Posted in FRANCISCAN OFM, SAINT of the DAY

Saint of the Day – 13 November – Blessed Leone of Assisi OFM (Died 1271)Confessor, Secretary and Companion of St Francis

Saint of the Day – 13 November – Blessed Leone of Assisi OFM (Died 1271) Priest and Friar of the Friars Minor of St Francis, Confessor, Secretary and Companion of St Francis, commonly known as “Brother Leo.” Died at Assisi, on15 November, 1271. His date and place of birth is uncertain but is believed to have been in Assisi and not in Viterbo, as some writers have asserted.

Although not one of the original twelve companions of St Francis, Leo was one of the first to join him after the approbation of the first Rule of the Friars Minor (1209-1210) and perhaps was already a Priest. In the course of time, he became the Confessor and Secretary of the Saint, and from about 1220, o the time of Francis’ death, Leo was his constant companion.

Leo was with the “Poverello” when the latter retired to Fonte Colombo near Rieti in 1223 to re-write the Rule of the Order and he accompanied him on his subsequent journey to Rome, to seek its approval. During the following year. Leo was with the Saint on Mount La Verna, when Francis received the Stigmata. Francis called him “Frate Pecorello di DioLittle poor one of God” because of Leo’s simplicity and tenderness. Leo nursed his master during his last illness.

Leo had entered deeply into the bitter disappointments experienced by the Saint during the last few years of his life and soon after St Francis’s death, he came into conflict with those whom he considered traitors to the Poverello and his ideal of poverty.

St Francis and Bl Leone contemplating morality by El Greco

After Francis’s death Leo took a leading role in the opposition to Elias of Cortona. Having protested against the collection of money for the erection of the Basilica of San Francesco, it was Leo who broke in pieces the marble box which Elias had set up for offerings, for the completion of the Basilica at Assisi. For this, Elias had him scourged and this outrage, on St Francis’s dearest disciple, consolidated the opposition to Elias. Leo was the leader in the early stages of the struggle in the Order for the maintenance of St Francis’ ideas on strict poverty.

Friar Leone (Detail) – “Saint Francis, Friar Leone and Friar Ginepro admire the sky” – modern bronze statues by Fiorenzo Bacci – “Eremo delle Carceri” at Assisi

He retired , thereafter, to a hermitage of the Order. Leo assisted at Saint Clare’s deathbed in 1253. After suffering many persecutions, by the dominant party in the Order, he died at the Portiuncula, in extreme old age and his remains are buried in the Basilica of St Francis in Assisi.

Much that is known concerning him was collected by Paul Sabatier in the “Introduction” to the Speculum perfectionis (The Mirror of Perfection). It was likely compiled after his death, based on stories that he told and in his writings.

Author:

Passionate Catholic. Being a Catholic is a way of life - a love affair "Religion must be like the air we breathe..."- St John Bosco Prayer is what the world needs combined with the example of our lives which testify to the Light of Christ. This site, which is now using the Traditional Calendar, will mainly concentrate on Daily Prayers, Novenas and the Memorials and Feast Days of our friends in Heaven, the Saints who went before us and the great blessings the Church provides in our Catholic Monthly Devotions. "For the saints are sent to us by God as so many sermons. We do not use them, it is they who move us and lead us, to where we had not expected to go.” Charles Cardinal Journet (1891-1975) This site adheres to the Catholic Church and all her teachings. PLEASE ADVISE ME OF ANY GLARING TYPOS etc - In June 2021 I lost 95% sight in my left eye and sometimes miss errors. Thank you and bless you 🙏

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