+ Leopold was born in Gars, Austria, and raised under the influence of bishop Saint Altman, one of the most influential churchmen of the time.
+ When he was 23, Leopold succeeded his father as margrave of Austria, and, then years later, married Agnes, the daughter of King Henry IV.
+ Leopold and Agnes had 18 children, of whom eleven survived to adulthood.
+ Leopold supported many churches and established a Cistercian abbey at Heiligenkreuz, as well as the Augustinian priory at Klosterneuberg and the Benedictine abbey of Mariazell. These three communities have survived to the present day.
+ Although he was not a high-profile figure, Leopold nevertheless supported the pope in the controversies of the time, and was even considered as a candidate for the office of Holy Roman Emperor. He refused the nomination, however, choosing to remain as margrave of Austria.
+ Leopold died in 1136 and was buried in Klosterneuberg. He was canonized in 1485 and is honored as the patron saint of Austria.
For prayer and reflection
“Forgetting what lies behind but straining forward to what lies ahead, I continue my pursuit toward the goal, the prize of Gods’ upward calling, in Christ Jesus.”—Philippians 3:14
On this day, the Church also celebrates the commemoration of the Dominican bishop and Doctor of the Church, Saint Albert the Great. A revered pastor and educator—Saint Thomas Aquinas was among his students—he is honored as the patron saint of scientists and philosophers.
O God, who alone are holy and without whom no one is good, command, we pray, through the intercession of blessed Leopold, that we be numbered among those who do not deserve to be deprived of your glory. 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.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For One Saint)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.