Saturday, January 17, 2009
St. Leonard is the next statue you would see as you enter St. Peter's square. He stands to St. Gallicano's right. "St Leonard, being a patron of prisoners, is generally represented holding chains in his hands, although his statue here seems to hold a book..."
Feastday: November 6
According to [11th centruy] legend, Leonard belonged to a noble Frankish family of the time of King Clovis, and St. Remy of Reims was his godfather. After having secured from the king the release of a great number of prisoners, and refused episcopal honours which Clovis offered him, he entered a monastery at Micy near Orléans. Later he went to Aquitaine and there preached the Gospel. Having obtained, through prayer, a safe delivery for the Queen of the Franks in her confinement, he received as a gift from the king a domain at Noblac, near Limoges, where he founded a monastery. [Legend states that he got all the land he could ride around on a donkey in one day]. The veneration of this saint is as widely known as his history is...uncertain....little by little churches were dedicated to him, not only in France, but in all Western Europe.... Pilgrims, among them kings, princes, and high dignitaries of the Church, flocked to Noblac (now St. Leonard). Numerous miracles are attributed to him, and in one small town alone, Inchenhofen, Bavaria, from the fourteenth to the eighteenth century, there are records of about 4000 favours granted through his intercession. The saint wrought the delivery of captives, women in confinement, those possessed of an evil spirit, people and beasts afflicted with diseases. At the end of the eleventh century his name had already become renowned among the Crusaders captured by the Mussulmans. He is generally represented holding chains in his hands.
[From Catholic Encyclopedia]
Died c.559 of natural causes
Patronage: childbirth; blacksmiths; captives; Castelmauro, Italy; coal miners; coopers; coppersmiths; greengrocers; grocers; horses; imprisoned people; Kirkop, Malta; locksmiths; miners; porters; prisoners; prisoners of war; against burglars; against burglaries; against robberies; against robbers
Representation abbot holding chain, fetters or lock; chain; fetters; manacles