The feast day of St. Leopold is celebrated on May 12.
St. Leopold was born in Croatia, Italy. He joined the Capuchin Franciscans and was ordained even though he had disabilities and health problems. He had a speech impediment which made it difficult to preach. He also suffered from severe arthritis, poor eyesight and a stomach ailment. His vocation became that of a confessor. He was known to spend as many as 15 hours a day hearing confessions. Several bishops were known to seek his spiritual direction. He was often criticized for his compassion and leniency. He was very understanding and caring towards expectant mothers and children. This led to his work starting orphanages.
St. Leopold wanted to become a missionary and work for the reunion between Roman Catholics and Orthodoxy. Because of his health he was unable to travel but unity was constantly in his prayers. He became known as the Apostle of Confession and Unity.
Most of his life St. Leopold lived in Padua, Italy. However, because he did not want to renounce his Croatian nationality he spent one year in prison during World War I.
St. Leopold had a great devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary. He often prayed the Rosary. He also received the Eucharist daily and visited the sick in nursing homes.
St. Leopold died from esophagus cancer on July 30, 1942. While he was dying the friars gathered around him and sang the Salve Regina (Hail Holy Queen). St. Leopold was canonized in 1982 by Pope John Paul II..
You have become an ornament to heaven,
O Mother of God, and a light for all the earth!
Quote of St. Germanus of Constantinople; Feast day May 12
May is the Month of Our Lady.