Leopold Mandic


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Jean-Baptiste Vianney (1786—1859)


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Franciscan friar. A Croat by birth, he was born at Castelnuovo (Dalmatia), the twelfth child of his father and mother. In 1882 he became an aspirant of the Capuchin Franciscans at Udine. He was physically very small (only 4′ 5″ high) and suffered several infirmities. He became a novice in 1884, studied at Padua and Venice the usual clerical subjects and was ordained priest in 1890. He continued to work in the Venetian province, although he greatly desired to be a missionary in eastern Europe. Padua, however, was his home for forty years, where he was an indefatigable and compassionate confessor and spiritual director. In spite of acute arthritis and much abdominal pain, he would work long hours in the confessional, often twelve hours each day. In this respect he may be compared with St Jean Vianney, the famous Curé d'Ars. This commitment was not without its problems, as is clear from his description of himself as being ‘like a bird in a cage, but my heart is beyond the seas’. He spent his life bringing pardon and peace to many others. He was beatified in 1976 and canonized by Pope John Paul II in 1983.

Anonymous pamphlet, St Leopold Mandic (n.d. Greyfriars, Oxford);B.L.S., v. 81–2.

Subjects: Christianity.

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