Mandeville, LA – Compiled by Mike Church of the Salesian Society of Saint Tammany Parish.
St Leonard of Tolbac France converted thousands of the criminally corrupt while visiting prisons in the 7th century. After his death, churches were dedicated to him in France, England, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Bohemia, Poland and other countries. Pilgrims flocked to his tomb, and in one small town in Bavaria there are records of 4,000 favors granted through Saint Leonard’s intercession. (For further reading on Saint Leonard see EWTN.)
Leonard was a member of pagan King Clovis I’s court. On one occasion, Clovis’s queen joked that Leonard should invoke “his God” to assist her husband’s army in a battle they were losing. Saint Leonard did that and prayed for the King’s victory and when that occurred, Leonard’s prelate, Saint Remigius used this miracle to convert the King and his court to Christianity. (Saint Remigius is one of the most famous and popular Saints in ancient France’s history). Saint Leonard lived as a hermit at Limoges and was rewarded by the king with all the land he could ride around on a donkey in a day for his prayers; Saint Leonard is also believed to have brought the Queen through a difficult delivery safely and he is thus invoked for prayers during childbirth. He founded Noblac monastery on the land so granted him, and it grew into the town of Saint-Leonard. He remained there evangelizing the surrounding area until his death in 559.
The name Leonard means strong as a lion.