Leo of Assisi (Brother Leo)

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Secretary, companion, and confessor of francis of assisi; b. end of 12th century; d. Assisi (?), Nov. 1415, 1271. Francis affectionately called him Frate pecorella di Dio because of his innocence and candor. The only extant holographs of Francis, i.e., a letter preserved in Spoleto and the Laudes creatoris with the blessing from Nm6.24 on the reverse, in Sacro Convento, Assisi, were written for Leo. After the death of Francis, Leo conflicted sharply with elias of cortona, but soon retired to a hermitage and spent the rest of his life writing in defense of what he considered the authentic ideas of Francis. Attributed to him are the Vita b. Aegidii, Liber de intentiones. Francisci, and Verba s. Francisci; the Speculum perfectionis and Legenda trium sociorum are most probably not his.

Bibliography: Vita in Analecta Franciscana 3 (1897) 6574. l. oliger, "Liber exemplorum Fratrum Minorum saeculi XIII," Antonianum 2 (1927) 203276. l. lemmens, ed. Documenta antiqua Franciscana, 3 v. (Quaracchi Florence 190102) v. 1; "Die Schriften des Br. Leo von Assisi," Miscellanea Francesco Ehrle 5 v. Studi e Testi (1924) 3741 3:2548. a. macdonell, Sons of Francis (London 1902) 95112. francis of assisi, The Writings, ed. p. hermann, tr. b. fahy (Chicago 1964). l. hardick, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner (Freiburg 195765) 6:956. o. englebert, St. Francis of Assisi: A Biography (Chicago 1966).

[m. f. laughlin]