Bessed Lorenzo Maria of Saint Francis Xavier, (also known as Lorenzo Salvi), a member of the Passionist Congregation, was born on October 30, 1782 in Rome, Italy. He studied for the priesthood at Jesuit-run the Collegio Romano in Rome; his classmates included the future Pope Gregory XVI.
Lorenzo was greatly impressed by the preaching and zeal of Saint Vincent Strambi and soon followed him into the Passionist Congregation. He became a novice at Monte Argentario in 1801, the first monastery of the Passionists. He received the religious name Lorenzo Maria of Saint Francis Xavier and professed his vows on November 20, 1802, and was ordained a priest on December 29, 1805. He followed closely in the footsteps of the founder of the Passionists, St. Paul of the Cross.
The anti-clerical laws of Napoleon saw the Passionist house suppressed and its members dispersed. When at last Lorenzo was able to return to Passionist life he preached missions and encouraged devotion to the Passion of Christ, these two things are the hallmarks of the Passionist life. But he also gained the reputation of a most wise and admired superior for his ability to ably lead communities.
He had great devotion to the Infant Jesus and was steadfast in promoting, in every circumstance, prayerful devotion to the holy childhood of Jesus, not only through his untiring work, but also through his constant example and his proliferation of writings. He often wrote about and preached on the wonders of the Incarnation. Because of this great devotion he is usually depicted in religious art with a picture of the Child Jesus.
Lorenzo was made Rector of the Passionist mother house in Rome, SS John and Paul, but spent much of his time preaching missions, his Vice-Rector was Blessed Dominic Barberi, the great Passionist Saint who labored in England.
Blessed Lorenzo died June 12, 1856 at Capranica, Viterbo, Italy of natural causes. He is buried in the Passionist church of St. Angelo, Vetralla (Viterbo)
October 1, 1989 Lorenzo Maria of St. Francis Xavier was beatified by Pope John Paul II.