Laurence of Brindisi
Feast Day: 21 July
Patron Saint of Brindisi, region in Italy

St Laurence of Brindisi (1559-1619), born Giulio Cesare Russo, was a prominent Capuchin friar, theologian, diplomat, and preacher who lived during the late 16th and early 17th centuries. The Capuchins—whose distinctive habit later lent its name to a modern beverage—were a reformed Franciscan order.

Laurence was known for his outstanding gift of languages. He was elected minister-general of the Capuchins in 1602, and was responsible for the order’s great growth. He was appointed papal emissary and peacemaker, which took him to a number of foreign countries. He died of a serious illness in Lisbon in 1619.

Laurence was canonized by Pope Leo XIII in 1881, and was later declared a “Doctor of the Church” by Pope John XXIII in 1959. He is the patron saint of his native Brindisi; his feast is 21 July.

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