Tired of all the bad news

While we can't deny the difficulites for so many people at home and overseas, it's important to take account of the positives, and to spread the Good News. I don't know who said this but; "No-one ever injured their eyesight by looking on the bright side." Blessings..

Monday, 30 July 2012

St. Leopold Mandic, Capuchin, Small in stature but a spiritual giant

Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandić was born on May 12, 1866 in Castelnuovo di Cattaro (today Herceg Novi) Small in stature and delicate in his early life, (1.35m tall) he developed tremendous spiritual strength as he grew older.
Although he wanted to be a missionary in Eastern Europe, he spent almost all of his adult life in Italy, and lived in Padua from 1906 until the end of his life. He spent one year in an Italian prison during World War I, since he did not want to renounce his Croatian nationality. He dreamed unceasingly about reuniting the Catholic and Orthodox churches and going to the Orient. He became known as Apostle of Confession and Apostle of Unity.

Bogdan Mandić was the twelfth child of Dragica Zarević and Petar Antun Mandić, owner of an Adriatic fishing fleet; they came from the village of Zakučac (hinterland of the city of Omiš, 28 km from Split) As a child, he struggled with his health, and had a speech impediment. In November 1882 when he was 16, Bogdan went to Udine to enter the novitiate of the Venetian Capuchins. Two years later he was sent to the friary at Bassano del Grappa where he was given the name Brother Leopold. He made his first profession of vows a year later, and in 1888 he made his final profession of vows. On September 20, 1890, Leopold was ordained to the priesthood at Venice at the age of 24.

He was a small man but was a spiritual giant who spent most of his priestly life hearing confessions for up to 18 hours a day. He believed that as long as someone crossed the threshold of the confessional he had to do his "utmost" for them to be reconciled to God. He was a kind and compassionate confessor who, ahead of his time, didn't believe people needed to be judged or frightened with threats of condemnation.

As a result of the bombing during World War II, the church and part of the friary where Leopold lived was demolished, but Leopold's cell and confessional were left unharmed. Leopold had predicted this before his death, saying, "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."

Leopold suffered from cancer of the oesophagus which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On July 30, 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the sacrament of the sick. Friars that had gathered at his bed began singing the Salve Regina and witnessed Leopold draw his last breath as they sang "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."

 Leopold was beatified by Pope Paul VI on May 2, 1976. He was canonized by John Paul II during the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on October 16, 1983. Leopold is a saint of our time and is hailed as the "Apostle of Unity".

Some sayings of St. Leopold:

"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."

"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."

"A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."

No comments:

Post a Comment