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Thursday, February 3, 2011

Saint Lawrence, Bishop & Confessor

Saint Lawrence, Bishop & Confessor

St.Augustine's Abbey in Canterbury
This Lawrence was on of the monks that accompanied Saint Augustine to England in the year 597 on the mission which Pope Saint Gregory sent from Rome. Later, when advice was needed concerning various problems which had arisen, Lawrence was deemed worthy to be sent back to Saint Gregory, to obtain the necessary counsel. And after his return to England, on the death of Saint Augustine, he became the second Archbishop of Canterbury, and ruled that See for eleven years, until he went to God in 619. On the death of King Saint Ethelbert, his son King Eadbald not only refused to follow his good father in the ways of Christianity, but persisted in idolatry, and even gave himself to incest, in that he took his father’s widow to wife. * And thereupon great troubles came upon the Christian missionaries, so that Lawrence, who had laboured hard to correct these evils, and bring about the conversion of pagans, was well nigh certain that his mission was a failure ; and so he began to think on retirement to France, where some of his companions had already gone. But on the eve of his departure the Apostle Peter appeared to him in a dream, and chastised him with many stripes for forsaking the flock in whose behalf Christ had died. Whereat he awoke, livid from head to foot from these blows, and went to the King, and shewed the marks to him. Whereby Eadbald was touched to the heart, and gave himself to God ; and began to work for his own salvation and that of his subjects. * Not long thereafter, Lawrence died in peace, having spread abroad the sweet savour of the same Christ Jesus. And when in 1091, the Abbot Wido opened the tomb wherein Lawrence was buried, at the time his relicks were to be translated, it is said that a pleasant odour swept therefrom throughout the whole monastery of Saint Augustine ; as saith the Scripture : His remembrance is like the perfume.

We beseech thee, O Lord, graciously to hear the prayers which we offer unto thee on this feast of blessed Lawrence, thy Confessor and Bishop, that, like as he was found worthy to do thee faithful service, so, by the succour of his merits, we may be delivered from the chastisement which we have deserved, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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