July 30th - St. Leopoldo Mandic

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Jul 30, 2022, 2:52:25 AMJul 30
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July 30th - St. Leopoldo Mandic
(Also known as Adeodato Bogdan Mandic, Apostle of the Confession,
Apostle of Unity, Brother Leopold, Leopoldo of Castelnuovo)

“Medieval” saint in a modern setting. Such was St. Leopold, a Capuchin
Franciscan canonized only 41 years after his death.Canon law requires
that 50 years pass after the candidate's death before beatification may be
considered, yet the holiness of Leopold was so obvious that it took
less than 30 years for his beatification. It was an example of the
sense of the faithful prevailing over canon law. His chief apostolate
had been hearing confessions. For 36 years he spent most of his waking
hours in the confessional, because he believed that ministry was most
needed.

Fr. Leopold lived and worked in Italy. He had been born in the small
Italian seacoast town of Castelnovo. Actually, he was not Italian, but
the twelfth and last child of a Croatian couple who had come to live
in Italy only a short time before his birth. Indeed, during World War
I, when he had already been a priest for over 20 years, he was
imprisoned for a year for refusing to give up his Croatian
citizenship.

He entered the Capuchin Franciscans in Bassano, Italy, in 1884,
changing his baptismal name Bogdan (“God-given”) to “Leopold.” His
ambition had been to work among the Greek Orthodox. But circumstances,
and the decision of his superiors, directed him rather into missionary
work in northeastern Italy. For the first 15 years he was given
various assignments: study, teaching, counseling, administration. He
began his chief work at Padua in 1906. For 36 years he heard
confessions daily for 10, 12 and more hours. On the very day before he
died, he heard 50 confessions in his sick room.

Leopold heard confessions normally not in a simple confessional but
in a little “reconciliation room.” The room was furnished with an old
chair, a kneeler, a crucifix and a statue of Our Lady. There were
always fresh flowers before the statue.

Obviously, Fr. Leopold was a popular confessor. He was most kind to
his penitents. For him there were no hopeless cases. The penances he
assigned were very light, for he would make up the rest of the burden
by saying more prayers himself. Not that he was an easy confessor.
When firmness was called for, he was very firm. If the penitent
balked, he would say, “God has spoken. That is enough.” Once when a
penitent was resisting the truth, Leopold rose and said indignantly,
“Sir, you cannot play with God. Go and die in your sin.” Shaken by his
remark, the man broke down and made a good confession. St. Leopold
then embraced him and said, “Now we are brothers.”

Friar Leopold was a man of great simplicity and devotion. It is not
surprising that his effectiveness as a confessor came much from his
own personal holiness. A number of cures were attributed to him while
he lived, although he sought to belittle his own part in them. Once
when the uncle of a dying child asked his help, he blessed an apple
and told him, “Take this apple and make the child eat it. She will be
cured. Trust in Our Lady.” The uncle obeyed and the little girl
recovered instantly. When Leopold learned of the cure, he said, “Ah,
Blessed Lady, how good you are!” On another occasion he told the
father of a child who was dying of endocarditis, that he would offer
his Mass for her on the next day, which was the feast of St. Joseph,
and she would recover. Recover she did, and the Friar commented,
“Haven’t I said that St. Joseph does some wonderful things?”

Occasionally Leopold also prophesied in the same offhand manner. Once
he predicted that the Capuchin church and friary in Padua would be
bombed but his confession room would not be touched. Two years after
his death, on May 14, 1944, during World War II, the prophecy was
fulfilled. Church and friary were badly damaged by bombs, but the
confessional room and the statue of Our Lady remained intact.

The point of the prophecy must have been this: confessions and
confessional rooms are terribly important. Yet in our time Catholics
all too often ignore them. St. Leopold often used to accompany his
penitents to the door of the reconciliation room, saying, “Don’t’
forget to come back. I shall be waiting for you.” Is some priest
waiting for us?

Early in his Capuchin life, Leopold Mandic was asked to surrender his
missionary aspirations and personal preference, and to work as
Confessor and Spiritual Adviser. Looking back on this decision, he
once said: "I am like a bird in a cage, but my heart is beyond the
seas."
–Father Robert


Saint Quote:
It is much better to obtain only an ounce of happiness in not risking
our salvation, than one hundred pounds in hazarding it.
--St. Ignatius of Loyola

Bible Quote
"Therefore, gird up the loins of your mind, live soberly, and set your
hopes completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation
of Jesus Christ. Like obedient children, do not act in compliance
with the desires of your former ignorance but, as he who called you is
holy, be holy yourselves in every aspect of your conduct, for it is
written, 'Be holy because I [am] holy." [1 Peter 1:13-16]


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Prayer of the Church
O God, source of life and love, you gave Saint Leopold a tremendous
compassion for sinners and a desire for church unity. Through his
prayers, grant that we may acknowledge our need of forgiveness, show
love to others, and strive to bring about a living unity among
Christians. Through Our Lord Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns for
ever and ever. Amen.


Meditation for the Day

I must constantly live in preparation for something better to come.
All of life is a preparation for some thing better. I must anticipate
the morning to come. I must feel, in the night of sorrow, that
understanding joy that tells of confident expectation of better things
to come. "Sorrow may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the
morning." Know that God has something better in store for you, as long
as you are making yourself ready for it. All your existence in this
world is a training for a better life to come. I pray that when life
is over, I will return to an eternal, spaceless life with God. I pray
that I may make this life a preparation for a better life to come.
—From Twenty-Four Hours a Day
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