St. Lawrence O’Toole was born in the early 1120s in Ireland, the son of a chief. When he was 10, Lawrence was given as a hostage to the King of Leinster. The king treated him so poorly that his father begged that he be turned over to the Bishop of Glendalough instead.
Under the bishop’s care, Lawrence grew in virtue, and when he was 25, he was chosen to become the Bishop after the former bishop had died. In 1161, he was chosen to fill the See of Dublin, having earned the love and trust of his community.
Ten years later, Lawrence came to England to help King Henry II with his diocese. One day, while he was coming up to the altar to offer Mass, he was attacked by a mad man. Although the congregation thought that he was fatally wounded, Lawrence asked for water, blessed it, and applied it to his wound. The bleeding stopped immediately, and he continued the Mass.
Lawrence died on November 14, 1180, and was buried in the abbey at Eu, in Normandy, having lived a life of great piety and charity.