Saint Lawrence, born around 1125, faced a turbulent childhood. At the tender age of ten, he was handed over as a hostage to Dermod Mac Murehad, the King of Leinster. This period was marked by harsh treatment until his father intervened, ensuring Lawrence’s transfer to the care of the Bishop of Glendalough in Wicklow.
Demonstrating remarkable spiritual maturity, Lawrence became a beacon of virtue. His commitment led to his election as abbot of the monastery at just twenty-five, after the bishop’s passing in 1150. His tenure as abbot was distinguished by his exemplary leadership and wisdom.
In 1161, Lawrence’s virtues led to his unanimous selection as the first Archbishop of Dublin. His responsibilities soon extended beyond Ireland. Around 1171, he journeyed to England to meet King Henry II in Canterbury for diocesan matters.
During this visit, while preparing to officiate a service, he was violently struck on the head by a maniac, hoping to replicate the martyrdom of St. Thomas. Miraculously, after blessing and applying water to his wound, Lawrence recovered swiftly and proceeded to celebrate Mass.
His diplomatic skills shone in 1175 during a mission to reconcile Henry II with Roderic, the Irish monarch. Lawrence’s piety and wisdom impressed Henry, who entrusted him with full negotiation powers, resulting in a successful outcome.
Saint Lawrence’s earthly journey concluded on November 14, 1180. He was laid to rest in the abbey church at Eu, on the Normandy border. His life and deeds are commemorated annually on his feast day, November 14th.
Photo credit: Syrio via Wikimedia Commons