Leopold Mandić

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Saint Leopold Mandić
Sveti Leopold Bogdan Mandic Rijeka.jpg
Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandić
Born (1866-05-12)12 May 1866
Herceg Novi, Boka Kotorska
Died 30 July 1942(1942-07-30) (aged 76)
Padua, Italy
Venerated in Roman Catholic Church
Beatified 2 May 1976 by Paul VI
Canonized 16 October 1983 by John Paul II
Major shrine Padua, Italy
Feast 12 May (30 July in Roman martyrology)
Church of St. Leopold Mandic in Herceg Novi

Saint Leopold Bogdan Mandić was born on 12 May 1866 and died on 30 July 1942. He was an ethnic Croat[1] born in Castelnuovo di Cattaro (today Herceg Novi), in Bocche di Cattaro (Boka Kotorska), then in the Austro-Hungarian Empire, today in Montenegro, and died in Padua, Italy. Physically malformed and delicate, having a height of only 1.35 m (4' 5"), with a clumsy walk and afflicted by stuttering, he developed tremendous spiritual strength. His feast is celebrated on 12 May.

Although he wanted to be a missionary in Eastern Europe, he spent almost all his adult life in Italy, and lived in Padua from 1906 until his death. He also spent one year in an Italian prison during WWI, since he did not want to renounce his Austrian nationality. He also dreamed unceasingly about reuniting the Catholic and Orthodox churches and going to the Orient. He became known as Apostle of Confession and Apostle of Unity. He made a famous prayer that is the forerunner of today's ecumenism.

Early life[edit]

Bogdan Mandić was the twelfth child of Dragica Zarević and Petar Antun Mandić, owner of an Adriatic fishing fleet; they came from the village of Zakučac (hinterland of the city of Omiš, 28 km from Split). The origins of his family are noble; they came from Vrhbosna province in Bosnia.

He suffered from disabilities that would plague his speech and stature. The family eventually lost most of its wealth, and became more sympathetic to those who suffered in similar situations. In November 1882, when he was 16, Bogdan went to Udine to enter the seminary of the Venetian Capuchins. Two years later he was assigned to the Bassano del Grappa friary, where he took the name "Leopold". He made his first profession of vows a year later in May and a profession of perpetual vows four years later in 1888.

On September 20, 1890, Leopold was ordained to the presbyterate at Venice at the age of 24.

Death and canonization[edit]

Leopold suffered from esophagus cancer, which would ultimately lead to his death at age 76. On 30 July 1942, while preparing for the liturgy, he collapsed on the floor. He was then brought to his cell, where he was given the last rites. Friars who had gathered at his bed began singing the Salve Regina and saw that Leopold died as they sang "O clement, O loving, O sweet Virgin Mary."

As a result of the bombing during World War II, the church and part of the friary where Leopold lived were demolished, but Leopold's cell and confessional were left unharmed. Leopold had predicted this before his death, saying, "The church and the friary will be hit by the bombs, but not this little cell. Here God exercised so much mercy for people, it must remain as a monument to God's goodness." Paul VI beatified Leopold on 2 May 1976. He was canonized by John Paul II during the General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on 16 October 1983. Leopold is hailed as the "Apostle of Unity".


  • "Some say that I am too good. But if you come and kneel before me, isn't this a sufficient proof that you want to have God's pardon? God's mercy is beyond all expectation."
  • "Be at peace; place everything on my shoulders. I will take care of it." He once explained, "I give my penitents only small penances because I do the rest myself."
  • "A priest must die from apostolic hard work; there is no other death worthy of a priest."
  • "Faith! Have Faith! God is both doctor and medicine."[2]
  • "I wonder at every moment how a person may risk the salvation of their soul for reasons absolutely futile and weak." [3]


  1. ^ "Veliki svetac i rodoljub, Bogdan Leopold Mandić". hkv.hr (in Croatian). 23 August 2010. Retrieved 11 May 2013. Tijekom Drugog svjetskog rata proveo je godinu dana u talijanskom zatvoru ne želeći poreći svoju hrvatsku nacionalnost. 
  2. ^ Convento Cappuccini, 35100 Padova, Italy
  3. ^ Convento Cappuccini, 35100 Padova, Italy