Bishop (d. ca. 600)
+ Leander was born in Cartagena, Spain. His younger brothers, Isidore and Fulgentius, and his sister, Florentina, are also honored as saints. His family settled in Seville, Spain, when he was a young man.
+ Around the year 575, Leander became a monk but was eventually elected bishop of Seville. He was later exiled to Constantinople because of his opposition to the Arian heresy. While there, he became close friends with Saint Gregory the Great. Gregory later dedicated his commentary on the Book of Job to Leander. When Gregory became pope, he sent a pallium to Leander to show his strong connection to the papacy.
+ After returning to Spain, Leander became a champion of the Catholic Faith. He convoked a council in Toledo which defended the Doctrine of the Trinity and Leander ordered that the Nicene Creed be recited by all Catholics at Mass each Sunday as a way to reinforce the Catholic Faith. This became a universal custom and is still part of the Sunday Mass up to the present day.
+ Leander is remembered as a gifted author, but only two of his writings survive: a homily “On the Triumph of the Church” and a monastic rule written for his sister, Florentina.
+ Saint Leander died on March 13, 600, and is buried with his brother Isidore in the cathedral of Seville, Spain.
Leander’s younger brother Isidore—who is honored as a Doctor of the Church—praised his brother as having been “a man of suave eloquence and eminent talent” who “shone as brightly by his virtues as by his doctrine.”
“There is one Christ the Lord and His Church, a holy possession, is throughout the world. He is the Head and the Church is the body.”
Lord God, who graciously imbued blessed Leander with heavenly doctrine, grant, through his intercession, that we may keep that same teaching faithfully and express it in what we do. 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 Pastors—For a Bishop)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.