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Saint Lawrence O’Toole
Saint Lawrence O’Toole

Saint Lawrence O’Toole

Feast Day
Nov 14, 2012
Archdiocese of Dublin
<p>St. Lawrence O&rsquo;Toole was born Lorcan Ua Tuathail, in Castledermot, Ireland in 1128.&nbsp; He was one of four sons of an O&rsquo;Byrne princess.&nbsp; By the time of St. Lawrence&rsquo;s birth, his father was subordinate to the new kings of Leinster.&nbsp; At the age of 10 he was sent to Diarmait as a hostage for his father.&nbsp; He was imprisoned for two years in extreme austerity and barely given enough to live on.&nbsp;</p> <p>One result of his confinement was the strengthening of his wish to enter the religious life.&nbsp; On his being released, he remained in Glendalough.&nbsp; He entered the religious life and in time became the Abbot of Glendalough, at the age of 26.&nbsp; He was well regarded by both the community in Glendalough and its secular neighbors for his profound sanctity and charity to the poor. &nbsp;</p> <p>When he was thirty-two, he was unanimously elected as Archbishop of Dublin, at the Synod of Clane.&nbsp; He was the first Irishman to be appointed to the See of this town ruled by the Danes and Norwegians.&nbsp; It is worth noting that this nomination was backed by the High King, the Community at Glendalough, and also the Clergy and population of Dublin itself.&nbsp; He saw the people through a severe famine in Dublin, which struck the city.&nbsp; He also played a prominent part in the Irish Church Reform Movement of the 12<sup>th</sup> century, as well as rebuilding Christ Church Cathedral, several parishes, and promoted the use of Gregorian Chant. &nbsp;</p> <p>He left Ireland in 1179 to attend the Third Council of the Lateran in Rome, along with five other Bishops.&nbsp; He received a papal bull from Pope Alexander III, confirming the rights and privileges of the See of Dublin.&nbsp; Pope Alexander also named him as papal legate.&nbsp; On his return to Ireland, he kept up the pace of reform, that as many as 150 clerics were withdrawn from their offices for various abuses and sent to Rome.&nbsp; In 1180 he let Ireland for the last time.&nbsp; After a stay at the Monastery of Abingdon, south Oxford, he fell ill and was conveyed to St. Victor&rsquo;s Abbey at Eu.&nbsp; He was well known as an ascetic, wore a hair shirt, never ate meat, and fasted every Friday on bread and water.&nbsp; He passed away soon after, in 1180. &nbsp;</p> <p>Due to the claimed great number of miracles that rapidly occurred either at his tomb or through his intercession, he was canonized only 45 years after his death.&nbsp; His heart was preserved in Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin from the 13<sup>th</sup> century until March 3, 2012 when it was stolen.&nbsp; It had no economic value, but it was priceless treasure that linked the present with their founding father. &nbsp;</p> <p><span style="font-size: medium;"><strong>Practical Take Away</strong></span></p> <p>St. Lawrence was born in Ireland to a royal family, that lost their power.&nbsp; He was imprisoned as a political prisoner at the age of 10, for two years.&nbsp; This only strengthened his desire for he religious life.&nbsp; He became an Abbot at the age of 26, and the Archbishop of Dublin at the age of 32.&nbsp; He worked most of his life for the Church Reform Movement of the 12<sup>th</sup> Century.&nbsp; He was known for his profound sanctity and charity for those under his care. &nbsp;</p>