Leopold of Gaiche, Bl.

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Franciscan; b. Gaiche, Italy, 1732; d. Monteluco, April 2, 1815. He became a Franciscan in 1751, was ordained in 1757, and taught philosophy and theology. In 1768 he began 47 years of missionary activity in Umbria and the Papal States, in the manner of St. leonard of port maurice. He was elected provincial (178184) but continued to preach, and he built in Monteluco a retreat for missionaries, of which he became guardian. When Napoleon seized the Papal States and suppressed religious houses, Leopold withdrew to a hut. He was imprisoned briefly for his refusal to take an oath to the new regime. After Napoleon's fall in 1814, Leopold returned to Monteluco and spent his last years in prayer. He wrote a Diario delle S. Missioni. He was beatified by Leo XIII, on March 3, 1893.

Feast: April 2.

Bibliography: m. a. habig, Franciscan Book of Saints (Chicago 1959). g. fussenegger, Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche, ed. j. hofer and k. rahner, 10 v. (2d, new ed. Freiburg 195765) 6:970.

[r. bartman]