SAINT JOHN LEONARDI
FEAST DAY – 9TH OCTOBER
John Leonardi was born at Diecimo, Italy, in1541. He became a pharmacist’s assistant at Lucca, studied for the priesthood, and was ordained in 1572. He gathered a group of laymen about him to work in hospitals and prisons, became interested in the reforms proposed by the Council of Trent, and proposed a new congregation of secular priests.
Great opposition to his proposal developed, but in 1583, his association (formally designated Clerks Regular of the Mother of God in 1621) was recognized by the bishop of Lucca with the approval of Pope Gregory XIII. John was aided by St. Philip Neri and St. Joseph Calasanctius, and in 1595, the congregation was confirmed by Pope Clement VIII, who appointed John to reform the monks of Vallombrosa and Monte Vergine.
He died in Rome on October 9th, 1609, of plague, contracted while he was ministering to the stricken. He was venerated for his miracles and religious fervor and is considered one of the founders of the College for the Propagation of the Faith. He was beatified on November 10, 1861, at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Papal States, by Pope Pius IX and canonized on April 17, 1938, at Saint Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City by Pope Pius XI. His feast day is October 9th. He is the Patron saint of pharmacists.
October 9th is also the day the Church celebrates the memory of the English theologian Blessed John Henry Newman. A member of the Congregation of the Oratory, Newman became one of the greatest theological writers of the 19th century and his writings still inspire and engage theologians and philosophers today.
Quote – “Those who want to work for moral reform in the world must seek the glory of God before all else.”—Saint John Leonardi
O God, giver of all good benefits,
through the Priest, Saint John Leonardi you caused the good news proclaimed in the Holy Gospel to be announced to all the nations, thus adding in numbers to the congregation of Christian believers.
Grant, through his intercession,
that our faith in the One, True, Ever-living God, may increase, so that the reality of salvation may reach all peoples, as you have ordained that it should. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen
Saint John Leonardi, pray for us all.