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The Catholic Defender: Saint Leopold Mandic

Saint of the Day: Saint Leopold Mandic

Western Christians who are working for greater dialogue with Orthodox Christians may be reaping the fruits of Father Leopold’s prayers.

He became known as an Apostle of Confession and an Apostle of Unity. He made a famous prayer that is the forerunner of today's ecumenism.

A native of Croatia, Leopold joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later in spite of several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight, and a stomach ailment.

For several years Leopold taught patrology, the study of the Church Fathers, to the clerics of his province, but he is best known for his work in the confessional, where he sometimes spent 13-15 hours a day. Several bishops sought out his spiritual advice.

Leopold’s dream was to go to the Orthodox Christians and work for the reunion of Roman Catholicism and Orthodoxy. His health never permitted it. Leopold often renewed his vow to go to the Eastern Christians; the cause of unity was constantly in his prayers.

At a time when Pope Pius XII said that the greatest sin of our time is “to have lost all sense of sin,” Leopold had a profound sense of sin and an even firmer sense of God’s grace awaiting human cooperation.

Leopold died in Padua on July 31, 1942. He was beatified by Pope Paul VI on May 2, 1976 and canonized by Pope John Paul II on October 16, 1983.

He's the patron saint of cancer sufferers and confession. His feast day is May 12 (July 30 in the Roman martyrology). St. Leopold, pray for us.

God, Almighty Father, you made Saint Leopoldo a rich source of Your grace for all who had recourse to him. Through his intercession, may we live our lives in love, relying entirely on Your will, and strong in the hope of Your promises.

God, You show Your almighty power most clearly when You grant mercy and forgiveness to sinners. You made Saint Leopold an outstanding witness through his ministry in the Sacrament of Reconciliation. Grant us the grace to celebrate the Sacrament joyfully, and so experience Your great love.

God our Father, through Christ Your Son Who died and rose to life, You redeemed us, and You gave us Saint Leopoldo as a fatherly presence to comfort and guide us in our trials. Pour into our hearts the certainty of Your presence and help.

God, source of communion for all Your sons and daughters, You wanted Christ to be the only Shepherd of Your Church. Through the prayers of Saint Leopoldo, that silent prophet of spiritual ecumenism, infuse Your Spirit into us, so that we may pray and give our lives for the unity of all who believe in You.

God, You wanted Mary to be Mother of Christ and Mother of the Church, and You gave Saint Leopoldo a tender devotion to our Lady. May we know in our own lives the joy of her motherly protection and love.


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