Jeremiah 2.1-3,7-8,12-13; Psalm 35; Matthew 13.10-17
St Lawrence (1559-1619) was born in Brindisi in the Kingdom of Naples of a merchant family. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans in Verona and studied at the University of Padua where he distinguished himself as a linguist. He was fluent in Italian, Latin, Hebrew, Greek, German, Czech, Spanish and French. At the age of 31 he was elected Superior of the Capuchins in the Tuscany province. Pope Clement VIII appointed him to preach to the Jews in Rome in 1596. He established Capuchin friaries in modern Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. He was credited in returning many Protestants to the Catholic faith. Later in life, having served as Superior General of the Capuchins, he was successively Papal Legate to Bavaria, to Spain, and to Lisbon, where he died on his 60th birthday.