Leopold Mandic was a native of Croatia who joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained several years later despite several health problems. He could not speak loudly enough to preach publicly. For many years he also suffered from se
vere arthritis, poor eyesight, and a stomach ailment.
For many 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, who lived most of his life in Padua, died on July 30, 1942, and was canonized in 1982.
Adapted by A.J. Valentini from: St. Leopold Mandic | Franciscan Media. (n.d.). Franciscan Media. Retrieved May 4, 2021, from https://www.franciscanmedia.org/saint-of-the-day/saint-leopold-mandic