Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler, Benziger Bros. ed. , at sacred-texts.com
ST. LAURENCE, it appears, was born about the year 1125. When only ten years old, his father delivered him up as a hostage to Dermod Mac Murchad, King of Leinster, who treated the child with great inhumanity, until his father obliged the tyrant to put him in the hands of the Bishop of Glendalough, in the county of Wicklow. The holy youth, by his fidelity in corresponding with the divine grace, grew to be a model of virtues. On the death of the bishop, who was also abbot of the monastery, St. Laurence was chosen abbot in 1150, though but twenty-five years old, and governed his numerous community with wonderful virtue and prudence. In 1161 St. Laurence was unanimously chosen to fill the new metropolitan See of Dublin. About the year 1171 he was obliged, for the affairs of his diocese, to go over to England to see the king, Henry II., who was then at Canterbury. The Saint was received by the Benedictine monks of Christ Church with the greatest honor and respect. On the following day, as the holy archbishop was advancing to the altar to officiate, a maniac, who had heard much of his sanctity, and who was led on by the idea of making so holy a man another St. Thomas, struck him a violent blow on the head. All present concluded that he was mortally wounded; but the Saint coming to himself, asked for some water, blessed it, and having his wound washed with it, the blood was immediately stanched, and the archbishop celebrated Mass. In 1175 Henry II. of England became offended with Roderic, the monarch of Ireland, and St. Laurence undertook another journey to England to negotiate a reconciliation between them. Henry was so moved by his piety, charity, and prudence that he granted him everything he asked, and left the whole negotiation to his discretion. Our Saint ended his journey here below on the 14th of November, 1180, and was buried in the church of the abbey at Eu, on the confines of Normandy.