|St. Leopold Mandic|
|Saints - Saints|
The Saint of Confession
His Life (1866 -1942)
Now wishing to fulfill a childhood ambition of becoming a missionary in Eastern Europe, torn apart by much religious strife, he was denied this by his superiors and because of his frailty and general ill-health. This was assuredly a testing-time for the new Father Leopold, but God had other work for him to do.
From 1890 to 1906, Father Leopold was stationed at various Friaries in the Venetian Province, including Friaries in his homeland of Dalmatia, where the Italian friars had a mission. In 1906, he was posted to Padua, where, except for one year which he spent in a prison camp during World War I, because he would not renounce his Croat nationality, he remained for the rest of his life. It was in Padua that he took up the apostolate of Confessor and Spiritual Director... a work which proved to be the means through which God used his servant, Father Leopold, for almost forty years, and for which Leopold Mandić is best known.
On September 22nd, 1940, Father Leopold celebrated his Golden Jubilee of the Priesthood. After this, however, his health deteriorated rapidly. He died in the Friary at Padua on 30th July, 1942. And soon after his death a strong veneration of his memory began to flourish culminating in his beatification by Pope Paul VI on 2nd May, 1976, and, his canonisation by Pope John Paul II on 16th October, 1983.
But spiritually, Leopold Mandić was a giant, full of Christian strength. It was his humility and faith in God's Goodness and Providence that enabled him to recognise and accept his poor physical condition. And this in turn led him to a greater realisation of his own lowliness in relation to God's mighty power - that without God he could do nothing. This strong faith was communicated to others when they came to Father Leopold for spiritual advice. He would say: "Have faith! Everything will be alright. Faith, Faith!" A compassionate man, Father Leopold gave tremendous encouragement to many people, especially those despairing of hope because of an enslavement to sin. He was truly an apostle. For although he did not go to the mission territory, his long service in the Confessional proved to be his own distinct apostolate. For nearly forty years, twelve hours a day, he received, counselled and absolved thousands of penitents. In this work he was a herald of God's love and forgiveness. And his human weakness highlights the gift of spiritual strength which enabled him to carry out this untiring apostolate.
Early in his Capuchin life, Leopold Mandić was asked to surrender his missionary aspirations and personal preference so as to be given the work of Confessor and Spiritual Advisor. He once expressed his feelings about this when he said: "I am like a bird in a cage, but my heart is beyond the seas."
Saint Leopold is definitely a man for us and for our time.
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.
St. Leopold Mandić Capuchin
His feast is celebrated May 12.
(Adopted from a pamphlet by the Capuchin Friars)
|Last Updated ( Friday, 07 December 2012 )|
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