Saint Leopold Mandic (1887-1942)

for July 28

Saint Leopold Mandic, a Capuchin Franciscan, was born in Croatia in 1866. He was a man of unusually small stature, and suffered from numerous disabilities: arthritis, which often made it difficult for him to walk, speech impediments, which inhibited his ability to deliver sermons, and stomach and vision problems. Although by many outward standards a powerless and ineffective man, Saint Leopold developed exceptional virtue and became widely known for his wisdom and unparalleled spiritual advice. Leaders from all over the world sought him as a confessor. He often spent up to 15 hours straight in the confessional. Despite living nearly all of his life in Padua, Saint Leopold hoped to someday become a missionary. He prayed fervently and incessantly for the unification of the Orthodox and Catholic Churches and influenced later developments in ecumenism. He died in 1942, having correctly predicted that, although the church and friary where he lived would be severely bombed, his cell and confessional would be preserved. John Paul II canonized Saint Leopold Mandic in 1983.

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St. Leopold Mandic was a man of considerable learning, wisdom and holiness. He strove to learn the will of God and to live in accordance with that will. Among many other important causes he supported, St. Leopold's immense Christian faith led him to conclude that it was important to reunite the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches. He recognized and felt the struggles and pain of disunity. He worked to unite sometimes hostile rivals and taught the importance of friendship. Are there any damaged relationships in your life that, until now, you have not even tried to remedy? How could you reach out to the persons or groups with whom you have conflict?


Pray to God that you may feel empathy for those with whom you are in disagreement. Ask him to help you embody the virtue, courage and creativity required to bridge the gap of dissent.