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Patricia
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« on: May 12, 2010, 08:48:01 AM »

We have in heaven the heart of a mother, The Virgin, our Mother, who at the foot of the Cross suffered as much as possible for a human creature, understands our troubles and consoles us.

-- Saint Leopold Mandic

Just learned about his Saint. Kind of reminded me of Padre Pio.

 Had many physical disabilities and so was denied mission work in Eastern Europe by his superiors. In Padua  he became a Confessor  and Spiritual Director for almost forty years. For nearly forty years, twelve hours a day, he absolved and counselled thousands of penitents, always weak but always available.

    Despite being hidden in the darkness of the confessional, he was known to everyone. His fierce Dalmation temperament notwithstanding, he always controlled himself, was generous in forgiving, and never harbored resentment. Among his Capuchin brothers, Leopold was the object of much misunderstanding and negative criticism. His ministry often prevented him from being present at communal gatherings. Some friars objected to the largesse Leopold showed to penitents. Leopold transformed the confessional into an experience of human dignity, a personal encounter of compassion, respect, and understanding. There every penitent experienced the mercy of God and the kindness of a priest. Leopold once remarked, "Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation." When accused of leniency in assigning penances, Leopold would respond, "If the Lord wants to accuse me of showing too much leniency toward sinners, I'll tell him that it was he who gave me this example, and I haven't even died for the salvation of souls as he did." Leopold would often remark, "Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself." At nighttime, he would spend hours in prayer, explaining: "I must do penance for my penitents."

    Despite his inbred severity and Capuchin austerity, Leopold had a big heart, full of understanding and sensitivity. He was very vocal about pro-life issues and was instrumental in inspiring a teacher to found "Little Homes" for orphans where they could experience a parent's love. Perhaps his greatest personal penance was living in an extremely small room (6'7" in width and 4'3" in length) which was an icebox in winter and an oven in summer.

    Leopold had a deep devotion to the Virgin Mary whom he called (in Venetian dialect), "Parona benedeta," (i.e., "my holy boss"). He celebrated daily Eucharist at the side altar of the Immaculate Conception, recited the Little Office of the Virgin Mary, and prayed the rosary often. He had a special love for expectant mothers and for children. He would visit the sick, in Padua and the surrounding area, in nursing homes and private houses. He often visited the Capuchin infirmary to comfort the sick and senior friars. His constant refrain was, "Have faith! Have faith!" He had a special captivation with doctors, reminding them often, "God is both the physician and the medicine." He once said of priests, "A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."

    Cancer of the esophagus led to Leopold's death. On July 30, 1942, he was vesting for liturgy when he collapsed on the sacristy floor. He was brought to his cell where he was anointed. Friars gathered at his cell and began to pray the "Salve Regina" with Leopold. When they got to the words, "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary," Leopold died. He was 76 years old, 60 of which were spent as a Capuchin, and 52 as a priest.

    Leopold's cell and confessional were spared the bombing of World War II, even though the church and part of the friary were demolished. Leopold had predicted it, "The church and the friary will be hit by the bombs, but not this little cell. Here God exercised so much mercy for people, it must remain as a monument to God's goodness." Paul VI beatified Leopold on May 2, 1976. He was canonized by John Paul II on October 16, 1983 during the Synod of Bishops considering the theme of reconciliation. Leopold is hailed as the "Apostle of Unity."

« Last Edit: May 12, 2010, 09:01:51 AM by Patricia » Logged

'His mother saith to the servants: Whatsoever he shall say to you, do ye.'
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Shin
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« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2010, 09:18:12 AM »

Thanks for introducing him!  Cheesy
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'Flores apparuerunt in terra nostra. . . Fulcite me floribus. (The flowers appear on the earth. . . stay me up with flowers. Sg 2:12,5)
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« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2010, 08:59:49 PM »

Yes thanks.  I really liked this!  What a priest!
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