Shutteran, and possibly Ebersheimmünster (although Saint Odilia's father, Adalric, and Bishop Saint Deodatus of Nevers are the principal founders of this last one).
Apparently Saint Arbogast retired before his death, because the year before Dagobert offered the see of Strasbourg to Saint Wilfrid, who was on his way to Rome to challenge the division of his see. When Wilfrid declined, Saint Florentius was consecrated.
At Arbogast's request, he was interred on a mountain in the place set apart for the burial of criminals. The church of Saint Michael was built over his tomb and Saint Arbogast's Abbey rose nearby. His second successor translated his body with honor into the abbey church. A church was built in his honor in 1069, but it was destroyed by the Protestants in 1530. His relics were scattered during the Thirty Years War (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Husenbeth).
In art, Saint Arbogast is a bishop walking dryshod over a river, sometimes with Saint Sebastian (Roeder). He is the patron of Strasbourg, but his feast is also kept in several Swiss cantons (Farmer).
Claudius, Justus, Jucundinus & Comp. MM (RM)
Died 273. This group of eight martyrs suffered with Saint Julia at Troyes, France, under Aurelian. There bodies are venerated at the Benedictine convent of Jouarre near Meaux (Benedictines).
Constantine of Monte Cassino, OSB Abbot (AC)
Died c. 560. Saint Constantine was a disciple of Saint Benedict, whom he succeeded at abbot of Monte Cassino (Benedictines).
Daniel, Prophet (RM)
5th century BC. The Roman Martyrology mentions that the major Old Testament prophet Daniel died in Babylon. His relics are reputed to have been translated first to Alexandria and then to Venice (Benedictines).
John of Edessa, Hermit (RM)
6th century. Saint John, a Syrian monk of Edessa, is associated with Saint Simeon Salus (Benedictines).
John and Benignus, OSB (AC)
Died 707. Saint John and his twin brother Benignus were monk at Moyenmoutier under Saint Hidulphus (Benedictines).
Julia of Troyes VM (RM)
Born in Troyes, France; died there after 272. Saint Julia was a virgin who seized by the soldiers of Emperor Aurelian after his victory over the usurper Tetricus. Claudius, an officer under whose charge she was placed, was converted by Julia and martyred with her (Benedictines, Encyclopedia).
Lawrence of Brindisi, OFM Cap. Doctor (RM)
(also known as Laurence, Lorenzo)
Born in Brindisi, Naples, Italy, July 22, 1559; died in Lisbon, Portugal, July 22, 1619; beatified in 1783; canonized in 1881; declare a Doctor of the Church by Pope John XXIII in 1959; feast day formerly on July 23.
Cesare de Rossi was born to a Venetian family in the kingdom of Naples. He was educated by the local Conventual Franciscans and then by his uncle in the College of Saint Mark in Venice. He was both a brilliant military tactician as well as a peacemaker.
At age 16, he became a Capuchin Franciscan in Verona and took the name Lawrence. He pursued higher studies in theology, philosophy, and Scripture at the University of Padua. There he demonstrated an incredible gift for languages--Greek, Hebrew, German, Bohemian, French, and Spanish--and excelled at Bible studies. He gave a Lenten course of sermons while still a deacon, and after being ordained, he preached successfully in Padua, Verona, Vicenza, and elsewhere in northern Italy.
In 1596, he became a definitor general of the order in Rome, a position he was to hold five times. Pope Clement VIII commissioned him to evangelize the Jews; his facility with Hebrew contributed to his success at this task. He accompanied Blessed Benedict of Urbino to Germany to establish the Capuchins as a means of counteracting the spread of Lutheranism. They nursed plague victims and established monasteries at Prague, Vienna, and Gorizia, which were to develop into the provinces of Bohemia, Austria, and Styria. Lawrence then was elected minister general of the Capuchins.
During this time, the Turks were threatening to conquer Hungary. Emperor Rudolf II begged Lawrence to unite the German princes against them. As a result of his efforts, an army was mustered, and he was appointed chaplain general. Before the battle of Szekes-Fehervar in 1601, the generals consulted him on strategy. He advised an attack, rallied the troops, and rode before the army with a crucifix. The victory of Szekes-Fehervar was attributed to him.
In 1602, he was elected vicar general of the Capuchins but refused re-election in 1605. The emperor later commissioned Lawrence to persuade Philip III of Spain to join the Catholic League, and in the course of this task, he founded a house of Capuchins in Madrid. He was then sent to Munich as nuncio of the Holy See at the court of Maximilian of Bavaria, head of the League, from which location, in addition to his other duties, he administered two provinces of his order.
After serving as a diplomat for two more royal tangles, returned to the monastery of Caserta in 1618, desiring a more solitary life. Representatives from Naples came to him, however, and asked him to intercede for them with King Philip about the Spanish viceroy, the duke of Osuna, whose dictatorial methods they feared would cause a rebellion.
Although he was ill and tired and predicted that he would not return alive, he agreed. He was forced to travel to Lisbon in the heat of summer. There he convinced the king of the seriousness of the case, and the duke was recalled. After accomplishing his aim, he returned to his lodging and died on his sixtieth birthday. Lawrence was buried in the cemetery of Poor Clares at Villafranca.
His written works included some controversial pieces against the Lutherans and a commentary on Genesis, but his main contributions are in the nine volumes of his sermons (Attwater, Benedictines, Bentley, Delaney, Encyclopedia, Farmer, Walsh, White).
Blessed Oddino Barrotti, OFM Tert. (AC)
Born in Fossano, Piedmont, Italy, in 1324; died there in 1400; cultus approved in 1808. Oddino became a parish priest at the church of Saint John the Baptist at Fossano and a Franciscan tertiary. Later he resigned from his pastoral duties and turned his house into a hospital. He is still highly venerated in Fossano (Benedictines).
Praxedes of Rome V (RM)
2nd century. The Roman virgin Praxedes is said to have been the daughter of the Roman senator Saint Pudens and sister of Saint Pudentiana. All three were legendarily converted by Saint Peter. Praxedes is said to have used all her wealth to relief the distress of the poor and her physical strength in succoring the martyrs by which she hoped to share in their heavenly reward. She died in peace and was buried in the cemetery of Priscilla on the Valerian Way.
One of the oldest churches in Rome, S. Prassede, was built on the site of her home and is dedicated to her. The parish is mentioned in the Life of Pope Saint Symmachus, and was repaired by Popes Adrian I and Saint Paschal I as well as by Saint Charles Borromeo, who had Prassede as his titular church. Benedict XIV declared that her acta were spurious and unworthy of belief. The cultus of Praxedes is not one of the oldest in Rome; the earliest reference to her is in the 7th-century itineraries of the catacombs. Her feast was removed from the universal calendar in 1969 (Benedictines, Encyclopedia, Farmer). In art, Saint Praxedes is generally portrayed with Saint Pudentiana. They take up the blood of martyrs with a sponge. They may also be shown (1) with a sponge and urn; (2) standing behind the Apostles as Christ gives them a wreath; (3) led to Christ by SS. Peter and Paul; or (4) receiving wreaths from the Virgin and Child (Roeder). She is venerated in Rome (Roeder).
Victor of Marseilles & Companions MM (RM)
Died 304; feast day formerly July 1. There are several martyrs named Victor but today's saint is one of the most renowned--though nothing is certain about who he is. His tomb in a Marseilles church was one of the most popular pilgrimage sites in Gaul. Victor's acta are untrustworthy; it is unclear what elements of it are true.
According to the legend, Victor, a Christian officer in the Roman army, was stationed at Marseilles at the time of the persecutions under Maximianus Herculius. When the emperor entered Marseilles, Victor went from house to house at night to urge Christians to be steadfast if they were called to die for the faith. He was caught and brought before the prefects, Asterius and Eutychius, who sent him to the emperor for his exhortations to the Christians.
He held firm under the threats and anger of Maximianus and was ordered to be bound and dragged through the streets. When he was returned, bruised and bloody, he continued to resist entreaties that he worship false gods.
For maintaining his faith, he was scourged and tortured on the rack. During this brutality, Victor was treated to a vision of Christ. He was then thrown into the dungeon. At midnight, he was said to have been visited by angels, whose light filled the prison. Three frightened guards--Alexander, Felician, and Longinus--begged his pardon, and Victor called for priests and baptized them.
The conversion enraged Maximianus and he had all four brought to the marketplace. The three soldiers held fast to their new-found faith and were beheaded. Victor was beaten, scourged, and brought again to prison.
Three days later he was again brought before the emperor and asked to offer incense to Jupiter. He kicked the statue over instead. The emperor ordered that his foot be cut off and that he be crushed to death beneath a millstone. When part of his body was crushed, the machine broke. Still alive, he was beheaded.
The four bodies were thrown into the sea, but they were recovered and buried by Christians in a cave. In the 4th century, Saint John Cassian built a monastery over the site, which later became a Benedictine abbey (Attwater, Benedictines, Delaney, Encyclopedia, White).
In art, Saint Victor is a Roman soldier with a millstone. At times he may be portrayed (1) as he overthrows a statue of Jupiter; (2) in stocks, comforted by angels; (3) scourged and crushed by a millstone; or (4) with his body beheaded and flung into the river, from which the angels take it (Roeder). He is the patron of millers and is invoked against lightning, and on behalf of weakly children (Roeder).
Wastrada of Utrecht, Matron (AC)
Died c. 670. Wastrada, mother of Saint Gregory of Utrecht, retired to a convent in her old age. She may have become a nun, but there is little corroborative contemporary evidence (Benedictines).
Zoticus of Cappadocia BM (RM)
Died 204. Eusebius mentions that Bishop Zoticus of Comana, Cappadocia, was famous for his zeal against the Montanist heretics. He condemned their errors and false prophecies. He was martyred for the faith under Severus (Benedictines, Husenbeth).
About Saints of the Day
These summaries were prepared in 1998 by St. Patrick's parishioner Katherine I. Rabenstein and are reproduced on www.saintpatrickdc.org with the permission of the author. Note that the content has not been updated since that time and represents the research of the author. An alphabetical index of all saints on our site is available. Source references are also available. HTML formatting © 2007-2008 by St. Patrick's Catholic Church, Washington, D.C.